Lum and Abner was an American radio comedy that aired from 1931 to 1954[[note]]with a hiatus that lasted from April 1950 until February 1953[[/note]]. It was created by Chester Lauck and Norris "Tuffy" Goff, who also played the main characters (Lauck played Lum; Goff played Abner). The series initially took the form of a comedic soap opera. It was set in the ficitional town of Pine Ridge, Arkansas where the titular Lum and Abner operated the Jot Em Down Store. Plots consisted of various adventures they and other Pine Ridge citizens had in the course of living their day-to-day lives. This could range from trying (and failing) to open up a new bakery to saving the town from hostile visitors.
In addition to the radio show, seven Lum and Abner movies were released in theaters, the first one in 1940 and the final one in 1956.
Although it boasts a rather large fan base, the series never caught on with the general public the way JackBenny and other radio shows did and is [[NeedsMoreLove in desperate need of more love]]. That said, the show is (by all appearances) in the public domain and most of the episodes can be listened to for free [[http://www.otr.net/?p=lmab here]].
!!This Work Contains Examples of:
* AbandonedMine: Lum and Abner are trapped in one of these during one 1945 story arc. [[spoiler:They're rescued.]]
* AmbitionIsEvil: Lum and his various schemes to improve business and become famous.
* AscendedExtra: Dick Huddleston, another Pine Ridge resident, became the new narrator during the final year of the show's run.
* BecomingTheMask: [[spoiler:Diogenes]] claims this to be the case. The fact that he leaves the town of Pine Ridge [[spoiler:a check for $10,000]] indicates that he was telling the truth. Lum and Abner believe him regardless.
* BewareTheNiceOnes: Mousey.
* BoundAndGagged: In the movie, ''The Bashful Bachelor'', Abner allows Lum to tie him up and pretend to rescue him so that Lum can be a local hero and impress his ladyfriend.
* BreatherEpisode: Every now and again, there would be an episode that was an entire self-contained story rather than part of a large story arc.
* ButtMonkey: Lum
-->'''Every Character at one point or another:''' "Wonderful World!"
-->'''The Narrator (at the start of every episode):''' "Let's see what's going on down in Pine Ridge. Well...(Narrator then summarizes what happened in the previous epiode and describes the opening scene for the current episode)."
-->'''Cedric (during a brief arc in the 40s):''' "Prune bread! That's what '''I''' like!"
-->'''Abner (when happy or excited):''' "Well good for you!" (or some variation)
-->'''Abner (when sad):''' "Bless their heart. Bless their little heart."
-->'''Cedric (to everyone, regardless of gender):''' "Yes, mom."
-->'''Grandpappy Spears:''' "Accordin' to the almanac."
-->'''Mousey:''' "It's just like a mother to me."
-->'''Lum:''' "I'm wore to a frazzle. ''Wore'' to a ''fra''-zzle!"
-->'''Grandpappy Spears:''' "Spaven-legged," "Knock-kneed," "Pigeon-toed," "Monkey's uncle." (Often used in combination; on at least one occasion used all together: "Well, I'll be a spaven-legged, knock-kneed, pigeon-toed son of a monkey's uncle.")
-->'''Squire Skimp:''' "Gentlemen, gentlemen. How are my old friends today?"
-->'''Lum''': "He ought to be bored for the simples." No, we don't know what it means, either.
* ChristmasEpisode: So popular with fans that it was re-aired annually throughout the show's run.
* CloudCuckooLander: Grandpappy Spears and Abner
** Hell, everyone in Pine Ridge except maybe Squire Skimp and Dick Huddleston.
* ConMan: [[spoiler:Diogenes is ultimately revealed to be one]]
** Squire Skimp, particularly in the early episodes.
* DeadpanSnarker: Lum.
* DecemberDecemberRomance: Lum and his various love interests over the series, for the most part, none of them were ever played seriously, a notable exception being his fling with Geraldine in ''The Bashful Bachelor''.
* EnemyMine: Whenever Squire does something nice, it's usually because he either has to or because he and the boys simply have a common goal.
** TheHero: Lum
** TheLancer: Abner
** TheBigGuy: Cedric
** TheChick: Mousey
** TheSmartGuy: Granpappy is ultimately a parody of this. He knows a lot thanks to the almanac, but any knowledge he can contribute is useless and irrelevant.
** TheSixthRanger: Doc Withers
** The promotional materials created for the show, such as the 1936 "Let's 'Lect Lum" buttons.
** The official Lum and Abner comic strip put out by First Arkansas News uses this trope to retain the trademark dialect from the radio show.
* GentleGiant: Cedric
* GracefulLoser: [[spoiler:Diogenes]]
* GrandFinale: Lum and Abner accidentally wind up adrift in the Ouachita River in the penultimate episode; the final episode begins with them thinking about all the little things about Pine Ridge that they took for granted; the tone is one of finality, and it honestly seems like a set-up for a SuddenDownerEnding. [[spoiler:Then, just as Abner is giving into despair that they're going to die, they are both rescued by a search party made up of the supporting cast, even Squire Skimp]].
** Abner and Elizabeth, [[spoiler:minus a brief separation which ended in quick reconciliation]]
** Mousey and [[spoiler:Gussie, but only at first. By 1943, Gussie became a domineering and abusive wife]].
** Grandpappy and Aunt Charity.
* HonestJohnsDealership: Squire Skimp, the closest thing this series ever had to a BigBad.
* HypocriticalHumor: Lum usually scolds Abner for doing something or having selfish motives for doing something when it turns out that he's doing that exact same thing or has those exact same motives.
* InWhichATropeIsDescribed: The official Lum and Abner Society uses each episode's one-sentence synopsis as said epiode's title.
* JerkWithAHeartOfGold: Lum
* KnowNothingKnowItAll: Lum, when he's in an ambitious mood.
* LargeHam: Diogenes Smith
** Squire Skimp could be this as well, particularly when offended or trying to put something over on someone.
* LifeImitatesArt: The town of Waters, Arkansas, on which Lauck and Goff based their fictional town, officially changed its name to Pine Ridge after the show became popular.
* LiteralMinded: Abner
* LongRunner: Aired (with a short hiatus from 1940-41 and a longer one from 1950-53) from 1931 to 1954.
* ManOfAThousandVoices: Lauck and Goff played pretty much all the recurring characters other than Doc Withers and Phinneas Peabody. This occasionally led to episodes where Lauck would call one of Goff's other characters Abner by mistake.
* MinimalistCast: Zig-Zagged. The show would go for ''long'' stints without having anyone other than the 7 main characters actually appear in the show itself, but this trope was never a 100 % constant. In fact, from 1948 through 1950, this trope was averted entirely.
* NiceGuy: Abner
* NiceJobBreakingItHero: Abner inadvertantly causes the temporary rift between [[spoiler:himself and his wife by trying to show Cedric how to boss one's wife around]].
* NoodleIncident: The numerous stories Grandpappy Spears starts (but never finishes) about Arlo Wormley.
* OnlySaneMan: Lum, usually. Squire probably also qualifies, which makes him something of an EvilCounterpart to Lum.
** Dick Huddleston was usually this whenever he appeared.
* PintSizedPowerhouse: Mousey. Next to Cedric, he's the strongest of the main cast.
* PutOnABus: Mousey when he gets drafted, [[spoiler:but TheBusCameBack about a year later when he returned to civilian life.]]
** Mary Edwards, the reform school girl that the pair gained custody of, [[spoiler:disappeared after her story arc ended.]]
* RamblingOldManMonologue: Ben Withers, to the point where he would get everyone ''else'' so confused that they would lose track of topic as well.
** Grandpappy Spears, especially when he was talking about his friend Arlo Wormley.
* RecycledScript: Occasionally Lauck and Goff would recycle plots and scripts years after they were first broadcast. For instance, the story arc where Lum and Abner open a movie theater was used in 1935 and again in 1944, and the radio station plot line was used in 1945 and 1953 (with slight variations).
* ShipperOnDeck: The townspeople do this for Lum during 1943 when a phony mystic inadventantly predicts that two single women in the town will each be proposed to by a man matching Lum's physical description. Sadly for Lum, he considers each woman to be an AbhorrentAdmirer.
* ShipToShipCombat: In-universe, see "Shipper on Deck" above. It gets worse after Abner makes the idiotic decision to turn it into a voting contest in an effort to raise money for the war effort.
* SparedByTheAdaptation: In ''The Bashful Bachelor'', The Widow Abernathy's husband is revealed to still be alive, having merely run off instead.
* StoryArc: Until 1948, the series had very few standalone episodes.
* SuddenDownerEnding: [[spoiler:Subverted in the final episode; it has a very melancholy and even sad opening and set-up; however, it not only gives the boys a HappyEnding, but an ultimately light-hearted one as well]].
* TalkingToHimself: This one is a given considering they only had four regular actors and more than four regular characters.
** It was even more prevalent in the pre-1940 shows, when there was just Lauck and Goff. Occasionally one would go on vacation, leaving the other to play several roles in essentially a one-man show.
* ThatMakesMeFeelAngry: Played for laughs with Mousey. Initially, this was the only way that he ever conveyed emotions.
* TinyGuyHugeGirl: Mousey and his wife.
* TokenEvilTeammate: Squire.
* TooDumbToLive: Cedric.
** Both Lum and Abner could be this way on occasion, Abner more than Lum.
* TrademarkFavoriteFood: Cedric and Prune Bread. He's the only one who can stomach it.
** Don't forget Cedric and his peanut butter. Chunk style.
* TheUnseen: Pretty much everybody other than the 7 main characters. This was averted when the show was retooled into a half-hour sitcom in 1948 and voice actors were hired to portray the other Pine Ridge residents. Naturally, the movies averted this trope too.
* WhyDoYouKeepChangingJobs: Mousey. In his debut year alone (1942), he worked as a night watchman, a delivery boy, a grocery store clerk, a professional boxer, a private detective, and a travel agent among other things and ''tried'' to get job as a school teacher.