[[quoteright:350:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/looneytuneswallpaper800.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:350:The main ensemble. Not pictured: [[LoadsAndLoadsOfCharacters a supporting cast of thousands]].[[note]] Clockwise from the bottom: WesternAnimation/BugsBunny, WesternAnimation/DaffyDuck, [[WesternAnimation/WileECoyoteAndTheRoadrunner Road Runner]], WesternAnimation/ElmerFudd, [[WesternAnimation/SylvesterTheCatAndTweetyBird Tweety Bird]], [[WesternAnimation/WileECoyoteAndTheRoadrunner Wile E. Coyote]], [[WesternAnimation/SylvesterTheCatAndTweetyBird Sylvester the Cat]], WesternAnimation/FoghornLeghorn, and WesternAnimation/PorkyPig.[[/note]]]]

->''"What's up, Doc?"''
-->--'''WesternAnimation/BugsBunny'''

%% NOTICE: Do NOT add tropes related to The Looney Tunes Show or Wabbit: A Looney Tunes Production/New Looney Tunes. That goes on their respective pages.

''Looney Tunes'' and ''Merrie Melodies'' were two series of theatrical cartoon shorts running from [[UsefulNotes/TheGoldenAgeOfAnimation 1930]] to [[UsefulNotes/TheDarkAgeOfAnimation 1969]]. Creator/WarnerBros initially distributed the cartoons for independent producer Leon Schlesinger before buying the studio and moving it in-house in 1944.

Originally, [[ArtifactTitle as the names indicate]], these cartoons were meant to riff off the sweet, sentimental musical shorts then in vogue: for instance, Disney's ''WesternAnimation/SillySymphonies''. That basing cartoons around popular public-domain songs -- or, even better, ones the studio already owned -- was a fast and relatively cheap way of producing them didn't hurt any, either.

The first set, ''Looney Tunes'', was introduced with 1930's ''"WesternAnimation/SinkinInTheBathtub"'' featuring [[UncleTomFoolery minstrel-like]] mascot ''WesternAnimation/BoskoTheTalkInkKid'', and for its first decade relied more heavily on recurring characters and thus lower budgets. ''Merrie Melodies'', introduced in 1931's ''"WesternAnimation/LadyPlayYourMandolin"'' featuring the ([[CaptainErsatz suspiciously Mickey Mouse-esque]]) character "Foxy", were initially intended as the [[AnimatedMusicVideo music videos of their day]], basically animated commercials for the Warners-owned sheet-music library.

When ''Looney Tunes'' switched to color in 1942, and the ''Merrie Melodies'' line ditched the music around the same time in favor of its own rising star -- one WesternAnimation/BugsBunny -- differences between the two were limited to their distinctive theme songs, until 1964 (when both series wound up using the same theme music as a result of using a modernized, and slightly bizarre, opening/closing sequence).

Over the course of their tenures at 'Termite Terrace', as the WB animation studio was informally known, the legendary directors Creator/ChuckJones, Creator/TexAvery, Creator/BobClampett, Creator/FrizFreleng, Creator/FrankTashlin, Creator/ArtDavis, and Creator/RobertMcKimson -- assisted by talented animators such as Ken Harris, Emery Hawkins, Abe Levitow, Bill Melendez, Virgil Ross, and Rod Scribner; brilliant writers like Warren Foster, Michael Maltese, and Tedd Pierce; ace musical arrangers Carl Stalling and Milt Franklyn; and sound effects whiz Treg Brown -- created and refined a large and diverse cast of characters, the most famous of which include (listed in chronological order of introduction):

[[folder: Looney Tunes Main Cast]]

* '''WesternAnimation/PorkyPig''' -- "I Haven't Got a Hat", 1935, Freleng. TheEveryman and StraightMan to the rest of the cast, known for his [[PorkyPigPronunciation ridiculously thick stutter]]. Also a DeadpanSnarker, usually when paired with Creator/ChuckJones' pompous Daffy or a ButtMonkey when paired with the crazy, hyperactive screwball Daffy. Either way, he does not like being paired up with Daffy.

* '''WesternAnimation/DaffyDuck''' -- [[WesternAnimation/PorkysDuckHunt "Porky's Duck Hunt"]]: 1937, Avery. Was originally [[ScrewySquirrel a screwball]]/CloudCuckooLander, later {{Flanderized}} into a {{jerkass}} [[SmallNameBigEgo with an enormous ego]]. In this incarnation, he's used either [[WesternAnimation/DuckDodgers to parody action-adventure heroes]], or paired up and serving as a foil for Bugs in an OddCouple scenario. Later also joined Sylvester on the hunt for Speedy Gonzales. First named in the short "WesternAnimation/DaffyDuckAndEgghead".

* '''[[WesternAnimation/SylvesterTheCatAndTweetyBird Granny]]''' -- "Little Red Walking Hood" 1937, Avery. A kind, elderly woman most remembered as Tweety's owner, and [[CoolOldLady who packed a hidden amount of badass-ery]] when inflicting pain on Sylvester when he tried to catch Tweety.

* '''WesternAnimation/ElmerFudd''' -- "WesternAnimation/ElmersCandidCamera", 1940, Jones. One of only three humans in the regular cast, the others being Yosemite Sam and Tweety's owner Granny. The ButtMonkey, often TooDumbToLive. An avid hunter, thus Jones' favourite adversary for both Bugs & Daffy, reaching a peak in the iconic [[DuckSeasonRabbitSeason Rabbit Season]] trilogy. Less popular with the other directors -- particularly Freleng -- who found him too wimpy. To compensate, the other directors often made Elmer crafty in their pictures; see "Quack Shot" by Robert [=McKimson=], where he's one step ahead of Daffy the entire cartoon, and "Hare Brush" by Friz Freleng, where it's debatable that [[ObfuscatingInsanity he faked being insane]] in order to both avoid the IRS and get revenge on Bugs Bunny. Surprisingly, Elmer didn't appear as frequently as most people think, only encountering Bugs in over 30 pictures out of Bugs' 168 short lineup.
** Note that there is some controversy over when exactly Elmer debuted, depending on whether or not you count Egghead, who was called "Elmer" in some of his later cartoons.

* '''WesternAnimation/BugsBunny''' -- "WesternAnimation/AWildHare", 1940, various, notably [[Creator/TexAvery Avery]]. A famous, snide, Brookyln/Bronx-accented KarmicTrickster and cultural icon. For decades, always considered the "main character" and "star" of the core cast.
** As with Elmer, there is some controversy over whether Bugs debuted earlier, with the prime suspects being four cartoons by Ben "Bugs" Hardaway and Jones, including "Elmer's Candid Camera". However, the rabbit in those cartoons is basically Daffy with rabbit ears, and "A Wild Hare" is the first cartoon featuring a rabbit that is recognizably Bugs.
*** In the third and fourth of the pre-"Wild Hare" cartoons, the formative rabbit was in fact advertised as Bugs Bunny by the studio; take that for what you will. (As for where the name came from, [[MultipleChoicePast take your pick:]] the initial model sheet for the character, by Charles Thornson, was supposedly labeled "Bugs' bunny," ie. director Ben 'Bugs' Hardaway. Creator/MelBlanc would later claim he came up with the name at the same time as the voice -- 'bugs' being Brooklyn slang for 'crazy'. Still another version has the name drawn from a hat by Leon Schlesinger's secretary. Tex Avery, meanwhile, just wanted to call him "Jack E. Rabbit".)

* '''[[WesternAnimation/SylvesterTheCatAndTweetyBird Tweety Bird]]''' -- "A Tale of Two Kitties", 1942, Clampett. "I tawt I taw a puddy tat!" In Creator/BobClampett's hands, Tweety was a pink, sadistic trickster who used his wits to get rid of cats. Under Creator/FrizFreleng, Tweety became yellow (the Hays Office balked because the pink made him look naked), found a recurring adversary in Sylvester, and often depended on an umbrella-wielding Granny or an angry bulldog to get rid of the "bad old puddy tat". Time has seen modern generations often mistake Tweety for a female (this doesn't happen in Spanish-speaking countries, as its local name, "Piolín", is unequivocally male).

* '''WesternAnimation/PepeLePew''' -- "Odor-Able Kitty", 1945, Jones. A FunnyForeigner and HandsomeLech, completely oblivious to his body odor problem... and thus to why all the pretty 'young ladiee skonks' keep running from him in disgust. Of course, the fact that they're nearly all actually ''cats'', unaware that they've had white stripes painted on their backs, doesn't help either. Can at times be a DepravedBisexual: Pepé has gone after a male cat who was painted up as a skunk in his first cartoon, a white-striped Sylvester at the end of 1954's "Dog Pounded", and accidentally made out with a man on a Tunnel of Love ride in 1951's "Scent-imental Romeo." Based in part on characters made famous by actor Creator/CharlesBoyer.

* '''[[WesternAnimation/SylvesterTheCatAndTweetyBird Sylvester the Cat]]''' -- "Life With Feathers", 1945, Freleng. A cat with a speech impediment who usually tries to eat Tweety or Speedy Gonzales, with little success, making him a mild version of the VillainProtagonist. One of the most versatile of the ensemble, prone to neuroses and usually the star of the comic melodramas. In Robert [=McKimson=]'s hands, slobby Sylvester has a hyper-articulate son named Sylvester, Jr., whom Dad tries to impress by chasing what turns out to be a baby kangaroo; when he retreats gibbering at the "giant mouse!" Junior is mortified. Also known for a trio of spooky cartoons in which he is Porky Pig's pet, where, despite being TheVoiceless for these shorts, Sylvester attempts to convey to his master that their lives are in danger (twice from murderous mice, once from a curious alien); unfortunately, Porky is CaptainOblivious for most of this, believing Sylvester to be cowardly and paranoid, and only in the first short of the trio does he realize the truth.

* '''WesternAnimation/YosemiteSam''' -- "Hare Trigger", 1945, Freleng. A brash little outlaw with handlebar mustachios and a severe temper problem, introduced as 'a more worthy adversary' for Bugs than the meek Elmer. Said to be a [[{{Expy}} caricature]] of his short, brash, redheaded creator. Introduced as a Wild West bandit, he eventually became the stock blowhard villain character: Civil War general, Viking, pirate, Black Knight (no [[Film/MontyPythonAndTheHolyGrail Python]] references please), politician, Arab sheik, ''etc''. Oddly enough, he wears his bandit mask no matter what role he plays. Said to have been inspired by Chuck Jones' great-uncle, a short, redheaded retired Texas Ranger.

* '''WesternAnimation/FoghornLeghorn''' -- "Walky Talky Hawky", 1946, [=McKimson=]. A loud, obnoxious rooster with a Southern accent, based on Kenny Delmar's 'Senator Claghorn' radio character. Considers himself the life of the party; demonstrates by tricking little Henery Hawk out of capturing him, abusing the barnyard dog by whomping his ass with a wooden board and painting his tongue green, or babysitting a genius chick named Egghead, Jr. in order to cozy up to his widow hen mother.

* '''Marvin The Martian''' -- "Haredevil Hare", 1948, Jones. An IneffectualSympatheticVillain who wants to see an EarthShatteringKaboom, and is the TropeNamer thereof. Invariably foiled by Bugs. Like the Tasmanian Devil, he only appeared in a handful of shorts from the original shorts, but became popular enough to be featured in nearly every adaptation thereafter. His universe was expanded in the 2000s animated show ''WesternAnimation/DuckDodgers''. A CGI film starring MikeMyers as Marvin was planned in 2008 and ultimately shelved.

* '''WesternAnimation/WileECoyoteAndTheRoadRunner''' -- "Fast and Furry-ous", 1949, Jones. A speedy bird and the coyote who uses a variety of backfiring Acme Company traps and mail-order gadgets to try to catch him -- 'try' being the operative word. The coyote was named in his first face-off against Bugs (''Operation: Rabbit''), where he became "Wile E. Coyote, [[MadScientist Super Genius]]". The Road Runner remains mute (aside from his iconic "beep beep!") to this day. Incidentally, Time Warner Cable for a long time used them as the mascot for their "Road Runner" internet service; no longer the case since the company was spun off as independent from Time Warner in 2009.

* '''WesternAnimation/SpeedyGonzales''' -- "Cat-Tails for Two", 1953, [=McKimson=]. Another FunnyForeigner and good-natured [[TheTrickster Trickster]] who moves at SuperSpeed to help his poor Mexican mouse friends get cheese from "el gringo pussygato" (usually Sylvester). Has a lethargic cousin named (inevitably) "Slowpoke Rodriguez" who uses a gun to incapacitate cats instead. [[DorkAge For obvious reasons]], the Speedy shorts -- particularly the late 1960s ones with Daffy as his antagonist -- tend not to be received well by animation fans and historians. Ironically, despite being blacklisted for a while in the U.S. for stereotyping, he's the most popular Looney Tunes character ''in Mexico.''

* '''The Tasmanian Devil''' -- "Devil May Hare", 1954, [=McKimson=]. The destructive, hurricane-spinning, ExtremeOmnivore who talks in HulkSpeak when he talks at all. Though he only appeared in five Golden Age-era cartoons, he is nowadays considered as popular as Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck, having been nicknamed Taz and often appearing in merchandise, comic book stories, and even his own TV spinoff (''WesternAnimation/TazMania'').

* '''Witch Hazel''' -- "Bewitched Bunny", 1954. A parody of the WickedWitch trope who was [[AffablyEvil always in a delightfully flighty mood]], and who [[PunchClockVillain was interested in cooking, fashion, and gossip]]. Usually acted as a BigBad for Bugs and/or Daffy when trying to cook them into her soup cauldron.

* '''Michigan J. Frog''' -- "OneFroggyEvening": 1955, Jones. A frog from TheGayNineties is discovered by a man in modern times. Unfortunately, the frog acts as his NotSoImaginaryFriend. Listed here as an honorable mention, as he only ever appeared in two cartoons (one a direct sequel to the other) which he didn't share with any other iconic characters, and was never really iconic himself until he became the mascot for the WB Network in the 90's.

[[/folder]]

...along with dozens of lesser known and one-shot characters. Quite nearly all of these were voiced by Creator/MelBlanc, the ManOfAThousandVoices; in fact, that was used as a gag in at least one short. Other WB voice artists included Creator/StanFreberg, Creator/JuneForay, Creator/DawsButler, Bea Benaderet, Billy Bletcher, Arthur Q. Bryan (the voice of Elmer Fudd), and Robert C. Bruce (who narrated most of the "travelogue" and "newsreel" shorts).

For more detailed information on the recurring cast, refer to the franchise's [[Characters/LooneyTunes character sheet]].

The cartoons starring this pantheon originated many of the classic AnimationTropes, co-opting or perfecting most of the rest. Being primarily character-driven comedy, with the various stars working and reworking their shticks solo or in combination, their comedic style is firmly rooted in vaudeville, early Broadway, and silent-film slapstick -- an ancestry they cheerfully acknowledged: as in Robert [=McKimson=]'s 1950 short "What's Up Doc?", an AnimatedActors look at Bugs's rise to stardom by way of Elmer Fudd's vaudeville act.

The freewheeling house style was also heavily influenced by, well, the house movies. Answering [[WhatDoYouMeanItsNotForKids accusations of excessive violence from parental action groups in later years]], Jones noted that these shorts were originally intended to ride with such [[SarcasmMode sweet, wholesome family fare]] as ''Film/LittleCaesar'' and ''Film/ThePublicEnemy''. "We didn't make them for kids," he explained. "We made them for ourselves."

Helping the anarchistic spirit along were a succession of humourless bosses that more or less invited open rebellion. Founder Schlesinger won unwitting immortality as the inspiration for Daffy Duck's trademark lisp: "You're dethpicable!". The Warner Bros. themselves really didn't know or care what was going on in their animation unit, leaving hands-on oversight to bean counter Eddie Selzer. Recounting the genesis of the classic "WesternAnimation/BullyForBugs", Jones recalled the day Selzer showed up at his door as he and writer Mike Maltese were hashing out story ideas, and bellowed: "I don't want any pictures about bullfights! Bullfights aren't funny!" Then Selzer marched off, leaving his dumbfounded staff staring at each other. "Well," Maltese said, "Eddie's never been right yet..."

Warners ceased production of the classic series in 1963 and outsourced new cartoons to other entities in something of a DorkAge until 1969; a Revival of new production of the classic cartoons occurred during the '90s. Moving to television in 1960 with the original incarnation of the ''[[WesternAnimation/TheBugsBunnyRoadRunnerShow The Bugs Bunny Show]]'', the Warners' shorts took a level in ubiquity. Various repackagings became staples of the American [[SaturdayMorningCartoon Saturday morning]] schedule for the next forty years, reintroducing themselves through the generations, until they had permanently entered the collective consciousness.

"Looney Tunes", the generic term by which all Warners animation is now known and sold, is a brand name more than anything nowadays, but is most heavily associated with the "classic" theatrical shorts. The Tunes have been the mascots of the Six Flags theme parks for years.

The merchandising for Looney Tunes products ceased production when AOL ended its merger with Time Warner in order to save money (it did the complete opposite), and Cartoon Network hasn't been kind to the Tunes until November 2009, when they began running the classic shorts again.

It is impossible to discuss the impact of animation on any culture in the world without mentioning these characters and their famous shorts. They have a global influence equaled only by the WesternAnimation/ClassicDisneyShorts. Not only by dint of their quality and originality, but by the scope of their exposure, Looney Tunes have influenced every corner of the animated world. In the 1940's in particular, nearly everybody copied their antics--even Disney tried their hands at Warners-esque comedy from time to time!

For a complete filmography of the original cartoons, [[UsefulNotes/LooneyTunesAndMerrieMelodiesFilmography visit this page.]] For a taste of the best shorts the series has to offer, refer to ''The50GreatestCartoons'' list, as well as ''Literature/The100GreatestLooneyTunes'' list. For the 2011 animated sitcom that premiered on Cartoon Network, go [[WesternAnimation/TheLooneyTunesShow here]]. For the video game starring Bugs Bunny and Taz in a time-traveling adventure, go [[VideoGame/BugsBunnyAndTazTimeBusters here]].

----
For tropes about Looney Tunes in comics, go [[ComicBook/LooneyTunes here]]. See also UsefulNotes/NoteworthyLooneyTunesStaff for info on the many people who contributed to this franchise.

----
!!TropeNamer For:
* AcmeProducts (indirectly) - the Coyote's quest to catch the Roadrunner with gadgets inevitably purchased from the Acme Corporation
* AndCallHimGeorge - the Abominable Snowman
* DuckSeasonRabbitSeason - Bugs and Daffy, respectively.
* EarthShatteringKaboom - Marvin's snit fit in "Hare-Way to the Stars" when Bugs foils his attempt to clear the Earth out of his view of Venus: "WheresTheKaboom There was ''supposed'' to be an Earth-shattering kaboom!"
* ElmuhFuddSyndwome
* HadTheSillyThingInReverse
* OneBuwwetWeft (formerly)
* PorkyPigPronunciation
* PronounTrouble (possibly; the phrase turns up in "Rabbit Seasoning", but refers to a series of variations on DuckSeasonRabbitSeason and has nothing to do with gender)
* RoadRunnerVsCoyote
* SeenItAllSuicide - one of many reasons why the Looney Tunes get edited on TV
* ThatsAllFolks - but often subverted, see below
* WheresTheKaboom - "There was ''supposed'' to be an EarthShatteringKaboom!"
* WrongTurnAtAlbuquerque

----
!!Looney Tunes Tropes ''(Troperifficus Merriemelodieus)'':

* LooneyTunes/TropesAToC
* LooneyTunes/TropesDToF
* LooneyTunes/TropesGToI
* LooneyTunes/TropesJToL
* LooneyTunes/TropesMToO
* LooneyTunes/TropesPToR
* LooneyTunes/TropesSToU
* LooneyTunes/TropesVToZ

----
''Th-th-the-th-th-the-th-th-that's all, folks!''