[[caption-width-right:340:There's baloney in our slacks.[[note]]Clockwise from left, foreground: [[MotorMouth Yakko]], {{D|eliberatelyCuteChild}}ot, and [[BigEater Wakko]]; left to right, background: [[PaperThinDisguise Chicken Boo]], [[TheDitz Ralph]], [[ConstantlyCurious Mindy]], {{B|adlyBatteredBabysitter}}uttons, WesternAnimation/{{Pinky|AndTheBrain}}, [[WesternAnimation/PinkyAndTheBrain Brain]], HelloNurse, [[{{Nephewism}} Skippy]], [[RetiredBadass Slappy]], [[DogsAreDumb Runt]], [[CatsAreSuperior Rita]], [[FunnyForeigner Dr. Scratchansniff]], [[OnlySaneMan Bobby]], [[ButtMonkey Squit]], [[DistractedByTheSexy Newt]], [[RichInDollarsPoorInSense Marita]], [[MsFanservice Minerva Mink]] (hidden behind Dot), [[HairTriggerTemper Pesto]], and [[IdleRich Flavio]].[[/note]]]]

-->''"It's time for Animaniacs''\\
''And we're zany to the max''\\
''So just sit back and relax''\\
''You'll laugh 'til you collapse''\\
''For Animaniacs!''

Produced by Creator/StevenSpielberg, ''Animaniacs'' was a [[GenreThrowback revival of an old show concept]]: a collection of cartoon shorts in a half-hour kids' show. Rather than recycling or remaking old theatrical shorts, ''Animaniacs'' relied on original stories featuring original characters (though it did indulge in a bit of self-referential cliché-riding at times). This approach was unique in [[TheNineties the 1990s]], since goofball[=/=]slapstick-type shows (think WesternAnimation/LooneyTunes[=/=][[WesternAnimation/LooneyTunes Merrie Melodies]]) were being systematically driven out by MoralGuardians who thought that slapstick was too violent for children's TV (something that was frequently a target of the show's humor).

''Animaniacs'' was also unique production-wise: Spielberg gave the writers complete creative freedom over the direction of sketches (just like with ''WesternAnimation/TinyToonAdventures'' and ''WesternAnimation/{{Freakazoid}}''), which is why many fans hold such fond memories of it. Viewers don't love it because of NostalgiaGoggles -- it was a genuinely creative and well-written show (its Emmy awards attest to that). Kids even ''learned'' from it; most of Generation Y will fondly remember trying to memorize "Yakko's World" and "Wakko's America" for geography tests. Raise your hand if you learned about the conquistadors because of "The Ballad of Magellan". Who says educational shows can't be fun?

Unlike other {{Saturday Morning Cartoon}}s, ''Animaniacs'' didn't air on {{Nickelodeon}} or Creator/CartoonNetwork (at least not initially; it ''has'' been on both of those since the series ended as syndication reruns). It originally aired on Creator/FoxKids (on the Fox television network), and (later) Creator/KidsWB, both of which were programming blocks on broadcast network stations, making ''Animaniacs'' a godsend to kids without cable. On January 7, 2013, the show began airing on Creator/TheHub. The entire series is now available on DVD as well.
This series is the Trope Namer for HelloNurse.

Shorts were generally self-contained, though they frequently [[{{Crossover}} crossed over]] with each other without much warning. Each had a cast and premise of their own:

* '''The Warner Brothers ([[InsistentTerminology and the Warner Sister]])''': Yakko (RobPaulsen), Wakko (Creator/JessHarnell), and sister [[OddNameOut Dot]] (TressMacNeille) were cartoon characters that resembled anthropomorphic dogs or cats (at least within the show they were occasionally referred to as "puppy children", "kiddies", or "kidsies"). Their {{Backstory}} indicates that they were created in the 1930s by the Warner Studios animators, then [[ArtInitiatesLife leapt off the page]] and ran amok through the studio. The Warners' cartoons ("which made absolutely no sense") were put in the studio vault, never to be released. As for the Warners themselves ("who made even less sense"), they were [[SealedGoodInACan locked in the studio's water tower]] and the studio publicly disavowed any knowledge of their existence. The Warners eventually escape and HilarityEnsues. (No, really, it actually does.) Studio psychiatrist Dr. Otto Scratchnsniff (Rob Paulsen), his [[HelloNurse exceedingly-hot female assistant]] (Creator/TressMacNeille), dimwitted studio security guard Ralph (Creator/FrankWelker), and blustering studio president Thaddeus Plotz (Frank Welker again) suffer more from the trio's antics than anyone else. Some of the shorts involving the Warners were their "classic" cartoons, which played with different animation styles and tropes based on the cartoons of the time they were said to be from. When not following classic formulas, the Warners engaged in well constructed parodies of pop-culture[[note]]which became '''much''' more frequent in later episodes of the CreatorKidsWB run[[/note]] (of [[AffectionateParody both]] [[DeconstructiveParody kinds]]) or inserted themselves into history (wherein they would simultaneously both annoy and inspire famous figures like UsefulNotes/AbrahamLincoln and Ludwig van Beethoven). It was something of a RunningGag to have the Warners briefly show up in non-Warners shorts on a regular basis; these cameos would often consist of the Warners being chased by Ralph.
* '''WesternAnimation/PinkyAndTheBrain''': A pair of lab mice named Pinky (Rob Paulsen) and the Brain (MauriceLaMarche) live in a laboratory. The highly intelligent Brain is constantly thinking up plans to TakeOverTheWorld overnight, but his schemes always end in spectacular failure, usually due to the interference of the dimwitted Pinky. Nevertheless, he resolves to come up with a new idea for the next night. These shorts became popular enough to warrant a SpinOff series (which has its own page).
* '''Rita and Runt:''' Two stray animals -- a cat (Bernadette Peters) who sings showtunes (with changed lyrics) and a dopey (RainMan-inspired) dog voiced by Frank Welker -- try to find a home throughout time and space. These shorts had a tendency to be a bit more melancholy than the others.
* '''Slappy Squirrel:''' A washed-up old cartoon star from "the good old days" (voiced by production writer Sherri Stoner) works through modern-day problems with old-school cartoon techniques (that is to say, violence -- preferably of the extreme and/or explosive kind). Her personality is based on being old and cranky (with the occasional menopause joke), and (in typical "senior citizen" fashion) she thinks all the modern cartoon stars are no-good punks. Most of her shorts center around her being GenreSavvy (if not outright {{Medium Aware|ness}}), and she is often accompanied by her nephew Skippy (voiced by producer Tom Ruegger's son Nathan), who helps to balance out her cynical attitude with his bright-eyed child-like optimism. Her opposite number is the equally elderly Walter Wolf.
* '''Minerva Mink:''' An [[MsFanservice oversexualized]] [[TalkingAnimal mink]] (Julie Brown) who used her feminine wiles to get what she wanted (although in one case [[GenderFlip she had the tables unexpectedly turned on her]]). She only starred in two shorts, but she showed up in others and ''Film/WakkosWish'' as a background character ''and'' got a few dedicated comics in the ''Animaniacs'' comic book series (all of which basically followed the same formula as the shorts). Minerva also spawned a million pages of UsefulNotes/{{Furry|Fandom}} fanart, which was one of the main reasons why the creators stopped making cartoons featuring her as a main character.
* '''Goodfeathers:''' A direct parody of ''{{Goodfellas}}'' and other gangster films. Three New Yorker pigeons named Squit, Bobby, and Pesto (Maurice [=LaMarche=], John Mariano, and Chick Vennera) try to run the streets under the watchful eye of the Godpigeon; the trio lives on a statue of Creator/MartinScorsese.
* '''Buttons and Mindy:''' A toddler, voiced by [[http://www.thenancyshow.com/ Nancy Cartwright]] of ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'' fame, roams around unsupervised; she is completely oblivious to the dangers around her and [[ConstantlyCurious asks questions of everyone she meets]]. The family dog, Buttons (Frank Welker), [[BadlyBatteredBabysitter runs himself ragged trying to return Mindy to her parents]], and invariably ends up being scolded by them for some minor mishap once she is safe.
* '''Chicken Boo:''' A giant rooster whose [[PaperThinDisguise lame attempts to pass as a human]] incomprehensibly succeed, [[YouHaveToBelieveMe one person's protests]] notwithstanding. A minor accident (losing a baseball cap, for instance) inexplicably reveals Boo's true nature to everyone around him, wherein he is shunned and kicked out, but he always brushes himself off and walks away to find the next big opportunity.
* '''Katie Kaboom:''' A girl (Laura Mooney) who literally develops into a monster and then explodes with rage (causing massive damage to the house and landscape) over minor, stereotypical teenage problems, such as her boyfriend being late to pick her up. She was based on the teenage daughter of one of the writers.
* '''The Hip Hippos:''' An exceedingly heavy hippopotamus couple, Flavio and Marita (Frank Welker and [=Tress MacNeille=], respectively), whose ''nouveau-riche'' lifestyle and utter reliance on luxury leaves them helpless in situations where money won't make a difference. They also have a tendency to get into dangerous situations, even though their heavy frames generally protect them from any actual harm. Occasionally shadowed by a naturalist named Gena Embryo (whose name is a parody of/reference to San Diego Zoo zoologist Joan Embery) who tries (unsuccessfully) to return them to the jungle or protect them from harm (which usually ends up befalling her instead).

Other supporting cast members included Mr. Skullhead (in the "Good Idea, Bad Idea" shorts), a {{n|oNameGiven}}ameless [[AcceptableTargets disaster-prone]] [[EveryoneHatesMimes mime]], a nameless kid who is the friend of another (never shown) kid named "Randy Beaman", and Mr. Director (a crazed movie director based on Jerry Lewis and voiced by production writer Paul Rugg).

A DirectToVideo [[TheMovie movie]], ''WesternAnimation/WakkosWish'', was created following the show's run; rather than being a compilation of various shorts (old or new), it was a film with a self-contained plot which saw all of the show's main characters (and several background characters) interacting with one another. See TheResolutionWillNotBeTelevised below.

!!''Animaniacs'' contains examples of:

* AbsurdlyLongLimousine: At Slappy Squirrel's "Lifetime Achievement" award ceremony, Slappy and Skippy arrive in one.
--> '''Slappy:''' Oh. The bowling-in-a-limo gag? ''(turns to the camera)'' We're stretchin' for the comedy here, folks.
* AccessoryWearingCartoonAnimal: Slappy only wears a hat (and also a scarf in ''Wakko's Wish'').
* AffectionateParody: Quite a few shorts were done in the style of the cutesy, musical cartoons of the 1930s.
* AllMenArePerverts: HelloNurse gets attention from almost all the male characters; Minerva's cartoons are built entirely around the premise.
** AllWomenAreLustful: Given the ''right'' male character, however, Minerva and Dot weren't much better.
* AllPsychologyIsFreudian: Dr. Scratchnsniff.
* AlterKocker: Walter Wolf.
* AmbiguouslyBi: In ''Raging Bird'', Squit admits to thinking Prettyboy Robin is cute, and also attempts to kiss Pesto in celebration of Bobby's victory.
* AmbiguouslyJewish: Yakko, who is obviously modeled on Groucho Marx, especially the voice and the [[FascinatingEyebrow eyebrows]]. (And, of course, ''[[GeniusBonus Yakov]]'' [[GeniusBonus is the Yiddish version of]] ''[[GeniusBonus Jacob]]'', which was the real first name of studio co-founder Jack Warner) Interestingly, Yakko's sister Dot came off as only very vaguely Jewish (she was reportedly inspired by the Jewish actress Fanny Brice), while little brother Wakko had no identifiably Jewish traits at all. (However, the cartoon "Little Drummer Warners" reveals that the kids celebrate Christmas.)
* AnimatedActors: The Warners are an unusual example of actors ''playing'' actors. In other words, they are actors who live on the Warner Studio Lot and perform skits, in-universe. But even this premise about them living in the tower, tormenting Dr. Scratchansniff, etc. is scripted, as the theme song makes clear. On top of that, they [[MediumAwareness know they are cartoons]].
** The theme song also, however, mentions that "the writers flipped/we have no script/why bother to rehearse?", so whether or not anything is scripted at all within the confines of the show itself is debatable. It is still all an act, though.
* AnimatedAnthology: An extremely good example.
* AnvilOnHead: It even has a theme song.
* AppealToObscurity: Combined with WhosOnFirst in "Piano Rag":
-->'''Yakko:''' Very Pete Townshend-esque.
-->'''Dot:''' [[Music/TheWho Who]]?
-->'''Wakko:''' Exactly.
* ArtShift: The entire episode "Back in Style" is full of this: The Warners keep being inserted into various Saturday morning cartoons throughout the '60s-80s, so we get visual parodies of ''WesternAnimation/YogiBear'', ''Franchise/ScoobyDoo'', ''WesternAnimation/{{Underdog}}'', and ''WesternAnimation/FatAlbertAndTheCosbyKids'', none of which are drawn or animated in the usual Animaniacs style.
* ArtisticLicenseReligion: In the episode "Home on De-Nile", Rita runs the risk of being sacrificed in Ancient Egypt. Cats were sacrificed TO in Ancient Egypt. Killing a cat incurred the death penalty.
* AsideGlance: Yakko and Slappy are prone to giving aside glances (when they don't just start snarking to the audience directly.)
* AttackAttackRetreatRetreat: The army from the cover of ''AFewGoodMen'' wind up doing this against the T-Rex from the cover of ''Franchise/JurassicPark'' during "Video Revue".
* AttentionDeficitOohShiny: Quite a few characters, but WesternAnimation/{{Pinky| And The Brain}} gets special points.
-->'''Pinky:''' ''(distracted by a parody of'' Series/{{Jeopardy}}) What is "Narf"? What is "Poit"?\\
'''Brain:''' [[DeadpanSnarker What is "inordinately short attention span", Alex?]]
* AwesomeButImpractical: Subverted by "Wakko's Gizmo," which seems pretty pointless at first but turns out to be successful in helping Wakko order a pizza. Then ''double''-subverted when it's revealed that ordering the pizza was just another step in the process, and that the real objective of Wakko's machine is to [[spoiler: cause an action figure to sit on a whoopee cushion, making a farting noise and [[RuleOfFunny causing Wakko to laugh hysterically]]]].
* BadlyBatteredBabysitter: Buttons the dog, almost to ButtMonkey status.
* {{Balloonacy}}: This is shown happening to Buttons and Mindy in "The Monkey Song": first as a FunnyBackgroundEvent before returning as a BrickJoke.
* BarefootCartoonAnimals: Minerva Mink and Creator/HowardStern parody Howie Tern.
** The Warners themselves can cross between this and HalfDressedCartoonAnimal.
* BaseballEpisode: The episode "Mighty Wakko at the Bat"
* BerserkButton:
** Say the word "cat" around Runt, and he'll suddenly be alert and exclaiming, "CAT?? WHERE'S THE CAT??" Despite the fact that his partner Rita ''is a cat to begin with''. This usually leads to DogsAreDumb.
*** "A cat? Oh no, Rita is a dog, she's definitely a dog."
*** "Definitely, definitely a dog!"
** Never give Wakko an "F." Especially on his hat.
** Never give Pesto any kind of compliment, because he'll just twist it into a bad thing and go into an UnstoppableRage.
*** On second thought, [[HairTriggerTemper just don't say anything to him]].
** Never call Dot 'Dottie'. Call her Dottie and you die.
*** But Yakko got away with this in "The Three Muska-Warners".
*** As well as the Bob Hope expy in the 65th Anniversary Special. Justified because Dot was asleep and didn't hear him.
** Katie Ka-Boom's berserk button is... well... anything her parents do, say, imply... or fail to do, say or imply.
* BigBallofViolence: A classic Looney Tunes gag adopted into Animaniacs. Pesto uses this every time his Berserk Button is pushed.
* BigBrotherInstinct: When Wakko [[TheLastStraw dies after eating too many Swedish meatballs]], you better believe Yakko literally goes to Hell and back to rescue him. (Dot, too, of course, but she's Wakko's ''little sister''.)
* BigEater: Guess who "packs away the snacks"? [[spoiler:Wakko.]]
* BilingualBonus: "Taming of the Screwy" has one in Japanese:
-->'''Yakko:''' Tokyo wa totemo omoshiroi tokoro desu ne? \\
'''Investor:''' Zehi irasshite kudasai. \\
'''Yakko:''' Mada iki basho ga areba ne.
** Of course, this can refer to the overpopulation in Japan, or... well... [[TheTokyoFireball you know...]]
** For Spanish/French, there's a few lines in the song ''Macadamia Nut''...
Hola que pasa you grande sack o' grainia \\
Qui a coupé le fromage, we abstainia \\
Lava tus manos, por favor, Macadamia.
** There was also one episode with a Buttons and Mindy short, as well as the theme song for that episode, done entirely in French.
* BitingTheHandHumor: Quite frequent during the earlier episodes on Creator/{{FOX}}.
-->'''Miles Standish:''' Begone, pests, and give me the bird!\\
'''Yakko:''' We'd love to, really, but the FOX censors won't allow it.
-->'''Yakko:''' It's that time again.\\
'''Dot:''' To make the Fox censors cry?
** Another instance, blink and you'll miss it, but during "Phranken-Runt", we get a shot of Phrankenstein's brain-in-a-jar shelf. The jar which contained by far the smallest is labeled "TV Network Executive Brain."
*** Made even funnier by the fact that a few bars of [[StealthPun We're In]] [[MoneyDearBoy The Money]] can be heard when the camera lingers on it.
* BootCampEpisode: One of the Warner Siblings has them discovering boot camp (Dot thinks it has to do with fashionable footwear), which they mistake for summer camp. HilarityEnsues. (No, this time in the usual ironic sense).
* BottleEpisode: "Ups and Downs", featuring Wakko and Dr. Scratchnsniff stuck in an elevator for the majority of the short.
* {{Bowdlerize}}:
** Reruns of "Moon over Minerva" edited Minerva's low-cut outfits to show less cleavage.
** "Broadcast Nuisance" had a lot of content that didn't make it to the final airing; for instance, Dan Anchorman's name was originally Slam Fondlesome. Also, there was another minute worth of the Warners tormenting him, as well as several other altered lines (like calling him a "big fat dope"). Most of the latter edits were done to make the Warners seem less hostile. However, the edited version only airs in America, and the original uncut version still airs overseas.
* BreadEggsBreadedEggs: Taken UpToEleven in a cartoon in which Yakko, Wakko, and Dot are accosted at the mall by two elderly women with [[AmericanAccents Midwestern accents]] who are stopping random passersby to ask them poll questions. ("Wouldja like ta take a surr-vay?!" they keep asking.) The first question is "Do you like beans?" The second question is "Do you like George Wendt?" [the actor who played Norm Peterson on ''{{Cheers}}''] And then after that come a seemingly infinite number of questions that all combine the themes of beans and George Wendt in various ways. ("Would you like to see George Wendt eating beans in a movie?" "How many George Wendt bean-eating movies would you like to see?" "Do you like to eat beans with George Wendt?", etc.) The poll-takers continue annoying the Warners - and various other characters - throughout the cartoon, and are [[OffscreenInertia still rattling off questions as the cartoon ends]].
* BreadEggsMilkSquick: "Good Idea, Bad Idea".
* BreakingTheFourthWall. Well, more like ''Pulverizing'' The Fourth Wall.
** Especially in the Warner shorts, in which one might say there are ''two'' [[MindScrew missing/broken fourth walls]], with one that fits the premise of the show (that they are children who live on the WB Studio and perform skits) and one that goes even beyond that (such as Dot's profanity-laden rant in ''Cutie and the Beast'', or the cold ending, in which they plan to go out and get cappuccinos, in the same episode). Your mind will explode if you try to make [[RuleOfFunny too much sense of it]].
* BubblePipe: Yakko once "puffs" on a soap-bubble pipe while parodying highbrow intellectuals in the scene "Disasterpiece Theater."
* BullyingADragon: Doctor Scratchandsniff learnt the ''hard'' way to NOT scream "IT'S ALL FAKE" at ''Professional Wrestlers''... as in [[NoHoldsBarredBeatdown "pulled onto the stage and literally bent into a human pretzel" hard way.]]
* BurningWithAnger: Katie Kaboom.
* ButThisIsRidiculous: "A quake! A quake! / How much more can we take? / We thought that we had seen it all / but this one takes the cake!"
* ButtMonkey: Scratchansniff, Rita ([[TheWoobie to a more sympathetic extent]]), the Brain, Pinky, Runt, Buttons ([[TheWoobie again to a more sympathetic extent]]), The Mime, Mr. Skullhead, Chicken Boo, the Goodfeathers, Charlton Woodchuck, Walter Wolf, Sid the Squid, Beanie the Bison, just about any non-main character... in other words, pretty much everybody (even the Warner Sibs), not surprising given that this ''is'' a WB cartoon.
** There's also a good deal of IronButtMonkey, since these characters are, for all intents and purposes, immortal (although we learn in "Meatballs or Consequences" that the Warners do have souls).
* ButtSticker: Twice:
** "The Boids" with the director, Alfred Hitchcock, sitting on the Goodfeathers. Then they're shown stuck to his butt.
** "Pitter Patter of Little Feet" During the night when the Brain tries to escape, he falls on the floor. And when the hippos go to look for him, Flavio slips and the Brain is found on his butt.
* CallBack: The [[GettingCrapPastTheRadar Package]] conversation from "Sound of the Warners" contains one to PottyEmergency:
-->'''Dr. Scratchansniff:''' As you know, when nature calls, you have to pick up the phone and say "Hello, I got your message. I've got a package for you."\\
'''Wakko:''' "[[GettingCrapPastTheRadar I've got a package for you]]"? Excuse me?\\
'''Dr. Scratchansniff:''' Oh, look who's talking, Mr. PottyEmergency.
* CallingMeALogarithm
* TheCameo: Taz showed up twice at the end of "Draculee, Draculaa" and a more major role in "Cutie and The Beast".
** PrivateSnafu gets his head shaved in "Boot Camping".
** Also: Fifi [=LaFume=] from ''WesternAnimation/TinyToonAdventures'' appears as a perfume store owner in "Survey Ladies".
** Buster and Babs appear in "Noah's Lark". They're also seen in "The Big Wrap Party" song during the line "The Entire Crew came from Acme Loo for big wrap party tonight"
** Elmer Fudd makes an appearance in "Turkey Jerky".
** Elmyra also makes an appearance in "Lookit the Fuzzy Heads".
** Baby Plucky appears in "Guardin' the Garden", "Survey Ladies" & "Les Boutons et le Ballon", [[ShoutOut repeating the elevator gag]] from the ''Tiny Toon'' episode "Going Up". In a possible TakeThat, Buttons quickly ties Plucky up.
** TheDoverBoys are the smart-alack chorus in "Frontier Slappy".
** Used quite often InUniverse where shorts dedicated to one set of characters would find another set of the cast (typically the Warners) running through) - often ending in [[BigLippedAlligatorMoment BLAMs]]. For example, from the Slappy/Skippy short, "Bumbie's Mom":
--->[''Slappy and Skippy are on a plane, Skippy sniffling from seeing [[Disney/{{Bambi}} Bumbie's mom killed]]. Hello Nurse comes by in a stewardess outfit'']
--->'''Hello Nurse''': Would you like anything?
--->'''Slappy''': Perhaps a sedative?
--->'''Hello Nurse''': Huh, I don't get it.
--->'''Slappy''': [''shooing her off''] Go away.
--->[''Hello Nurse pushes the cart off screen. Suddenly a piece of luggage falls down from the overhead rack, popping open to reveal the Warners...'']
--->'''Yakko and Wakko''': [[HelloNurse Helloooooo Nurse!]]
--->[''They chase off after her. Dot starts, and then moves into a piroette while the [[Theatre/TheNutcracker "Dance of the Sugarplum Fairy"]] plays until she is also off screen.'']
--->'''Slappy''': That was pointless.
** Bugs, Daffy, Tweety, Porky, Yosemite Sam & Foghorn Leghorn show up in "The Warners 65th Anniversary Special".
* CannotTellAJoke: One time, okay see, one time there was a character in ''Animaniacs'' who was a small boy who told stories that had happened to his friend Randy Beaman and the stories were always told in a near-monotone and in one long run-on sentence and at the end he'd recite the punchline in the same way and you wouldn't be sure if he'd reached it or not. Okay, bye.
* CaptainErsatz[=/=]{{Expy}}: The Warners are based heavily on TheMarxBrothers, with bits and pieces from other characters: Dot shows roots from Gilda Radner, and Wakko shows influences from [[Music/TheBeatles Ringo Starr]].
** Slappy's {{jerkass}} behavior in her old cartoons (which she gleefully indulges any time she meets her old nemeses) gives her an uncanny resemblance to [[Creator/TexAvery Screwy Squirrel]]. She also appears to have Barbra Streisland's interpretation of [[FunnyGirl Fanny Brice]] in her ancestry.
*** Slappy also looks very similar to Fifi [=LaFume=] from ''WesternAnimation/TinyToonAdventures'', who actually makes a cameo in this show.
** The Brain bears some pretty clear similarities to OrsonWelles, most notably the voice, which actor Creator/MauriceLaMarche describes as "65% Orson Welles, 35% Creator/VincentPrice".
* CardboardPal: The Warner Brothers (and Dot) create nodding dummies of themselves to allow them to sneak off a boring chat show that they are hosting.
* CardboardPrison: The WB Water Tower for the Warners.
* CartoonCreature: Yakko, Wakko, and Dot.
* CartoonyTail: The Brain has a tail like a real mouse, except it is kinked in a way that it looks like stair steps.
** TruthInTelevision to an extent; in labs where many mice are handled on a frequent basis, kinks occasionally occur due to careless handling.
* {{Catchphrase}}: There were several.
** Yakko and Wakko had "Hello, Nurse!" and its variants.
** Yakko had "Goodnight, everybody!"
** Dot had variations on "I can't help it if I'm cute," as well as "Wanna see my pet?"
** Wakko had "Faboo!"
** Slappy had "You remind me of..." (See below.)
** Skippy had "Spew!!" as an UnusualEuphemism.
** Mindy had "OK-I-love-you-bye-bye."
** The Brain had the running gags that started with "Are you pondering what I'm pondering?" as well as a CassandraTruth: "We are two lab mice engaged in the early stages of a plot to conquer the world." Also: "Stop that, or I shall have to hurt you."
** Pinky's catch phrases were largely of the VerbalTic variety, most notably "Narf!"
** Pesto's usual one was the running gag (and homage to ''Goodfellas)'' that started with "What are you saying?"
* CatsAreSuperior: Rita and Runt, a cats-rule-dogs-drool OddFriendship.
* [[ChessWithDeath Checkers With Death]]: Chess is unknown to the Warners. They prefer checkers.
* TheChewToy: Squit. Even Bobby usually laughs at Pesto's abuse towards him.
* ChristmasCarolers: One of the "Good Idea, Bad Idea":
-->'''Good Idea''': Singing Christmas carols to your neighbors.\\
'''Bad Idea''': Singing Christmas carols to your neighbors...on the Fourth of July. ([[DisproportionateRetribution said carolers are blown up with dynamite]])\\
"The End."
* ChristmasEpisode: There were three.
* ChuckCunninghamSyndrome: Somewhat. The Rita and Runt segments were discontinued because they were so expensive to do, between having to hire songwriters to write new songs for Rita each week, not to mention the cost of having someone like BernadettePeters voice Rita.
* {{Cloudcuckoolander}}: Wakko, on more than one occasion.
** Pinky as well, especially after Brain says "AreYouPonderingWhatImPondering"
** And Runt. Justified since [[DogsAreDumb he's a dog]].
* ClusterFBomb: Dot drops an intentionally unintelligible one (complete with bleeps) during the ''Disney/BeautyAndTheBeast'' parody, after screwing up her OverlyLongName gag one too many times.
-->'''Yakko:''' That's my cute little sister who said that! ''(blows a kiss)'' Goodnight everybody!
* ComicalOverreacting: The Katie Kaboom and Minerva Mink shorts both relied on comical overreaction.
* ComicallySerious: Principally the Brain and the Narrator of "Good Idea, Bad Idea," although any character playing the 'straight man' would generally qualify as well.
* ComplimentBackfire: The Goodfeathers RunningGag is that [[HairTriggerTemper Pesto]] always takes Squit's compliments as insults and proceeds to beat him up afterwards.
* ContinuityNod: In the ContinuitySnarl entry below, it mentions a cartoon where old vaudeville actors reminisce about the Warners. One of them mentions that 'once they pantsed 'Jimmy Cagney' something had to be done. James Cagney expy aside, later on in the 65th Anniversary episode, WesternAnimation/FoghornLeghorn notes that the Warners seemed to favor bothering Jimmy, and it turns out they did in fact pants him.
* ContinuityPorn: "Big Wrap Party Tonight".
* ContinuitySnarl: The original explanation that the kids have been locked in a water tower for 63 years is contradicted in a later episode showing various older Hollywood stars reminiscing about spending nights on the town with them - and these photos are in ''black and white'', meaning those nighttime adventures almost surely took place before 1993. Did the Warners actually escape many times, but the studio succeed in covering up their existence until the '90s? If so, how was that accomplished? Did they massively bribe all the people in those nightclubs?
** The 65th Anniversary Special gives it a retcon--the tower had to be cleaned/repaired every few years or so, letting the Warners out for a single day for the work (they just didn't stay in the studio--Plotz says he has no clue where they went and we're later shown them at a disco club, the Berlin Wall, and so on).
* ConveyorBeltODoom: The accidental version happens to Mindy and Buttons in "Up the Crazy River". As always, Buttons comes off the worst for it.
* CoolAndUnusualPunishment: In one episode, Satan threatens to torture the captive Warner siblings by forcing them to listen to "whiny protest songs from The Sixties." They scream in terror.
* CoolOldLady: Slappy Squirrel.
* CouchGag: The second to last line of the opening song is interchangeable with several other lines, all of which rhyme with "Animani--".
** Except when it was re-run on Creator/{{Nickelodeon}}, where the line rotation got changed to "Nickel-any!" for every episode.
*** On Creator/TheHub, it's "Here's the show's namey" for most episodes.
** Some episodes have the Warners leaving or entering the tower in different ways, after the title or before the end credits, respectively.
** There are actually two during the closing credits - one where someone (usually the Warners) would give a last joke after the credits, and a gag credit mixed in with the real ones.
*** Pause every time the screen changes during the credits in episode 65. There's at least one gag on just about every screen.
* {{Corpsing}}: In Episode 41's "Good Idea/Bad Idea" segment, Tom Bodett noticeably laughs when reading the line "Bad idea: Whistling while you eat."
* CourtroomEpisode: "La La Law".
* CowboyEpisode: "The Good, the Boo and the Ugly"
* {{Crossover}}: Within itself, and with ''WesternAnimation/TinyToonAdventures'', ''WesternAnimation/{{Freakazoid}}'' and ''WesternAnimation/PinkyAndTheBrain'' when they ran concurrently.
* CurseCutShort: In the song "I'm Cute":
-->'''Yakko and Wakko:''' She's becoming a pain in the-\\
'''Dot:''' -''[[DoubleEntendre but]]'' I'm also real nice...
* CutTheJuice: Dot tries this in "Our Final Space Cartoon, We Promise", [[SubvertedTrope but it doesn't work]].
* CutenessProximity: Dot has used this to her advantage on more than one occasion.
* DamnedByAFoolsPraise: Slappy tells Skippy that all that junk food has rotted his brain, and adds "No wonder you like that ''WesternAnimation/{{Bonkers}}'' show."
* TheDarkAgeOfAnimation: Mocked brutally in "Back in Style" where the Warners were rented out to tv animation shows after the end of the production of Theatrical Cartoons. The episode made fun of the bad limited animation and poor scripts from studios like HannaBarbera and Creator/{{Filmation}}.
* ADayInTheLimelight: "The Warner 65th Anniversary Special" features the comeback of one of the original WesternAnimation/LooneyTunes stars, "Buddy"--as a ''villain'', no less! And voiced by Creator/JimCummings!
* DeadpanSnarker: All the Warner siblings, The Brain, Slappy Squirrel, Rita, Bobby...
* DetectiveDrama: "This Pun for Hire" and "Hercule Yakko".
* DisproportionateRetribution: In "I Got Yer Can", Slappy drives Candie the chipmunk insane via psychological warfare because Candie wouldn't let Slappy put her soda can in Candie's trash can.
** In a Christmas edition of the "Good Idea, Bad Idea" segments:
-->'''Good Idea:''' Singing Christmas carols to your neighbors. *shot of carolers singing in front of a house in the snow*
-->'''Bad Idea:''' Singing Christmas carols to your neighbors...on the Fourth of July. *residents of said house use dynamite to blow up the carolers*
* TheDitz: Runt, and the Studio Guard Ralph are the ''recurring'' examples. They even had the same voice.
* DogsAreDumb: Runt. He even thinks Rita is a dog herself.
** Occasionally subverted in that Runt will sometimes see the danger before Rita, such as when Cleopatra was going to drop her into a bonfire as a ritual sacrifice.
* DontLookDown: Invoked in ''The Big Candy Store'' when Flaxseed climbs an impossibly high shelf.
-->'''Dot:''' Don't look down! [[MotorMouth You might fall and hit your head and die and]] [[BloodyHilarious your brains would leak out aaaaaall over!]]
** Also in ''Wakko's Wish''.
-->'''Yakko:''' Whoa! Just don't look down!\\
'''Wakko:''' Do you get vertigo?\\
'''Yakko:''' No.\\
'''Wakko:''' Me neither.\\
'''Yakko:''' Yeah, I've seen [[Film/{{Vertigo}} that movie]] three times, and I ''still'' don't get it.
* DownerEnding: "The Ballad of Magellan", which is to be expected, considering the real Magellan did not survive the journey.
* DrillSergeantNasty: One appears in "Boot Camping".
* DriveInTheater: The setting for "Drive Insane".
* DueToTheDead: PlayedForLaughs and HypocriticalHumor in a Slappy Squirrel skit where Walter Wolf fakes his death. Skippy's watching Slappy's old cartoons and laughing at Walter's AmusingInjuries, but when he hears the news he does an about-face and verbally attacks Slappy for tormenting him in those toons.
* EarsAsHair: Dot.
* EasyEvangelism: Spoofed in "A Very, Very, Very, Very Special Show."
* EdibleAmmunition: Shows up now and then.
* EducationalSong: Lots, including songs for [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vvy0wRLD5s8 all the U.S. presidents]] up to UsefulNotes/BillClinton (who was president at the time), [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sNUDDaEOvuY the 50 states and their capitals]], and of course, the famous [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IDtdQ8bTvRc Nations of the World]] song. See also the EdutainmentShow entry below.
* EdutainmentShow: Despite Yakko's claim that the Wheel of Morality was the ''only'' thing that "adds boring education content to what would otherwise be an entertaining program," ''Animaniacs'' regularly took a moment to teach its audience.
** How many normal kids' cartoons would bother to do a surprisingly accurate and funny translation from Late 16th Century English to Modern English of the Yorick speech from ''Theatre/{{Hamlet}}'' when they could easily make a nonsensical version?
** They had songs relating from everything to the solar system to every President of the United States at the time of production (ending with Hillary - uh, I mean UsefulNotes/BillClinton). All this while still maintaining their madcap nature. They have been used as teaching material, and there is even testimony of them aiding history students as far as college-level.
** Parodied to the extreme in "A Very, Very, Very, Very Special Show", where virtually every line is Yakko, Wakko, or Dot giving a soapbox on various issues (the dangers of second-hand smoke, walking instead of driving, not littering, not treating women as sex objects, not being violent, practicing a healthy diet and exercise). They were shamelessly trying to win a coveted and lucrative "Humanitarian Animation" award but lost anyway, at which point they [[HypocrisyNod immediately did all the things they rallied against.]]
** ''United States, Canada, Mexico, Panama, Haiti, Jamaica, Peru...''. It's a shame that "Yakko's World" does skip a few.
* EldritchAbomination: Dot's "pet."
* ElvisLives: A favorite topic.
** One of the stingers saw the Warner Trio saying goodnight to one another. It ended as such:
-->'''Yakko:''' Good night, Elvis.\\
'''Elvis:''' Thank you very much, but I don't want anyone to know I'm here.
** And from The Wheel of Morality: "Elvis lives on in our hearts, in his music, and in a trailer park outside Milwaukee."
** And he turns up in "Space Probed", hanging out with Amelia Earhart and Bigfoot.
** He is also one of the things pulled from Wakko's gagbag in "Potty Emergency".
* EnlightenmentSuperpowers: Wally Llama, a Dalai Lama {{Expy}}, attempts to get away from the Warners by meditating, transporting himself up among the clouds with the mantra "Llama, llama, llama..." Unfortunately for him, the Warners reached Enlightenment too.
* EpisodeTitleCard
* EquippableAlly: Wakko.
* EverythingsBetterWithPrincesses: Played with. In formal circumstances, Dot introduces herself as "Princess Angelina Contessa Luisa Francesca Banana-Fanna-Fo-Fesca III."
* ExpositoryThemeTune: Both the main ''Animaniacs'' theme and the introductory tunes for the Rita & Runt and Pinky & the Brain shorts qualify.
* FairestOfThemAll: Literature/SnowWhite was no better than her WickedStepmother. She had the dwarfs abduct Dot for being the cutest of the all. [[spoiler:In the end, after Snow is defeated, Dot had the MagicMirror covered so it'd be no longer able to have anyone DrivenByEnvy]].
* TheFakeCutie: Dot takes pride in being "the cute one", but she's hardly the innocent type.
* FemaleFelineMaleMutt: Rita and Runt.
* FireAndBrimstoneHell: "Hot, Bothered, and Bedeviled".
* FlowerInHerHair: Dot.
* FluffyTheTerrible: Most of Dot's "Pets" when she does the "Wanna See My Pet?"
* FoodSongsAreFunny: "Be Careful What You Eat"
* FourFingeredHands: The entire cast.
** Though hands have been seen to turn five-fingered on a close-up, or [[SuddenAnatomy sometimes a character will grow a pinky while counting]].
** There's also a really weird instance where a judge points as the Warners and asks, "What is the meaning of this?" Yakko replies, "That's a finger. You have five of them on each hand." In that instant, the judge has five fingers, but is seen to revert to being four fingered afterward.
** Averted with King Salazar, who is always shown with five-fingered hands.
* FunnyBackgroundEvent: In other character sketches you can see Yakko, Wakko and Dot being chased by Ralph as a brief (*ahem*) RunningGag.
** Also, in The background of the song "The Ballad of Magellan" when they reach Argentina, there's a sign that says: "Coming soon: Music/{{Evita}}".
** In the Quake Song when Buttons is saving Mindy from a collapsing wall; Wakko and Dot can be seen behiind it with crowbars and hammers.
* {{Gainaxing}}:
** HelloNurse is sometimes animated this way.
** [[FanDisservice So was the Queen in "Windsor Hassle".]]
* GameShowAppearance:
** {{Downplayed}} in "Wakko's America". Their teacher organizes a ''Series/{{Jeopardy}}''-style quiz in-class, where he ''sings'' the 50 U.S. states and their capitals. [[spoiler: He loses because he doesn't sing it in the form of a question.]]
** In another episode, the Warners ended up on a quiz show, and were constantly guessing "Isaac Newton" for the answers...except for the questions actually ''about'' Isaac Newton.
** They once ''hosted'' a game show that parodied ''Series/YouBetYourLife'' in one short skit.
** ''Jeopardy!'' also figured in one of the Brain's attempts to take over the world.
-->"Go ahead, Brian." [[AccidentalMisnaming "That's Brain."]]
* {{Gasshole}}: Wakko.
* GenreSavvy: The entire show, consistently.
** Heck, this is Slappy's whole shtick. Her thing is that she's been in ''so'' many cartoons that she can beat the villains in her sleep. She knows every cartoon trope in existence, and loves taking advantage of them to demolish her less creative enemies.
* GenreThrowback: To the slapstick and goofball comic stylings of WesternAnimation/LooneyTunes[=/=][[WesternAnimation/LooneyTunes Merrie Melodies]], minus the fourth wall.
** Which is really saying something, considering how often those classic shorts [[BreakingTheFourthWall broke the fourth wall]] themselves.
* GettingCrapPastTheRadar: The show is absolutely notorious for it. It has [[Radar/{{Animaniacs}} its own page]]. [[Administrivia/{{Natter}} Examples should probably stay over there]]. G'night, everybody!
* GiganticGulp: Wakko drinks from a huge cup of soda labelled Abyss Boy at the movie theater, then promptly has a PottyEmergency.
* GoMadFromTheRevelation: Wally Llama snaps when he realises that he doesn't know why hot dogs and hot dog buns are sold in different quantities. Of course, he'd just spent seven minutes in the company of the Warners with their deliberately annoying meter running at 100%, which could not have helped.
* GrandFinale: ''Film/WakkosWish''.
* GroupieBrigade
* HairDecorations: Dot's flower.
* HairTriggerSoundEffect: One episode has the Warner siblings facing a terrifying troll, whose very mention is always accompanied by an organ sting.
* HairTriggerTemper: Pesto, for [[JoePesci obvious reasons]]. Katie Kaboom, too.
* HalfDressedCartoonAnimal: Most of the furry characters.
* {{Hammerspace}}
* HammerspaceHideaway: Dot had a special box in which she keeps a gigantic monster. The Warner brothers themselves can pop out of incredibly small places as well.
* HelloNurse: {{Trope Namer|s}}. That's actually her name.
* HereWeGoAgain: "Bumbie's Mom" ends with a sendup of ''Film/OldYeller''.
** The ending of "Sound of Warners".
* HeroicBSOD: Wally Llama in his self-titled short, after insisting he knows the answer to EVERY question, goes nuts when he doesn't know the Warners' question why hot dogs come in packages of eight and their buns come in eight.
* HerrDoktor: Dr. Scratchansniff.
* HiccupHijinks: The main plot of two shorts, one revolving around Squit, the other around Wakko.
* HiddenBackupPrince: Yakko.
* HilariouslyAbusiveChildhood: Mindy is smack-dab in the middle of growing up under some extremely neglectful conditions, though being a toddler, she's blissfully unaware of it so far. Buttons is the one who [[BadlyBatteredBabysitter takes most of the physical and verbal abuse]], though.
* HistoricalInJoke: The Warners often interact with figures like Creator/LudwigVanBeethoven and AlbertEinstein and [[BeenThereShapedHistory become the inspiration for some of their famous works.]] (E=MC^2 is ACME backwards with Wakko's skewed penmanship of the letter A.)
* HollywoodCalifornia: The water tower and the surrounding area are a nod to Burbank.
* HouseAmnesia: Happens to Einstein during a heated argument with the Warners in "Cookies for Einstein".
* HumanlikeHandAnatomy: Any animal character in ''Animaniacs'' and ''WesternAnimation/PinkyAndTheBrain'' except Runt and Buttons (two "non-anthro" dogs), Pharfignewton (a "non-anthro" horse) and Minerva Mink (PettingZooPerson mink with somewhat human-like feet). The Goodfeathers, Godpigeon, Girlfeathers, and Chicken Boo have FeatherFingers instead.
* HumiliationConga: Downplayed:
-->(to Ralph) ''We're so sad we have no time together''\\
''Just to drop an anvil on your head''\\
''And stuff your pockets full of dynamite...''\\
''Then tie you to a rhino's head!''
* HyperspaceArsenal: By all of the Warners quite often, but it's pointed out specifically in "[[MajorGeneralSong I Am the Very Model of a Cartoon Individual]]":
-->'''Yakko:''' From this bag here, why, I can pull most anything imaginable,\\
like office desks and lava lights and Bert who is a cannibal.
* HypocriticalHumor: Yakko and Wakko's "HelloNurse!" is often followed with a disparaging "Boys - go fig." from Dot. And then comes a muscular man...
** Also:
-->'''Yakko:''' (aside) The stuff they're getting away with on kids' shows these days...
* IAmNotShazam: The three main characters are actually called "the Warner Brothers (and the Warner Sister"), not "Animaniacs." A first-time viewer might be a little confused because the opening theme song has them repeatedly shouting "We're Animaniacs!" However, this is really just a descriptive term (kind of like a bunch of people shouting "We're human beings!") and applies to ''all'' the show's characters, not just the Warners.
** There's an arguable in-universe one in "The Panama Canal" (sung to the tune of "The Erie Canal.") Yakko is a ship captain crossing from the Atlantic to the Pacific, and he mentions that his ship is named "Hal" (to rhyme with "Canal," of course). After the ship makes it safely through the canal, the sailors shout "Thank you, Hal!" - and Yakko takes the credit, implying that "Hal" is ''his'' name. So either Yakko believes that he and his ship are somehow psychically connected, or [[AnimatedActors he is playing a character named Hal in-universe]] and named the ship after himself.
* IHaveBoobsYouMustObey: Minerva Mink.
* ImprovisedParachute: In "Operation: Lollipop", Buttons uses a mailbag as a parachute.
* InCaseYouForgotWhoWroteIt: The show is sometimes called "Steven Spielberg Presents Animaniacs".
* IncessantChorus: The national anthem of Anvilania, which is such a boring dirge that it is used as a weapon later on.
* InformedAbility: Played with (for laughs) by Chicken Boo, who has a different one every time he appears. He's a karate champ! He's a master strategist! He's a great ballet dancer! He's the sexiest man in Hollywood! (He ''did'' turn out to be a two-fisted dealer of frontier justice, though.)
* InkSuitActor: Pip Pumphandle, based directly off his voice actor Ben Stein.
* InsignificantLittleBluePlanet: [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f_J5rBxeTIk Yakko's Universe]], which seems to be a {{Homage}} to the [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JWVshkVF0SY Universe Song]] from ''Film/MontyPythonsTheMeaningOfLife''.
* InsistentTerminology: Whenever someone addresses the Warner brothers, Dot (or someone) will pipe in, "And the Warner ''sister''."
** Also, "Call me 'Dottie', and you die."
* IsThisThingStillOn: An episode from 1996 ends with the Warners badmouthing the people in the end credits, not realizing until the very end that we've just heard them saying all that.
** Especially amusing in that some of the people they badmouth are their own voice actors.
* IWantSong: Every time Rita sings a song, it's about how much she wants a home or thinks she's found one.
* JeopardyIntelligenceTest: A ''WesternAnimation/PinkyAndTheBrain'' short had Brain go on the quiz show "Gyp-Parody" in order to raise enough money for a device to TakeOverTheWorld. He gets every single question right, but bombs the final question and loses everything. Of course, the answer to the final question was [[TheHoneymooners Ralph Kramden]], which Brain would have known [[NotNowKiddo if he had listened to]] [[{{Cloudcuckoolander}} Pinky]] earlier in the episode.
* JerkWithAHeartOfGold:
** Slappy hates to admit this, but she does care for her nephew Skippy.
** Mr. Plotz appears to hate the Warners, but he does harbor some respect for them. He'll even enlist their help on occasion when the pressures of running a major studio become too much for him.
** Much of the humor from the "Pinky and the Brain" shorts derives from Brain's constant verbal and even physical abuse of Pinky, but he also takes a paternal stance toward his lesser partner. (And Pinky admires Brain in return, once referring to him as "very honest and hard-working.")
* JesusWasWayCool: One short in a ChristmasEpisode features a medley of Christmas carols, with the Warners playing the shepherds in the nativity story. In something of a meta-example, it's about the ''only'' time they take the material and play it straight as opposed to their usual irreverence (aside from briefly turning "Little Drummer Boy" into a big band number).
* JuryAndWitnessTampering: A Slappy the Squirrel short has Slappy accused of cartoon violence against Walter Wolf. Slappy's defense consists of describing how she basically blasted Walter to smithereens, leading the jury to find her...not guilty, at which point it's revealed that Slappy rigged explosives under the jury's seats.
* JustDesserts: Befalls a {{Jerkass}} magician duo in "Magic Time".
* KangarooCourt: In one episode, Slappy is put on trial for "assault with intent to squash" on her nemesis Walter Wolf. Given that the judge and jury are all wolves, Skippy is understandably afraid that Slappy is gonna get railroaded. Slappy tells Skippy not to worry, as she's got "a dynamite case". That is to say, she's wired the jury box with explosives, and gets off without a hitch.
* KarmicProtection: The Warners were only truly malevolent to the bad guys, which justifies a lot of the mayhem they cause. Even people who were annoyed by them but otherwise good characters would ultimately get the Warners' help in the end. One episode even lampshaded it and discussed it, when a kid watching at home wondered why the Warners weren't doing more to the antagonist.
** One episode had them frustrated because a character they wanted to get rid of (a ''[[Theatre/TheSoundOfMusic Sound of Music]]'' style Julie Andrews {{Expy}}) did nothing to invite retribution. [[spoiler:In the end, they sicced [[ScrewySquirrel Slappy Squirrel]] on her]]. [[BadGuysDoTheDirtyWork Problem solved]].
** Still, a lot of what the Warners do could be needlessly cruel to the point of making them unsympathetic, such as stripping Otto in the "Schnitzelbank" song or leaving the woodchuck in the toilet in "Kid in the Lid"... until you remember that [[spoiler:everyone's an actor; hardly any of what takes place is "real".]]
** One cartoon ''was'' cut because they were too malicious.
* KarmicTrickster: From a proud Warner Brothers tradition. Both the Warners and Slappy Squirrel enjoy taking the air out of [[JerkAss Jerkasses]]
* {{Kevlard}}: The Hip Hippos are very fat and also very durable, which comes in handy given their less than stellar common sense.
* KnowsAGuyWhoKnowsAGuy: Yakko explains in song why he is now the king of Anvilania:
-->'''Yakko''': I'm the cousin to the sister / Of son's niece's brother / Of the uncle's daughter's father / Of the nephew's sister's mother / And my grandpa's only cousin / Was the King's daughter's sibling, / But they're all gone,
-->'''Crowd''': So that is why
-->'''Yakko''': I am now your king!
* KnowYourVines: In "Sound of the Warners" After using the bathroom in a bush, Dr. Scratchansniff gets an awful itch, because he was in a poison oak bush.
* LampshadedDoubleEntendre: "Goodnight everybody!"
* LampshadedTheObscureReference: In a short where the Warner Bros (and the Warner sister) met Rasputin. They did a pun between "Anastasia" and "anesthesia", and Dot said "Obscure Joke. Ask your parents".
* LastSecondWordSwap: During the song, "A Quake, A Quake" Yakko makes this clever pun.
-->'''Yakko:''' Whose fault? Whose fault? The San Andreas Fault! 'Cause Mr. Richter can't predict 'er kicking our asphalt!
* LateToThePunchline: Most people who saw the show as kids. See the GettingCrapPastTheRadar entry. Then find video of this show. Embrace the revelations.
* {{Leitmotif}}: Just about every character had one. Nicely shown off in the last short: [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DYgdPBUw6II The Animaniacs Suite.]]
** Certain actions warranted their own theme music too. For example, a character eating was usually accompanied by "Shortnin' Bread" and a character cleaning something would be accompanied by "Here We Go 'Round the Mulberry Bush". This is an obvious callback to [[WesternAnimation/LooneyTunes Carl Stalling's]] work.
** Hello Nurse's leitmotif (a sultry drumbeat) is an interesting case, where hers was started by Wakko in the first short ("Dezanitizsed") just to screw with the audience in true Warner fashion, but has since stuck with the character ever since.
* LimitedAnimation: Parodied in "Back in Style".
* ListSong: "[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y0y8jkfXoX8 Yakko's World]]", among others.
* LiteralMinded[=/=]SuckinessIsPainful: In "Video Revue", "bombs" (bad movies) were treated as weapons grade ordinance and would explode after falling off the shelves. [[TakeThat Yes, names were named]].
* LittleGuyBigBuddy: Rita and Runt; also arguably WesternAnimation/PinkyAndTheBrain and Buttons and Mindy.
* LocalReference: When Rita and Runt go to Poland in "Puttin on the Blitz", Rita sings that it doesn't look like Burbank, more like Van Nuys. (Both are cities in the UsefulNotes/LosAngeles Area. You can guess which one has higher property values).
* LustfulMelt: Happens to Minerva in both her cartoons, and to Dot and some aliens in "Space Probed".
* MadHatter: All three main characters, in the tradition of ''WesternAnimation/LooneyTunes'' and similar cartoons. ''"We're not monkeys, we're just cuckoo! Don't know what to say the Warners won't do!"''
* MadwomanInTheAttic: Yakko, Wakko and Dot were locked in a water tower for decades for being too zany.
* TheMafia: The Goodfeathers are an AffectionateParody of ''Goodfellas'' and mob films in general.
** And, naturally, are TheFamilyForTheWholeFamily.
* MakeAWish
* {{Malaproper}}: A source for so much of the humor.
* MarsNeedsWomen: All three of the Warner siblings. Although they seem to see themselves as more or less human-ish.
* MarySue: {{Parodied|Trope}} (in-universe) in the musical number "Hello Nurse".
* MeaningfulName: Dr. Scratchansniff's German last name is Freudlos, a double pun; it literally means "joyless", but it's also a reference to yet another psychiatrist...
** Yakko and Wakko. Wakko, a play on "wacko", as in someone who is a little whacky (strange or crazy), and Yakko, a play on "yakking away" or talking incessantly. Yakko almost never shuts up.
* MediumAwareness: Mostly Slappy and the Warners.
** Slappy beats the Warners here:
-->'''Skippy:''' But that was in a cartoon! [[ThisIsReality This is real life!]]\\
'''Slappy:''' *AsideGlance* Don't tell him, he might crack.
* MickeyMousing
* MilestoneCelebration: Spoofed by the "65th Anniversary Spectacular!" Fridge Brilliance kicks in when you realize 1) airing in the mid-90s, it roughly corresponds to when the BackStory claims the Warners were created; 2) it ''is'' a 65th - the 65th ''episode''; and 3) it's an actual milestone, as the first season finale.
** For the show's 20th anniversary, a fourth DVD set will finally be released containing the remaining episodes.
* MimeAndMusicOnlyCartoon: "The Brain's Apprentice".
* MisplacedWildlife: In the "Tiger Prince" cold open, there are tigers substituting for lions in Africa... because they're parodying ''Disney/TheLionKing.''
* MonsterClown: A birthday-party clown is viewed this way in-universe in "Clown and Out" (by two characters who are afraid of clowns), but he's actually a very nice guy.
* MoodWhiplash: There was one serious Slappy cartoon in which Slappy was put away in an asylum and Skippy was taken away by social services.
** To say that this episode was just an ''example'' of this trope is an understatement. The mood jumped up and down OVER AND OVER again, to the point of being a highly compressed intra-episode version of CerebusRollerCoaster. It leads in with a comedic stretch where Slappy is driven mad by watching too many daytime talk shows (Jerry Springer etc.), which she can't stand. Then her madness is played for laughs for a while. Then Skippy takes her to the doctor, and even amidst there being a few gags in the scene, suddenly it starts portraying realistic consequences of her going insane. Then it just keeps REPEATEDLY ALTERNATING between playing it for laughs and [[PlayedForDrama portraying the very tragic realistic consequences of a kid's aunt losing her mental faculties.]] Then she suddenly gets better and escapes the asylum for a happy ending. Then as a ContinuityGag in later episodes she references that now she actually LIKES those talk shows.
** Most Rita and Runt segments are emotional, semi-serious stories with only a few jokes or gags.
* MookFaceTurn: Several shorts involved Dot escaping from confinement by convincing the prison guard on duty with her cuteness.
* MoralGuardians: One Slappy short involved an obnoxious senator imposing standards on cartoons to make them "safe and educational" for children. That same episode had Skippy repeatedly beaten up by a bully after following ineffectual advice from his guidance counselor. When Slappy and Skippy finally do use violence (cartoon violence) on the bully and it works, the senator and the counselor are both livid. Slappy's response to both their complaints is to use the machine the senator had sent to her, which carries out all cartoon violence [[GoryDiscretionShot off screen.]] Naturally, they both concede to Slappy's methods when they emerge as charred, beaten wrecks.
* MrExposition: {{Lampshaded}} by Slappy.
-->"Doug the Dog!? But he hates you, Aunt Slappy! He's been trying to eat you for years!!\\
"Thank you, MrExposition."
* MultipleDemographicAppeal: Was specifically designed for this. Kids will laugh at the potty jokes and the slapstick, but there's still plenty of ParentalBonus in the form of GettingCrapPastTheRadar and NoCelebritiesWereHarmed to keep the adults entertained.
* MusicalEpisode: Rita and Runt have at least one song per short. There are also numerous episodes that parody Broadway without those two characters that still act as musical episodes.
** Combining the two, one extended Rita and Runt segment is basically a parody of ''Theatre/LesMiserables''.
** Episode 82 consists entirely of episodes based around music: "Wakko's 2-Note Song," "Panama Canal," "HelloNurse," "The Ballad of Magellan," "The Return of the Great Wakkorotti," and "The Big Wrap Party Tonight." It even includes the extended theme song.
* MyFriendsAndZoidberg: Dot is one of the few inversions in western animation that ''willingly'' introduces ''herself'' as this trope on a ''regular basis.''
* MythologyGag: Or more of a coincidence that was taken advantage of. Many animated shows only run for 65 episodes, a number deemed large enough for syndication. Animaniacs was originally to be no different, and it turned out that the fictional backstory of the Warner siblings had already established their debut as being around 1929, 65 years prior to the finale's broadcast. The episode thus played up the number, revolving entirely around a "65th Anniversary Special" tribute to the Warners.
* TheNapoleon: Mr. Plotz, the WB CEO.
* NeverSayDie: Averted. As with the massive GettingCrapPastTheRadar, the show got away with saying the d-word several times:
** In one of Dot's catchphrases: "Call me Dottie, and you die".
** In "Meatballs or Consequences", Wakko dies, and his siblings spend the whole time pestering [[TheGrimReaper Death]]. On top of that, the moral of the episode is not to fear death, but rather a life wasted. Yakko has a very pretty speech about it at the end (though if you don't think he lampshades the Glurge, you don't know him very well).
-->'''Yakko:''' Hey mister, are you about to drag our brother off to a bleak nether realm of despair, where the future is nothing but an endless sea of anguish and horrible misery?
-->'''Death:''' Ja..?\\
'''Dot and Yakko:''' WE WANNA GO TOOOOO!
** In some of the more serious Rita and Runt episodes.
* NighInvulnerability: Baloney the dinosaur just ''laughs'' off anvils much to the horror of the Warners.
** He can actually be harmed though, through the most mundane method you can imagine. Literally. [[NotSoInvincibleAfterAll If you imagine him in pain and suffering that's what happens.]] But the Warners don't properly catch on.
* NoCelebritiesWereHarmed: ...at least not by name.
** Several notable public figures of the period were hilariously parodied in the show with such gems as [[RogerEbert Codger Eggbert]] and Lean Hisskill, as well as the Iraqi dictator Sodarn Hinsane.
* NoFourthWall: Was central to its humor, and is some of the best PostModernism ever put in kids' comedy TV.
* NoGoodDeedGoesUnpunished: Buttons goes to enormous lengths, risking his own hide to keep Mindy from harm. Every episode ends with Buttons getting in trouble over some (Generally minor) misbehavior he performed in the course of his duties.
* NonSequiturThud: Happens a lot, this being a cartoon.
-->'''Slappy:''' *waking up suddenly* I'd like to buy a vowel!
** And in another episode:
-->'''Death:''' *after falling off a cliff* I'll have the linguine with clams...
* NoPeriodsPeriod: And that's why the writers created [[CuteAndPsycho Katie Kaboom]] to explain to innocent little children [[GettingCrapPastTheRadar why their big sister chucks a psycho for NO JUSTIFIABLE REASON WHATSOEVER once a month]]. Basically, their explanation was TeensAreMonsters.
** '''''[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RWcNcJuTHVo "I'm Not Overreacting!! I'm a Teenager!!"]]'''''.
*** Of course, it's not like teens don't have a tendency to overreact regardless of the time of the month (or their gender).
* NotAllowedToGrowUp[=/=]OlderThanTheyLook: The Warners' in-universe backstory states they were drawn in 1930, essentially making them all 80, and yet, none of them are geriatrics. It's particularly odd in that the Skippy and Slappy Squirrel segments make it quite clear that cartoon characters do age.
** Maybe it's because cartoon characters come from their creators' imaginations, so it depends on whether they were ''imagined'' as characters that age. The Warners come from the era of monochrome, where cartoon characters were kind of simple/crude, while Slappy seems like she's more from the 40's, as a more realistic character.
** Slappy throws a bit of a [[AgeWithoutYouth grim skew]] on it though in the short 'Rest in Pieces'. Though she and her old co-stars are clearly getting on in years, she tells Skippy that she knew [[spoiler:Walter wasn't dead]] because 'there is no dying in the world of cartoons'.
* NotSoImaginaryFriend
* NunsAreFunny: The infamous candy store episode had the Warners tormenting a stuck-up store proprietor named Flaxseed after he refused to donate candy to a orphanage run by nuns. After driving him nuts, Flaxseed finally gets hold of Wakko and Dot... only for the nun from before to come back with reinforcements. They're about to kick his ass before Flaxseed points out that nuns aren't supposed to resort to violence. So, the nuns proceed to pray, and the Notre Dame college football team shows up to pummel the living crap out of Flaxseed.
-->'''Head Nun:''' Our prayers have been answered!
* ObfuscatingStupidity: The Warners can perform and explain Shakespeare; name every country, as well as every American state and capital, and every President, from memory; and generally make frequent references to science, history, literature, politics, and a host of other subjects. They are completely insane, but they are ''geniuses''.
** AlternativeCharacterInterpretation: WesternAnimation/PinkyAndTheBrain. One is a genius, the other is insane. But which is which? The one who tries to take over the world every single night? Or the one who "accidently" foils his mad schemes every night with his convenient mask of idiocy?
* OddNameOut: Dot. She's the only Warner sibling whose name [[TheLastOfTheseIsNotLikeTheOthers doesn't rhyme with the others'.]]
* OffModel: There were eight, count them, EIGHT animation companies that worked on the show; [[note]] Those studios are Creator/TMSEntertainment, Creator/{{AKOM}}, Creator/WangFilmProductions, StarToons, Creator/KokoEnterprises, Creator/FreelanceAnimatorsNewZealand, Creator/PhilippineAnimationStudioInc., and Varga Studios.[[/note]] all had different drawing and animation styles (and that does not even count the studios that TMS used under contract [[note]]these included Creator/NakamuraProductions, Creator/AjiaDo, Creator/{{Actas}}, KyotoAnimation, Creator/AnimeSpot, Creator/TokyoKids, Creator/MizoPlanning, Creator/SpectrumAnimation, Creator/FlyingDragon, Creator/StudioJungleGym, Creator/OhProduction, Creator/MagicBus, Creator/StudioJunio, Creator/StudioNue and Creator/FarEastern. All of them uncredited.[[/note]] However, almost all of them used TMS' style).
** Mostly with segments animated by Creator/FreelanceAnimatorsNewZealand, [[http://legion1979.tumblr.com/post/49399216720/yakko-can-you-conjugate-episode-16 take a look]].
** StarToons tended to dip into this, as well with the Slappy the Squirrel intro and "Wakko's America", though not to the extreme as Freelance, as well as [[TropesAreNotBad tending to make the animation even more expressive]]. Unfortunately, the same can not be said about shorts like "The Big Candy Store" or "Wally Llama".
** AKOM, of course. Though it's the more bland and uninteresting animation and sometimes horrific expressions, as opposed to poor drawings.
** Happened occasionally with TMS's episodes as well, as several of their shorts went though numerous subcontractors.
*** For instance, "Taming of the Screwy" was given to Creator/{{Actas}} and the result wasn't pretty[[note]]Some examples - animation that was ''not as'' lively and in one scene, an object (a plate with a lobster claw, in this case) teleports[[/note]]. "Roll Over Beethoven", "Home on De Nile" and "H.M.S. Yakko" are also guilty of this.
* OffscreenTeleportation: Often employed by the Warners.
* OhGodWithTheVerbing: Mr Director speaks like this.
* OldFashionedRowboatDate: Dot briefly fantasizes about going on one with Dr. Scratchansniff, and creeps herself out, in "De-Zanitized".
* OldShame: The Warner trio themselves, {{in-universe}}; The company sealed them (and the cartoons which featured them) away in the early 20th century, refusing to release them because they (both the characters and their films) were nonsensical. Even in present time, they're trying to keep them locked up.
* OneSteveLimit: Averted with Kiki the Girlfeather and Kiki the gorilla from the Rita and Runt episode, "Kiki's Kitten."
* OnlySaneMan: Whoever is the one person that knows Chicken Boo is a giant chicken.
** Inverted in a Franchise/{{Batman}} parody, where one person was the only one who DIDN'T know he was a chicken.
* OpeningNarration: Done via a DeliberatelyMonochrome (with a [[SplashOfColor splash of tomato red on the Warner's noses]]) newsreel called ''Newsreel of the Stars'', used to explain the Warner's genesis, how they got loose, drove the world insane, [[OldShame humiliated the studio executives,]] and became [[SealedEvilInACan sealed chaos in a can.]]
* OverlyLongName:
** Princess Angelina Contessa Louisa Francesca Banana Fana Bo Besca III - but you can call her Dot. [[BerserkButton Call her Dotty and you die]].
** Professor Otto von Schnitzelbuskrankengescheitmeier from the song "Schnitzelbank." It gets lampshaded during of the verses ("Is dast nicht ein incredibly long name to have to try and say?").
* OverlyLongGag: [[ShapedLikeItself Who is on Stage?]]
* PaperThinDisguise: Exaggerated with Chicken Boo.
* ParentalBonus: To the point where watching this show as a child and watching it years later as an adult are [[LateToThePunchline completely different experiences]].
** As noted over in RealLifeWritesThePlot, there was actually a list of all the {{Parental Bonus}}es compiled by fans on {{Usenet}}. Reading that after having seen the show will likely as not have you in stitches from all the LateToThePunchline moments.
* ParentalNeglect: Mindy's parents, which is probably why she never calls them "mom" and "dad" like they want her to (except in ''Wakko's Wish'') and instead calls them "Lady" and "Mr Man", something she might refer to a stranger as.
* {{Parody}}: Anything from ''Theatre/TheSoundOfMusic'' to ''Series/MightyMorphinPowerRangers'' to ''Series/BarneyAndFriends'' to ''Franchise/{{Godzilla}}'' (naturally, Barney was ''far'' more frightening).
** [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bjOePNFRFRU Oyyyyyyyyyyy, Macadamia!]]
** [[MajorGeneralSong We Are The Very Model Of]] [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MmKc5FebbQw Cartoon Individuals!]]
* ParodyMagicSpell: From their Shakespeare "translation":
-->'''Witches:''' Double, double, toil and trouble; fire burn and cauldron bubble.\\
'''Yakko:''' Loosely translated, "Abracadabra".\\
'''Dot:''' Fillet of a fenny snake, in the cauldron boil and bake.\\
'''Yakko:''' "Let's cook a snake." Start with my agent.
* PhraseCatcher: "Hello, ''Nurse!''" Guess who this is usually said to.
* PimpedOutDress: In the episode [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uU5it18wMAk "King Yakko"]], Hello Nurse plays the prime minister of the kingdom, and she wears a magenta dress with [[PrettyInMink ermine trim]] and a blue cloak.
* PinPullingTeeth: In "I Got Yer Can", an EscalatingWar with Slappy Squirrel causes Candie Chipmunk to do this; terrifying a pair of nuns before blowing herself up.
* PintsizedPowerhouse: The robots in "The Brain's Apprentice". A single one can raise a standard fridge off the ground.
* PlatonicLifePartners: Rita and Runt.
* PottyDance: See below.
* PottyEmergency: {{Trope Namer|s}}, for the Season 2 episode where Yakko, Wakko, and Dot are at the movies and Wakko drinks from [[GiganticGulp an insanely large cup of soda]] and spends the rest of the short desperately looking for a bathroom.
* PoundsAreAnimalPrisons: Rita and Runt first met in one of these, and "Les Miseranimals" opens with Runt escaping from one.
* ProWrestlingEpisode: "Fake"
* PreviouslyOn: The first episode aired on Kids' WB! opened with a parody of this trope.
* PunctuatedForEmphasis: "I! AM! '''[[{{Satan}} SATAN!!!]] [[EvilLaugh MWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!]]'''"
* RaidersOfTheLostParody: An early episode wound up with Yakko directing Mr. Director through a few movie parodies. In one, Mr. Director was "Illinois Smith" and utterly failed with the whip - first he ends up tying himself up with the thing, then when he gets free he cracks it and it gets caught on the set rafters, bringing them down on him.
** "I think it's a not-working whip."
* RealLifeWritesThePlot: The "Please Please PLEASE Get a Life Foundation" was written using actual nitpicks from a newsgroup-made reference guide (the [[http://webspace.webring.com/people/cu/um_4922/crg/ Cultural Reference Guide for Animaniacs]]) verbatim. The show's writers even e-mailed the people who wrote that guide for permission to use their quotes. The show's run coincided with the early days of wide Internet access, and in those days (early to mid 1990's) most online discussions were done in newsgroups.
-->'''Will Bell:''' (founder and maintainer of the CRGA) Several months ago I received email from [writer] Peter Hastings asking for copies of the CRGA by email and snail mail, which I provided.
** A group of these fans were subsequently invited to the studios to see the short before its broadcast premiere, as [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v1W-wnh__DM shown in this E! news segment from 1995]].
*** After the short was screened for the fans, one fan pointed out an error in the short's quoting of one of the nitpicks. From memory. This was met with incredulity by the staffers and no surprise at all by the fans.
** During the brief point in time when it looked unlikely that UsefulNotes/BillClinton would serve a second term, the creators hedged their bets by changing the theme song lyrics from "While Bill Clinton play the sax" to "We pay tons of income tax".
* RecurringExtra: The Hip Hippos.
* ReferenceOverdosed
* RefugeInAudacity: So much.
** In "Hot, Bothered and Bedeviled," the Warners take a wrong turn at Kennebunkport and end up in Hell, tormenting Satan. The same episode features Saddam Hussein plunging into a lake of lava and three demonic stand-ins for TheAndrewsSisters singing a jazz tune about eternal damnation.
** An in-universe example in the "Baghdad Cafe" portion of the Animaniacs Stew episode, the villain-of-the-week is "Sodarn Insane" - presumably the same guy. The Warners mistake him for the headwaiter, but the part of Dot is being played by Slappy, who sees no reason not to cut directly to ComedicSociopathy:
--> '''Slappy:''' And I'm Princess Louisa Francesca... y'know what: forget it. Here. Have some dynamite down yer pants.
* TheRenaissanceAgeOfAnimation
* TheResolutionWillNotBeTelevised: The DirectToVideo movie ''Film/WakkosWish'', an AlternateUniverse medieval fantasy with a semi-serious plot that ultimately gave all of the characters in the series resolution despite the fact they were all removed from their traditional settings.
** One could also consider it a MassiveMultiplayerCrossover -- while the characters were all in the same show, they rarely all interacted in the same place.
* {{Retraux}}: The "lost" shorts.
* RhymingWithItself: At the end of the "Wakko's World" song about 50 states and their capitals:
-->Sacramento, California; Oklahoma and its City;\\
Charleston, West Virginia; and Nevada, Carson City.
* RichInDollarsPoorInSense: The hippos.
* RightBehindMe: In one episode the Warners proceeded to trash talk the people working on the show [[note]]including their own voice actors[[/note]] as the credits rolled, not realizing that their microphone was still on.
** [[GenreSavvy Slappy]] subverts this in the very first short featuring her, whipping out a club to hit the eavesdropping Doug the Dog [[OffhandBackhand without even looking at him]].
* RightWayWrongWayPair: The "Good Idea, Bad Idea" shorts.
* RoommateCom: The Warners appear in in-verse show ''Acquaintances'', which is a parody of ''Series/{{Friends}}'' (a prime example of Roommate Com).
* RuleOfFunny: A given on this show in general, but lampshaded in the Slappy short "I Got Yer Can", when Skippy drops an anvil on Candie Chipmunk apropos of nothing, justifying it to his aunt with a nonchalant "Who cares, anvils are funny."
* RunningGag: Again, too many to count. Notably "Wanna See My Pet?", the Warners being chased by Ralph in the background of other shorts, and Yakko announcing "Good Night Everybody!" if something even ''remotely'' suggestive was said.
** A short-lived one was used in both "This Pun For Hire" and "Anchors A-Warners": A character says "No no no." Yakko in the first instance and Dot in the latter instance asked the character to repeat that. The character again said, "No no no." Then each replied, "I ''love'' that!"
** What about the dragon!? The dragon! The dragon! The dragon! The dragon! The dragon!
*** Would someone please stop this man from saying "Dragon"?
* ''{{Satire}}''
* ScaryShadowFakeout: Subverted in one of the Randy Beaman stories:
--> "One time Randy Beaman was alone in his bed, and he was in the dark, and he saw some shadows and thought it was Dracula, but his mom said it was the coat hanging on the rack, and he turned on the light and it really was Dracula."
* TheScottishTrope: In "Sir Yaksalot", Yakko get so annoyed by people saying the word "dragon" that everytime somebody says it, an anvil will be summoned to drop on their heads.
* ScrewThisImOuttaHere: Dot's feeling out of it in "Gimme the Works," so the Warners decide to walk off the set and end the thing early. She's not feeling any better in their second short that episode, "Hercules Unwound," but in that case the cartoon goes on without them.
* ScrewySquirrel: Slappy Squirrel and the Warner Brothers both waver between this trope and being KarmicTricksters.
* [[SealedEvilInACan Sealed Chaos in a Can]]: The Warners were created in TheThirties, but their cartoons were nonsensical, they caused havoc all over the studio and they drove their creator insane, so the bigwigs locked them in the Water Tower [[TheSandlot until FOR-E-VER]]. The series starts in TheNineties when they finally make their escape, and as the theme song suggests, numerous attempts to lock them back in there are foiled time after time, to the point where most people seem to just leave them to their business, give the tower a wide berth and hope they don't cross their path.
* SecondEpisodeIntroduction: "The Monkey Song", the second total short in the series, introduces literally every single secondary and minor supporting character in the series, some pantomiming what they'll be doing for the rest of the series. The third short, "Good Night, Toon", slightly fleshes out some more of their personalities.
* SecretChaser: One in every Chicken Boo short.
* SeeminglyProfoundFool: The basic premise of the Chicken Boo shorts, though there were rare moments where Chicken Boo showed actual competence at his supposed job.
* SelfDeprecation: "The Warners' 65th Anniversary Special". The crux of this episode is Warner Bros. acknowledging just how awful cartoons featuring the character Buddy were.
* SexierAlterEgo: Wilford B. Wolf in the Minerva Mink short "Moon Over Minerva". The geeky wolf [[OurWerewolvesAreDifferent turns into a hunk under the light of a full moon]].
* ShaggyDogStory: The premise of the "Randy Beaman story" shorts.
* ShoutOut: When Yakko "Sings the Entire English Language", he makes a "slight error at the F's."
-->Frankincense, frankincess, franchncss... shoot! [[Series/{{Seinfeld}} Yadda yadda yadda]] flambé.
** See also the CRGA, mentioned above under RealLifeWritesThePlot. It's basically a huge repository of these.
** In the episode Potty Emergency, when a character looks out of a window into space, above the window the letters [[Series/MysteryScienceTheater3000 MST3K]] can be seen.
** "A clown [[{{It}} is not a big spider]].
** This show provided probably the one and only spoof of ''TheDayTheClownCried'' in the short, ''Hearts of Twilight''. Surprising since the movie was never released.
*** On the other hand, Steven Spielberg ''has'' seen the movie, one of the few people JerryLewis has shown it to.
** A blink-and-you'll-miss-it example: In "Sir Yaksalot", a background cart driver looks exactly like a medieval version of [[Franchise/LupinIII Daisuke Jigen]]. Not too surprising as TMS worked on the episode.
** In one of the "Good Idea, Bad Idea" segments ("Bad idea: having the circus come to you") the theme from Series/MontyPythonsFlyingCircus plays in the background.
* SirVerbaLot: In one episode, Yakko, Wakko and Dot are given the titles "Sir Yaks-A-Lot", [[GettingCrapPastTheRadar "Sir Waks-A-Lot"]] and "Lady Dots-A-Lot".
* SitOnTheCamera: in episode "The Boids" with the director, Alfred Hitchcock, sitting on the Goodfeathers. Then they're shown stuck to his butt.
* SittingSexyOnAPiano: Dot, on occasion.
* ShockinglyExpensiveBill: In "Anchors A-Warners", The Warners run up Dr. Scratchansniff's room service bill to [[spoiler: $26,590. He screams and starts swimming to China]].
* SoapPunishment: In "Roll Over, Beethoven", Yakko, Wakko and Dot do this to Beethoven after he describes himself as a 'pianist'.
* SoBeautifulItsACurse: As revealed in the comics, Minerva has an extremely hard time doing ordinary things like grocery shopping and filing taxes, because every male [[InterspeciesRomance of every species]] in the area is panting and hooting at her.
* SocialServicesDoesNotExist: [[TearJerker Tear-jerkingly]] averted in the Slappy cartoon "One Flew Over the Cuckoo Clock".
* SolidClouds: When the Warners try to convince the giant from ''Literature/JackAndTheBeanstalk'' to try [[Literature/GreenEggsAndHam gold eggs and meat]]:
-->'''Yakko:''' Eat them, eat them, on a cloud.
-->'''Giant:''' Oh, all right, for crying out loud! [eats it] Mmm! Gold eggs and meat I do not hate.
-->'''Yakko:''' [[TheLastStraw But now that cloud won't hold your weight]] [Giant falls through cloud]
* SomethingCompletelyDifferent: Some of the sketches featured ''none'' of the usual cast. One notable example is "The Flame", a mostly-serious cartoon entirely about a candle flame watching UsefulNotes/ThomasJefferson write the Declaration of Independence.
** Even the "regular" cast can do this, such as the Rita & Runt segment "Puttin' on the Blitz", set in World War II Poland.
* SpaceJews: Yakko, Wakko, and Dot portrayed [[BraidsBeadsAndBuckskins Native Americans]] on at least two occasions. On one of those occasions, they are referred to as [[UnfortunateImplications "creatures."]]
* SpinOff: ''WesternAnimation/PinkyAndTheBrain'' (and to an extent, ''WesternAnimation/{{Histeria}}'' - two of that show's characters [[EarlyBirdCameo debuted on this show]]).
* SpiritualSuccessor: To ''WesternAnimation/TinyToonAdventures'', which was also produced by Amblin Entertainment. More to the point, just as ''Tiny Toon Adventures'' was a reimagining of ''WesternAnimation/LooneyTunes'', ''Animaniacs'' was something of a {{Deconstruction}} of Tex Avery's cartoons.
* SpoofAesop: An especially brilliant use, an almost OnceAnEpisode gag using the Wheel of Morality.
-->''Wheel of Morality, turn turn turn, tell us the lesson that we should learn!''\\
'''Yakko:''' ...If you can't say anything nice, you're probably at the Ice Capades.\\
Early to rise, Early to bed, makes a man healthy but socially dead!\\
You ''can'' teach an old dog new tricks, but you can't teach Music/{{Madonna}} [[TakeThat to act]].\\
"Don't chew with your mouth full."
* StealthPun: The Wheel of Morality has a "[[Series/WheelOfFortune Bankrupt]]" space...
** "Warner Bros." = "Warner Brothers" + a "dot".
* TheStinger: After the credits, the door to the water tower swings open, and a character delivers one last joke of some sort.
* StrawFan: Of the AffectionateParody version, in the "Please Please Please Get a Life Foundation"
* StrictlyFormula: The Buttons and Mindy shorts, oh so very much. The French episode shows that the formula doesn't need to be in English to work, and the caveman episode proves that it doesn't even need an ''intelligible language''.
* StupidityIsTheOnlyOption: When going to Dracula's Castle.
-->'''Yakko:''' We're not that stupid. [[FunctionalGenreSavvy We just know the plot.]]
* SubvertedCatchphrase: At the end of "Meet John Brain", there's a twist on Brain's usual catchphrase, "The same thing we do ''every'' night, Pinky: Try to take over the world":
--> '''Pinky''': Why, Brain? What are we gonna do tomorrow night?\\
'''Brain''': ...You know.
* SuddenlyVoiced: The Mime can be seen singing along with everyone else in the opening credits when the characters shout "We're Animaney, totally insaney!" (Of course, he could just be lip-synching.) We also see him move his lips in ''Wakko's Wish''.
** The Mime actually says something in "Les Boutons et le Ballon". "[[spoiler: [[GratuitousFrench Le Owwwwww]]]]".
** Chicken Boo is also shown singing in the opening, even though he can only make chicken vocalizations in the actual show.
*** So is Buttons, although he can only make dog noises in the actual show.
* SuspiciouslySpecificDenial: Dr. Scratchansniff's fear aversion therapy includes repeating a few "comforting" phases.
--> A clown will is my friend. A clown [[MonsterClown will not bite me and throw me in the basement]]. A clown [[ShoutOut is not]] [[Literature/{{It}} a big spider]].
* TakeThat: If it's in public media, it's a target. Nothing, NOTHING is safe (not even the fans), though Disney and network censors are choice victims.
-->'''Yakko:''' It's that time again.
-->'''Dot:''' To make fun of the Disney Channel?
** In "Sound of Warners":
-->'''Dot:''' Why don't you go bug the kids in ''WesternAnimation/GoofTroop''?
** In "Deduces Wild," some of the items they're searching for in a scavenger hunt are...
-->'''Wakko''': A happy postal worker.
-->'''Dot''': Edible fruitcake.
-->'''Yakko''': A funny episode of ''{{WesternAnimation/Bonkers}}''.
** In 'A Hard Day's Warners', The Warner's escape their screaming fans by putting on some masks from a 'The Mask' booth. They pull some Maskish stunts, and after taking off the mask, Yakko says, "And we did all that without computers!"
** One really obscure take that is aimed at a vintage Disney short, "Playful Pluto", specifically the [[OverlyLongGag famous flypaper sequence]] that it's known for. The skit involved the Warners in one of their early works, "Flies in the Ointment" , where they get flypaper stuck to their butts, and the film ran for ''[[LeaveTheCameraRunning eight hours]]''.
* TeensAreMonsters: Katie Kaboom literally turns into a monster OncePerEpisode, and spends most of it as one.
* TerribleTrio: Dr. Scratchnsniff and Hello Nurse join Ralph in chasing the Warners in one episode.
* TertiarySexualCharacteristics: Marita of "The Hip Hippos" segments is a perfect example.
* ThatMakesMeFeelAngry: The end of "I'm Cute", where Dot expresses anger over her brothers for ruining her song.
** Throughout the entire song "I'm Mad"
* ThatsAllFolks
* ThemeTuneRollCall
* ThemeTuneCameo: In "Take My Sibling, Please", Wakko sings the TinyToonAdventures theme before [[TakeThat getting tired of it]], and instead sings his show's theme on the way over the troll bridge.
* ThreeAmigos: Yakko, Wakko and Dot, naturally.
* ThrowThePin: There's a short where the Warners are being put through military training, and their sergeant is instructing them about grenades with the line "Pull the pin and then throw it". Wakko, naturally, throws the pin.
* TooHotForTv: In a rare case of self-censorship, the staff retired the Minerva Mink shorts after only two episodes because all the sexual undertones were ''too'' blatant.
* TooSpicyForYogSothoth:
** The Warners themselves, repeatedly.
** Also Baloney (a [[Series/BarneyAndFriends Barney]] CaptainErsatz), a CaptainErsatz of Maria from ''TheSoundOfMusic'', and the dangerously affectionate [[AndCallHimGeorge Elmyra]] from Tiny Toons Adventures have proven too much for the Warners. Notably, the Warners escape Elmyra by enticing her to follow Mindy, due to Mindy's cuteness. Cue AmusingInjuries, and [[ThrowTheDogABone Button's relief]].
* ToothyBird: The Goodfeathers. Chicken Boo often averts this, except in some cases when he shows expressions.
* TrailerParkTornadoMagnet: There was a short called "The Brave Little Trailer", in which the title character battles a tornado that always attacks the trailer park he inhabits.
* TruthInTelevision: A lot of skits, especially of the Warner trio, mimic real-life situations that happen to real people (some, even, on situations that happened to the writers themselves). Though they're incredibly exaggerated, there's always that one line where you hear it and think, "Oh, that is ''so'' true."
-->"''Would ya like to take a survey?''"

-->'''Nanny:''' You must be Dit.\\
'''Dot:''' That's ''Dot''.\\
'''Nanny:''' Dot. Right. Wikkie!\\
'''Wakko:''' Wakko.\\
'''Nanny:''' And ''you'' must be...\\
'''Yakko:''' ({{deadpan| snarker}}) This oughta be good.\\
'''Nanny:''' ''Petey-pie!''
-->'''Dr. Scratchnsniff:''' Hello, we are stuck in an elevator, and we are late for an appointment with Mr. Plotz.\\
'''Voice on Intercom:''' Ooh, that's bad. Okay, you sit tight and we'll get you out in a minute.\\
Ten hours later...\\
'''Voice on Intercom:''' You still in there? It was our indication that you got out.\\
'''Dr. Scratchnsniff:''' Really? What gave you that indication?\\
'''Voice on Intercom:''' That's...just the indication we had.
** And of course, the entire premise of "Bumbie's Mom."
** The absurd event that triggers Slappy's antics in "I Got Yer Can" ("Please don't throw your trash in ''my'' trash can.") came from that exact thing happening to one of the writers.
* TummyCushion:
** "Drive Insane" Wakko and Dot lay on Frau Hassenfeffer; Dot even tells her she's comfy.
** "Hollywoodchuck" Charlton Woodchuck reads a book while lying on a grizzly bear's stomach while shooting a movie.
* UnexplainedAccent: Wakko has a Liverpudlian brogue for absolutely no damn reason -- at least not one ever explained on the show.
** He was actually based specifically on Ringo Starr. Still, that's not an in-universe explanation.
*** Given the nature of the Warners (cartoon characters come to life) that may very well be an in-universe explanation.
*** Interestingly, he's the one that sings the states and capitals. He's the only Warner that does not have an American accent.
* UnintentionalPeriodPiece: Less so than other '90s shows, but the 1994 episode "Baloney & Kids" includes ''two'' separate references to the Nancy Kerrigan/Tonya Harding altercation from earlier that year.
* UniversalAdaptorCast: Cartoons take place anywhere and everywhere. The Warners bugging Einstein, Picasso, or Beethoven? Pinky and the Brain as Pavlov's mice? Slappy vs. Daniel Boone? Mindy and Buttons in {{Prehistoria}}? The Goodfeathers as WWI carrier pigeons? Chicken Boo as a Civil War general? Rita and Runt in ancient Egypt? Yes, all those and more!
* UnusualEuphemism: The Goodfeathers often use "coo" as a swear word, such as "coo you" or "coo off".
* UranusIsShowing
* VertigoEffect: Occasionally done with Buttons the moment Mindy escapes.
* VerySpecialEpisode: "The Little Drummer Warners" has Yakko, Wakko, and Dot go back in time to first-century Bethlehem to witness the birth of the baby Jesus (religion always a controversial subject for kids' cartoons, for various reasons). You'll notice they are unusually low-keyed and respectful - at least until they start performing "The Little Drummer Boy" and suddenly turn it into a 1940s-style swing number. (Hey, [[RuleOfFunny they had to do]] ''[[RuleOfFunny something]]'' [[RuleOfFunny wacky]].)
** "One Flew Over the Cuckoo Clock" as well, in which Slappy Squirrel suffers a nervous breakdown after watching too much daytime TV and has to be sent to a nursing home. This eventually results in Skippy being taken away by a CPS agent. The whole thing reminds one of an older relative going senile, seeing how it was based on Tom Ruegger's memories of visiting his aunt in a nursing home.
* VictoriasSecretCompartment: Ms. Flameil keeps a red marker in her bra, apparently. Also a rare example of a not particularly attractive woman making use of this trope.
-->'''Yakko:''' Ooh, what else do you have in there?
* VisualPun: "[[InsistentTerminology It's not a joke]], it's a ''visual gag''."
* VocalEvolution: All three Warners went through this. Yakko originally had more of a "tough guy" sound; Wakko originally sounded more like RingoStarr; and Dot was higher-pitched. Also, Skippy's voice got deeper as Nathan Ruegger aged, to the point that some of the last Skippy/Slappy segments have him pitch-shifted.
* WasntThatFun: Wakko in the episode "Ups and Downs", after the maintenance men raise the elevator he and Dr Scratchansniff are trapped in and drop it really quick:
-->"Wasn't that neat?"
* WeaponizedLandmark: The Warners weaponized the Warner Bros. water tower in "Super Strong Warner Siblings."
* WeHaveForgottenThePhlebotinum:
** When Dr. Scratchnsniff and Wakko were [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bAfWZ4nq5Mo stuck in an elevator]] (in probably the only instance where Wakko was the StraightMan).
-->'''Dr:''' You've got to get us out of here! Do something big and silly from your [[HyperspaceArsenal gaggy bag]]!\\
'''Wakko:''' I didn't bring it!\\
'''Dr:''' (Searching Wakko frantically) "But you ALWAYS has your gaggy bag!! Where iz it?!? GIVE ME YOUR GAGGY BAG!!"
* WhatAreYouInFor: Rita asks Runt this when they first meet in the city pound. Runt's answer is "peeing on the floor".
* WhatMeasureIsANonHuman: The number of times Chicken Boo has been ostracized just for being a chicken, regardless of whether he was any good at his job before being unmasked...
** Reminiscent of the Chicken Boo shorts, Brain running a successful campaign to become president only to be ridiculed when the people find that he is a mouse.
* WheelOFeet: Subverted in "Draculee, Dracula" -- at one point the Warners rev up with this to start running, but then just walk off instead of darting.
* WholePlotReference: Far too many to count. Among those that haven't ''already'' been listed, ''Literature/AChristmasCarol'' and Disney's ''Disney/BeautyAndTheBeast'' are some of the most notable examples. They also did an entire parody on Disney movies in general, and ''Disney/{{Pocahontas}}'' in particular.
** And a Rita-and-Runt full-on musical parody of ''Theatre/LesMiserables'', and the Goodfeather parodies of ''Theatre/WestSideStory'' and ''FiddlerOnTheRoof''.
* WhosOnFirst: Just with 1960s band names instead of baseball players. i.e. [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RY7_ZwgoeJM "Who's on stage?" "Yes." "So Yes is on stage?" "No, Yes isn't at this concert."]]
** They also get a bit more mileage out of the same gag in "Piano Rag":
-->'''Yakko:''' Very Pete Townshend-esque.\\
'''Dot:''' [[Music/TheWho Who]]?\\
'''Wakko:''' Exactly.
* [[WhyDidItHaveToBeSnakes Why Did It Have To Be Clowns?]]: Wakko and Plotz are both terrified of clowns.
* TheWitchHunter: On one "Rita and Runt" segment set in Colonial Salem, Massachussets, a witch hunter is after Rita, claiming she's a witch's familiar.
* WraparoundBackground: Seen in the WesternAnimation/YogiBear parody of "Back in Style".
* WrongParachuteGag: In a BootCampEpisode, while plummeting towards the ground with their {{Drill Sergeant| Nasty}}, the Warners tell him that they took the liberty of washing the sheets he stores in his backpack. He pulls the cord and a duck headed flotation device comes out.
* WunzaPlot: "Boo Wonder": One's a human, the other's a chicken. Together, they fight crime!
* XylophoneGag: Subverted and lampshaded, [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5I2mbjgYb50 here]].
* YankTheDogsChain: "Yippy kai yai yo, dear ghost of Magellan, the East Indies islands were ''right over there!''"
** Chicken Boo. Just when you think he's about to succeed, his disguise comes undone at the worst possible moment.
* YetAnotherChristmasCarol: Starring Mr. Plotz in the Scrooge role, Ralph the Guard as Bob Cratchit with his son Ralph Jr. in the Tiny Tim role, Slappy as Jacob Marley and the Warner siblings as the three ghosts. The main difference from the original ''Literature/AChristmasCarol'' is that rather than having the Tiny Tim character die, Ralph Jr. vows revenge on Plotz for firing his dad and in the hypothetical future [[spoiler:grows up to take over the Warner Bros. studio, with Plotz working as the security guard. Ralph Jr. fires Plotz in a similarly callous manner to the way Plotz fired his dad]].
* YodelLand: "Schnitzelbank".
* YouAllMeetInACell: Rita and Runt first meet in the pound.
* YouAreWorthHell: "Meatballs or Consequences."
* YouHaveToBelieveMe: Every Chicken Boo short has one character who points out the PaperThinDisguise and is scorned.
* YouRemindMeOfX: Pretty much Slappy's {{Catchphrase}}.
* YouSayTomato: Mr. Director discusses this trope.
-->Take the word 'animal'. Transpose the letters 'n' and 'm' and you get 'aminal'. That, in a nutshell, is comedy.
** [[DontExplainTheJoke An aminal is a kind of chemical compound.]]
* YoureCuteWhenYoureAngry: Yakko says this to Dot after he and Wakko piss her off during "I'm Cute". Considering how seriously she takes her cuteness, it works.
* YouSexyBeast: In the Minerva Mink short "[[http://youtu.be/i7dByOKXVec Moon Over Minerva]]". A geeky wolf, named Wilford B. Wolf, would turn into a hunky Fabio-like wolf when exposed to the full moon. Minerva won't give his geeky self the time of day, but she goes crazy for his moonlit self. Needless to say the short is pretty heavy on the {{Fanservice}} for both the male and female audiences.
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