[[quoteright:300:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/The_Cat_Came_Back_quality_8928.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:300:You'll be soooorrrryyyyy!]]

->''Now old Mr. Johnson had troubles of his own:\\
He had a yellow cat that wouldn't leave his home.\\
A special plan, with deception as the key --\\
One little cat -- how hard could it be? ([[TemptingFate How hard could it be...?]])''

'''''The Cat Came Back''''' is a hilarious 1988 [[AnimatedFilms Animated Short]] set to the tune of the 1893 comic song, illustrating [[TheCatCameBack the eponymous trope]] as SerialEscalation. The short, directed by Cordell Barker for Richard Condie and the NationalFilmBoardOfCanada, features the hapless "Old Mr. Johnson" and his escalating fruitless attempts to relieve himself of the unwanted companionship of the eponymous yellow cat.

This cartoon was nominated for an AcademyAward for Best Animated Short, as well as winning over a dozen other awards, and comes in at number 32 on the list of The50GreatestCartoons (the latest one on the list, and one of the few from later than the 1950s).

Not to be confused with ''Anime/TheCatReturns''.

[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oW9f04Dctz4 You can watch it]], [[ShmuckBait and you'll keep coming back...]]
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!!''The Cat Came Back'' provides examples of the following tropes:

* AllClothUnravels: The cat pulls on a thread, completely unraveling the rug and all the curtains.
* AnimalsHateHim: Extremely evident; not only is there the cat, but a cow, several hundred rats, and ''a freaking beetle'' all serve to make sure Mr. Johnson ''never'' gets rid of that cat.
* BatOutOfHell: Some follow Johnson out of a mine, one even cracking his window as it splats against it.
* BigWhat: Mr. Johnson gives a rather impressive one when answering the door in the beginning.
* BowtiesAreCool: The kitten wears a bow tie.
* BrickJoke: Johnson blows the house up, sending him flying into the air [[spoiler:and killing him. [[WingedSoulFliesOffAtDeath Now a ghost]], he joyfully mocks the cat, now that he has escaped from [[FateWorseThanDeath its irritating presence]], when ''his own plummeting body'' smashes the cat dead -- leaving ''nine little cat ghosts [[NightmareFuel to follow him through eternity]]'']].
* ByTheLightsOfTheirEyes: That small blinking pair of eyes next to Johnson in the dark mine -- ''is not the cat.'' Neither are any of the hundreds of ''others'' that appear.
* TheCatCameBack: Turned UpToEleven. Every time Mr. Johnson tries to get rid of the cat, he returns home to find it destroying everything it can get its paws on, its destructive tendencies growing with each unsuccessful attempt to get rid of it.
* CatsHaveNineLives: [[spoiler:As the angelic Mr. Johnson learns to his horror.]]
* ChainedToARailway: Old Mr Johnson drives a handcar over no fewer than seven (if not more) women ''and a cow'', before derailing on a beetle (which subsequently divides neatly in two).
* TheChewToy: Poor old Mr.Johnson ...
* CurseCutShort: When Mr. Johnson sees the cow (''see above''), he blurts out, "What the fff----?"
* CuteKitten: Inverted with extreme prejudice.
* DisproportionateRetribution: At first. Mr. Johnson initially wants to get rid of the cat because it knocked a baby rattle out of his hand (like that ''wouldn't'' happen when playing with a cat?). His efforts become a bit more understandable as the cat becomes more destructive - though considering how the cat didn't really do anything legitimately bad before being tossed out, [[FridgeBrilliance it's possible that it is getting some retribution of its own in its actions, resulting in an escalating cycle between the two participants]].
* DoorstopBaby: Or rather, Doorstop Kitten.
* HoistByHisOwnPetard: A lot of Mr. Johnson's misfortune is self-inflicted as his attempts to get rid of the cat backfire in increasingly spectacular fashion.
** He first tries driving to a nearby forest to abandon the cat; the cat simply returns to his car, and he tries abandoning it ever deeper in the forest until he gets completely lost.
** Then he puts the cat in a bag and goes out to sea in a speedboat to drop the bag overboard; however, as he prepares to drop anchor, the anchor drags him to the bottom of the sea (triggering the motor of the boat, which speeds back to shore with the cat inside).
** Next, he tries putting the cat in a hot-air balloon and cutting it from its moorings; instead, the balloon detaches from the basket with Mr. Johnson tied to it and zooms all over the sky, while the cat hops out of the basket and trots home.
** Mr. Johnson tries taking the cat away on a railway handcart, but hits a beetle on the tracks and tumbles over a cliff and into a mineshaft, where he is surrounded by dozens of rats, bats, and other hostile creatures. The cat escapes unscathed again.
** Finally, Mr. Johnson tries to blow the cat sky-high with dynamite, only to set his own hair on fire lighting the fuse and getting blown up instead... [[spoiler:fatally so.]]
* JokerImmunity: No matter what Johnson does, ''[[TheCatCameBack the cat comes back...]]''
* KillerRabbit: The cat, of course, whose destructive powers just grow and grow, as the cartoon proceeds.
* LaughingMad: Mr. Johnson, as the cartoon progresses.
* LeftTheBackgroundMusicOn: The opening notes of the cartoon are revealed to have been Mr. Johnson practicing on the tuba.
* LineBoil: The animation is a sterling example of the "line boil" style, most visible in the wobbly lines used to draw Mr. Johnson (which get more wobbly as his failed attempts to get rid of the cat cause SanitySlippage).
* MatchlightDangerRevelation: In the mine. Unhelpfully blown out by the aforesaid danger.
* OhCrap: Mr. Johnson experiences this several times, most notably when surrounded by rats and when he realizes that the cat will ''always'' come back, ''[[spoiler:even in death]]''.
* SchmuckBait: Ah, what a cute little kitten!
* TemptingFate: The beginning line "One little cat, how hard could it be?" made it pretty obvious how things would go. Then one of the final verses "The old man knew it couldn't get any worse". [[FromBadToWorse Guess what?]]
* YouCantFightFate: Taken to ''[[SerialEscalation insane extremes]]''. Simply put, '''getting rid of the cat is not an option'''.
* YouDirtyRat: They force their unwelcome attentions on Johnson when he falls down a mine shaft.
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->''But {{the cat came back}}, the very next day...''
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