All 8 Episodes Of The Boys Presents: Diabolical Ranked

The adult animated anthology series "The Boys Presents: Diabolical" has a little something for every fan of "The Boys," but all shorts are not created equal. The wide variety of talent behind the scenes means that each short is wholly unique from the others, though they all take place in the violent, deranged world of "The Boys." Fans looking for something that mirrors the live-action series will be thrilled by Homelander origin story "One Plus One Equals Two," while viewers looking for something sillier will delight in the Compound V-induced hijinks of "Laser Baby's Day Out." I had a blast with the first season of this animated anthology and got something different from each one, but there were a few that stood out way beyond their peers.

To celebrate the release of the series (streaming now on Amazon Prime Video!), I put together a list ranking the shorts from season 1 from worst to best. Strap on your utility belts and prepare for trouble, because "The Boys" brought the thunder. 


Scatological humor, or poop jokes, have a limited appeal. Poop is funny to some degree simply because we're fairly disgusted by it, but making an entire short that revolves around a walking, talking, Compound V-created poop named Areola? That's a little much. Awkwafina wrote and stars in "BFFS," which follows a young woman named Sky (Awkwafina) who finds herself the proud owner of a vial of Compound V after a drug deal gone wrong. She takes it and doesn't seem to get any superpowers, but the next day she discovers that her morning bowel movement is alive and can talk. There are some cute moments and the animation style is adorable, but it's all just a little too gross. Areola's design is disgusting, with a bit of undigested corn serving as a beauty mark and a marble that Sky ate as a child is her eye. Sky also kisses and nuzzles Areola several times, leading me to questions about E. coli in "The Boys" universe. Poop jokes are fine and dandy, but they probably shouldn't run for a full 15 minutes.

7. I'm Your Pusher

"I'm Your Pusher" comes from the warped mind of "The Boys" comics creator, Garth Ennis. The short is "ripped straight from the comics," which means that the animated characters don't particularly resemble their live-action counterparts. Maeve is blond with a fairly different costume, for example, and Frenchie's hair is much lighter as well. The episode was directed by Giancarlo Volpe, best known for his work on "JLA Adventures: Trapped in Time," and you can see the DC Comics animation influences. 

The short follows superhero slayer Billy Butcher (Jason Isaacs) as he coerces a drug dealer who services the Seven and their comrades to give one of them something really nasty. There's a great moment where we see the dealer providing drugs for various members of the Seven, including "happy pills" for Queen Maeve and cocaine cut with human adrenaline for Homelander. Eventually, he agrees to put some of Frenchie and Butcher's concoction into the drugs he gives Great Wide Wonder (Michael Cera), a superhero who can fly at incredible speeds. Great Wide Wonder is supposed to help put on a show with some of the Seven, but the drug forces him to fly way too fast and he crashes and burns in one of the nastiest moments to ever be animated. Much like "BFFS," "I'm Your Pusher" is disgusting, though with guts and gore instead of a talking turd. Fans of the comics will probably love this episode, but it's pretty cynical and doesn't add anything to the world of "The Boys" beyond the introduction of the dealer, a character named OD who could potentially end up on the live-action series in season 3

6. One Plus One Equals Two

In terms of episodes that have a link to the live-action series, "One Plus One Equals Two," written by "Spliced" creator Simon Racioppa and directed by Jae Kim and Giancarlo Volpe, probably comes the closest. The episode is a Homelander (Antony Starr) origin story, following his first major crime-fighting escapade as he's trying to prove himself as the newest member of the Seven. The problem is that Black Noir, a mute superhero with a solid black costume, is the number one member of the Seven, and he could prevent Homelander from being the best of the best. Vought handler and executive Madelyn Stillwell (Elizabeth Shue) reminds him not to let Noir get the better of him, and Homelander's desire to please her pushes him to rush into a dangerous situation instead of waiting for Noir as backup. What happens is predictably horrifying, as an untested Homelander tries to do the right thing and instead does so much wrong. This isn't the same cynical, hateful Homelander as we see in live-action, but a younger and significantly more naive version. 

"One Plus One Equals Two" feels the most like it belongs in the world of "The Boys" streaming series, and it does provide a bit of background into Homelander's pathos, making it a must-watch episode that's unfortunately full of bad feelings and truly shocking violence. (If you've never seen an animated jaw ripped right off someone's face, here's your chance!)

5. Boyd in 3D

"Boyd in 3D" is not a short animated in 3D, but is instead about a man named Boyd who lives in apartment 3D. This Instagram-inspired short was written by siblings Eliot and Ilana Glazer, best known for their work on Comedy Central's "Broad City," and it's a cute little romp about love, fame, and overcoming our more shallow instincts. Directed by Naz Ghodrati-Azadi, "Boyd in 3D" follows Boyd (Eliot Glazer) as he offers to be a test subject for a new cream developed by Vought. This cream allows the user to change their appearance to whatever their heart desires, and Boyd uses it to make himself a beefy Chris Evans-type. He uses his newfound good looks to seduce his neighbor, Cherry (Nasim Pedrad), but then she uses the cream thinking it's regular moisturizer. The two become the hottest couple in town for a while, but soon discover that appearances aren't everything. 

While it's not as superheroic as many of the other entries, "Boyd in 3D" feels more connected to our own world. The dialogue is a lot of fun, and the Instagram jokes mostly work. The animation style also almost appears hand-drawn, and it lends itself well to this unconventional love story. The twist at the end is more in tune with the rest of "The Boys," but "Boyd in 3D" is a sweet little distraction.  

4. An Animated Short Where Pissed-Off Supes Kill Their Parents

The short from "Rick & Morty" creator Justin Roiland is pretty much what you'd expect from the surrealist artist, writer, and voice actor. The episode follows a group of young people who were given Compound V as infants by their parents, only to develop abilities that were inconvenient at best and truly horrific at worst. One boy becomes a giant tongue. Another has a speaker for a head. The team's leader, Ghost (Asjha Cooper), becomes a ghostly apparition who can't touch anything, which means she can't eat, but she's still hungry. She and the other Compound V cast-offs, collected in a medical facility, break out and decide to get vengeance on their parents. It's funny, it's disgusting, and it's really, really violent. Roiland and co-writer Ben Bayouth put together a warped story about the possible problems with Compound V, and director Parker Simmons ("Mao Mao: Heroes of Pure Heart") ran with it. It's an exercise in ridiculous wish fulfillment, both for people who loathe their parents and anyone frustrated with the parents on "The Boys," and it's got that sweet signature Roiland style.

3. Laser Baby's Day Out

"Laser Baby's Day Out" was written by "The Boys" and "The Boys Presents: Diabolical" series creators Evan Goldberg and Seth Rogen, and it's a cute, mostly dialogue-free spoof of the 1994 family comedy film "Baby's Day Out." Stylistically, it's mimicking the work of "Looney Tunes" creator Chuck Jones, though I doubt Jones ever drew quite this much blood. Of all of the shorts, this one's the cutest and most simplistic, following a laboratory worker at Vought (Ben Schwartz) who wants to try to save his infant test subject from extermination. After she's let loose in the city, he must try to protect her and protect everyone from her, as she's prone to shooting lasers from her eyes every time she sneezes. There's a lot of violence here, but most of it is directed at characters we don't particularly empathize with, making "Laser Baby's Day Out" the episode that's easiest to watch and potentially revisit. Long live the laser baby and her adorable protector. 

2. John and Sun-Hee

The most surprising of all of the "Diabolical" shorts is "John and Sun-Hee," written by comedian Andy Samberg and directed by Steve Ahn. Series creator Evan Goldberg revealed that this was his favorite episode in a recent interview, citing how shocked he was that it came from the mind of Samberg, who is best known for his goofy comedies like "Hot Rod" and "Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping." There isn't any humor to be found in "John and Sun-Hee," a heartbreaking story about an elderly Korean-American married couple, John (Randall Duk Kim) and Sun-Hee (Youn Yuh-jung). Sun-Hee is dying from cancer, and John steals some Compound V in an attempt to save her life. He gives it to her and they escape using some of her newfound powers, but then things go terribly wrong when the cancer itself is transformed by Vought's power-giving potion.

Unlike the rest of the shorts, "John and Sun-Hee" isn't a superhero story in the traditional sense, and it's told in a muted color palette with a style inspired by Korean drama and horror animations. Ahn influenced the short tremendously, bringing aspects of his own Korean-American background to Samberg's script. It's beautiful, heartbreaking, and truly surprising. This is one short to seek out even if you don't watch "The Boys," because it stands on its own as a great self-contained tale. 

1. Nubian vs. Nubian

"John and Sun-Lee" is the best short ignoring the context of "The Boys," but "Nubian vs. Nubian" manages to tell a great story that feels genuine to the comics, the live-action series, and our own reality. Written by Aisha Tyler and directed by Matthew Bordenave, this short follows Maya (Somali Rose), the 8-year-old daughter of superheroes Nubia (Tyler) and Nubian Prince (Don Cheadle). Her parents fell in love while fighting crime together, but after nearly a decade together, they're headed towards divorce. In an attempt to make her parents realize how much they love one another, Maya enlists the help of Groundhawk (John DiMaggio), their former nemesis. Groundhawk is basically Wolverine with hammers for hands instead of claws, and while he's hesitant to help Maya, she coerces him into it anyway. Once her parents are reunited and in love once more, everything will be perfect. Right?

"Nubian vs. Nubian" goes to phenomenal places, because it speaks to the messiness of love and the intoxicating power of toxic relationships. The voice-acting is sharp, the art is anime-inspired, and it was hard not to leave this one with a smile on my face. In terms of expanding the world of "The Boys" and bringing new stories to it that are relevant but unique, "Nubian vs. Nubian" is number one. 

Check out all eight episodes of "The Boys Presents: Diabolical," now streaming exclusively on Prime Video.