One of only three humans in the regular cast (the others being Yosemite Sam & Tweety's owner Granny). The Butt Monkey, often Too Dumb to Live. An avid hunter, thus Jones' favorite adversary for both Bugs & Daffy, reaching a peak in the iconic Rabbit Season trilogy. Less popular with the other directors, who found him too wimpy. On a side note, he had an earlier, less distinctive prototype named Egghead, who was sometimes referred to as Elmer.On a side note, he didn't appear as often as most people think—in fact, he only appeared in about 36 of the original Bugs Bunny cartoons (although he did star in many other character shorts, along with several of his own solo appearances).Debut: "Elmer's Candid Camera" (1940), Jones.Tropes related to Elmer Fudd:
Affably Evil: Generally nice guy when not trying to blast (not-so-) innocent animals with his shotgun.
Not-So-Harmless Villain: Had occasional Genre Savvy moments that took even Bugs by surprise. He's outrighted defeated him twice over. Heck, in "Quack Shot", he was actually on top of his game against nearly everything Daffy threw at him.
Obfuscating Insanity: ''Hare Brush'. Fudd, head of a major corporation, is in a mental hospital because he thinks he's a rabbit. He lures Bugs into taking his place, who is put in hypnotherapy and starts to think he's Elmer. The cartoon ends with Bugs-as-Elmer being arrested for tax evasion, and Elmer says to the audience "I may be a scwewy wabbit, but I'm not going to Awcatraz!"
Villainous Underdog: A particularly infamous (and unintentional) case, since he was so meek and incompetent against Bugs Bunny that even some of the Warner Bros creative team started to think Bugs was coming across more as a petty bully than a defensive trickster. As such the series went through a long list of more challenging opponents to rectify this, though almost all of them still fit this trope.
Wealthy Yacht Owner: In the episode "Hare Brush" he's is a millionaire who "owns a mansion and a yacht". This becomes a hypnotic mantra a psychologist has him repeat after he has a mental breakdown and thinks he's a rabbit.
In Clampett's hands, Tweety was a pink, sadistic trickster who used his wits to get rid of cats. Later, under Freleng, 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 him. Time has made modern generations mistake him for a female.Debut: "A Tale of Two Kitties" (1942), Clampett.Tropes related to Tweety Pie:
Characterization Marches On: In the Clampett shorts he was a very aggressive character who tries anything to foil his foe, even kicking his enemy when he is down. Freleng turned him into a into a cutesy bird who often depended on Granny to be saved from Sylvester.
Dude Looks Like a Lady: He's a guy, but the high-pitched voice and eyelashes often leads to Viewer Gender Confusion, especially in foreign dubs where he is often voiced by a woman (while in English his voice was provided by a man, Mel Blanc).
A Funny Foreigner and Handsome Lech said to be the most foul smelling skunk in the world - or to his own kind, the best smelling - completely oblivious to his body odor problem... and thus to why all the beautiful 'young ladies' keep running from him in disgust.His official pairing is now known as Penelope Pussycat, and she often has the misfortune of having a white stripe painted down her back, making Pepe go quite wild for her. It also seems that when he douses his foul scent and covers his white stripe (or accidentally paints himself blue), she can go quite wild over him, making him quite the Chick Magnet.Debut: "Odor-able Kitty" (1945), Jones.Tropes related to Pepe LePew:
A cat with a speech impediment who usually tries to eat Tweety or Speedy Gonzales, with little success. 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 into another room; when he retreats gibbering at the 'giant mouse!' Junior is mortified. On a side note, he was technically a creation of Bob Clampett's unit, as evidenced by him appearing in one of Clampett's last theatrical cartoons, "Kitty Kornered". Obviously, Freleng's take on Sylvester is the one everybody remembers.Debut: "Life With Feathers" (1945), Freleng.Tropes related to Sylvester J. Cat:
Characterization Marches On: Several of his earlier cartoons saw him as a lot more mischievous and hyperactive, with one cartoon (Doggone Cats) even playing him as a Screwy Squirrel character similar to Bugs and Daffy in their earlier days.
Cool Cat: He occasionally plays with this, particularly in cartoons where Tweety isn't involved.
Laser-Guided Karma: While hopeless at catching prey like Tweety and Speedy, there are odd cases where Sylvester is forced to protect his potential prey, at which point he is often quite competent (eg. A Mouse Divided, 'Father Of The Bird''). He is still usually robbed of a full victory at the end of it though. Such cases also often double as a Crowning Moment of Heartwarming.
Suddenly Voiced: Inverted. He could usually speak (albeit with his famous speech impediment), but a few later cartoons cast him as Porky's pet, and in these he was a Heroic Mime.
His speaking role seemed to depend on character, since he was classified as a pet, he usually did not communicate with owners or humans but could make conversations with fellow pet classified animals like Tweety. For other animals with more human roles like Daffy and Porky it was free-game and Depending on the Writer (though mute in Scaredy Cat, Sylvester spoke normally to Porky in Kitty Cornered and The Scarlet Pumpernickel for example).
Team Rocket Wins: With some assistance from Speedy Gonzales, Sylvester chalks up a win in "A Message To Gracias."
He successfully eats an Asshole Victim parrot in "Catch As Cats Can" and holds ground in Porky's house in "Kitty Cornered". He also gets the last laugh in "Back Alley Oproar" and "Mouse Mazurka" (even if he literally has to kill himself in the process).
Villainous Underdog: While Sylvester certainly isn't weaker than Tweety, he's no match for Granny or Hector and has to find ways to sneak past them in order to get at the bird. That's without getting into his fights with Speedy Gonzales or Hippity Hopper.
A brash little outlaw with handlebar mustachios and a severe temper problem, introduced as 'a more Worthy Opponent' for Bugs than the meek Elmer. Said to be a caricature of his (short, brash, redheaded) creator. Introduced as a cowboy bandit, he eventually became the stock blowhard villain character: Civil War general, Viking, Pirate, The Black Knight (no Python references please), politician, an Arab sheik, etc. Oddly enough, he wears his bandit mask no matter what role he plays and normally lets out a burst of irate Symbol Swearing.Debut: "Hare Trigger" (1945), Freleng.Tropes related to Yosemite Sam:
Expy: The DePatie-Freleng Enterprises short Panchos Hideaway features the bandit Pancho Vanilla, in terms of personality, role and design, Pancho's largest differences are his darker facial hair and mexican accent.
Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain: Deliberately zigzagged. While Sam is still a rather bumbling antagonist, he was designed to be a more belligerent and imposing foe for Bugs by Friz Freleng, who feared the more affable and pitiful Elmer Fudd made Bugs look like a non-defensive "bully".
Jerkass: Was created largely to get the audience to root for Bugs.
"What in tha- I say, what in the Sam Hill is goin' on here?"
A loud, obnoxious rooster with a Southern accent, based on Fred Allen's 'Senator Claghorn' radio character. Considers himself the life of the party; demonstrates by tricking baby chickenhawks out of capturing him, abusing Mandrake the barnyard dog by whomping his ass with a wooden board and painting his tongue green, or babysitting a genius chick named Eggbert in order to cozy up to his widow hen mother.Debut: "Walky Talky Hawky" (1946), McKimson
Blue and Orange Morality: Wants to blow up Earth because it's blocking his view of Venus. Ignoring the obvious joke about gender differences, destroying planets because they obstruct astronomic observation is presumably okay in Martian society.
No Name Given: He was unnamed in the original cartoons (the model sheets only giving him the moniker of "The Martian") but was officially named Marvin when he they started making merchandise of him.
Team Rocket Wins: Seemingly achieves his goal of detonating the Earth in the original full-version of Duck Dodgers and the Return of the 24th and a Half Century. With Dodgers distracted from his duties and Earth's destruction almost certain, Marvin is left with no choice but to assure the viewers "it's only a cartoon".
That Makes Me Feel Angry: Subverted; he has a wide range of facial expressions, despite repeatedly saying this trope word-for-word.
Worthy Opponent: After Yosemite Sam failed to challenge Bugs. Though still a hapless villain, he was slightly more formidable in that he has genuinely scared Bugs on occasion with his sheer casual destructiveness.
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 when he had some cartoons facing off against Bugs instead of Roadrunner, where he became "Wile E. Coyote, Super Genius" - the Road Runner remains mute to this day (meep-meep!) as he is now the mascot for Time Warner Cable.Debut: "Fast and Furry-ous" (1949), Jones.Tropes related to Wile E. Coyote:
Team Rocket Wins: Yes, the Coyote catches the Road Runner at one point...but he's too small at that point to even eat the bird. He even lampshades it by asking the audience what he should do now.
The Voiceless: In all his cartoons with the Road Runner. He only speaks during four of his five appearances with Bugs Bunny.
Villainous Underdog: The cartoons are built around this concept, with the smart, but horribly unlucky coyote being thoroughly overmatched by the super fast, equally smart, and and ungodly fortunate Road Runner. Physics itself was always on the Road Runner's side, meaning Wile E's schemes were doomed from the start. A large part of this was, of course, because in the words of Chuck Jones "The audience's sympathy but always remain with the coyote."
Villain Protagonist: Wile E. Coyote is trying to eat the Road Runner, and is therefore ostensibly the bad guy. But he's just so adorably persistent in how he goes about it that you can't help but root for him.
Another Funny Foreigner and good-natured Trickster who moves at Super Speed 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. 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.Debut: "Cat-Tails for Two" (1953), McKimson.Tropes related to Speedy Gonzales:
Arch-Enemy: Sylvester is this to him, but it doesn't work both ways (Sylvester's Arch-Enemy being Tweety Pie)
Chivalrous Pervert: His eyes for female mice has gotten him in trouble with the other rodents on occasion.
Early-Installment Weirdness: In Speedy's first cartoon, "Cat-Tails for Two," Speedy looked way different than how he looks now. The "Speedy" in "Cat-Tails for Two" had a gold tooth, a pink shirt with no pants, and came off as more of a Mexican stereotype than his current form.
Hero Antagonist: He flip flopped with this, a lot of shorts giving the main focus to the blundering of foes such as Sylvester or Daffy.
Invincible Hero: Leaned towards this (his Super Speed made him near untouchable by antagonists such as Sylvester (the odd occasion the cat actually placed the mouse in his mouth he often merely charged with enough power to rip (harmlessly) through his tail, suggesting it was actually physically impossible for Sylvester to eat Speedy).
Laser-Guided Karma: A cunning Karmic Trickster when working to benefit his innocent mouse amigos, though often a somewhat simple Minion with an F in Evil when working with less scrupulous co-stars such as Daffy and Witch Hazel.
Ping Pong Naïveté: Similar to Tweety, while often more a cunning Karmic Trickster Obfuscating Stupidity, there are times when Speedy genuinely comes off as incredibly naive. His unrequited attempts to make peace with the then-plainly hateful Daffy have an almost tragic tone at times (eg. Moby Duck).
The destructive, hurricane-spinning, feral, Extreme Omnivore who talks in Hulk Speak, when he talks at all. He'll eat anything, buzzsaw through anything, and moves at whirlwind speed.Debut: "Devil May Hare" (1954), McKimson.Tropes related to Tasmanian Devil:
Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain: Against Bugs, anyway. He's shown as much more dangerous when he's faced with more minor characters, and though Daffy also beats him in their single short together, he has a much harder time accomplishing this.
Informed Species: He and his She-Devil mate look absolutely nothing like real Tasmanian devils, which are black-furred for a starter. The differences only get bigger from there.
A frog from The Gay Nineties is discovered by a man in modern times. Unfortunately, the frog acts as his Not-So-Imaginary Friend. Listed here as an honorable mention, as he only ever appeared in one cartoon, 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.Debut: "One Froggy Evening" (1955), Jones.Tropes related to Michigan J. Frog:
You Didn't Ask: Seems to be implied in Another Froggy Evening when met by Marvin the Martian, who can speak "Frog"/"Martian" and thus can just ask him to sing for him.
Early Characters/Secondary Characters
Bosko the Talk-Ink Kid
The original star character of the Warner Bros. cartoon studio, created by Hugh Harman and Rudolph Ising as the studios answer to Mickey Mouse. While Bosko had little to no personality, he was fairly popular during the early 30's. He later migrated with his creators to MGM in 1933, where he made a few more appearances (complete with a full on redesign into a black kid) in their Happy Harmonies cartoons before being abandoned altogether. He managed to make one last appearance in the Tiny Toon Adventures episode "Fields of Honey", although he was redesigned to have dog ears, obviously due to the stir it would cause seeing a cartoon caricature of a black person in today's society.Debut: "Bosko, the Talk-Ink Kid" (1929)Tropes:
A shamelessMickey Mouse clone made by former Disney employee Rudolph Ising to be the headlining star of the Merrie Melodies series. Appearance and personality was nearly indistinguishable from Mickey, although Foxy was noticably more agressive. Only lasted for three shorts, as Walt Disney quickly got wind of the ripoff and personally asked Rudy to stop using him. He DID made a brief return in the Tiny Toon Adventures episode Two-Tone Town, however.Debut: Lady, Play Your Mandolin! (1931)Tropes:
Retraux: The episode of Tiny Toons he appeared in, along with his girlfriend Roxy, served as a throwback to cartoons from The Golden Age of Animation, right down to everything being in black & white.
A Captain Ersatz of Foxy after legal issues forced the former character into early retirement. Like all of Harman and Ising's characters, he was nondescript in personality. He made two appearances in the Merrie Melodies series, in "You Don't Know What You're Doin'" and "Hittin' The Trail for Hallelujah Land". On another note, another character appeared a few years later that was also called Piggy in the Friz Freleng cartoon "Pigs is Pigs", although this character was a gluttonous little kid who had nothing in common with this earlier character.Debut: "You Don't Know What You're Doin'!"
A happy go lucky pianist with loads of talent and a real crowd stealer. Has an slight resemblance to Goofy, but in this case, Goopy Geer came about a month before Goofy (or, Dippy Dawg as he was known then) appeared in "Mickey's Revue." Only lasted four shorts and was the last attempt of the original Harman and Ising operated animation studio to make an original character. However, he also make a brief comeback along with Foxy in Tiny Toon AdventuresTwo-Tone Town.Debut: Goopy Geer (1932)
One of several characters made by Friz Freleng in a desperate attempt to reinvigorate their studio, Beans the Cat was meant to be the big star of the studio—only for that position to go to Beans' sidekick, Porky Pig. Beans was initially somewhat popular, likely because he had a rebellious streak that Buddy was sorely lacking, but as that aspect of his personality faded, so did his popularity.Debut: "I Haven't Got a Hat" (1935, Freleng)
Flat Character: He had at least something resembling a personality when directed by Freleng, or in his sole outing for Tex Avery. Unfortunately, Jack King (who directed most of his shorts) tended to play him as a feline version of Buddy, ensuring that he got eclipsed by Porky.
Debut: "I Haven't Got a Hat" (1935, Freleng)The fifth member of Friz's group of characters for "I Haven't Got a Hat". Served as a love interest for Beans on one occasion, as well as the daughter of Porky Pig in one short.
Created as an attempt to serve as a comic foil for Porky Pig, Gabby Goat was a short tempered jerk that was essentially the Looney Tunes answer to Donald Duck in terms of character. However, audiences found him too unlikable to be a hit, and in order for his chemistry with Porky to work, the latter character had to be derailed into a bumbling idiot, which was a no go, so Gabby was quickly phased out, with Daffy Duck serving as Porky's more appropriate foil later down the road. (Which is telling when "Porky's Badtime Story" was remade as "Tick Tock Tuckered" years later, with Gabby replaced by Daffy.)Debut: "Porky & Gabby" (1937, Ub Iwerks)
"You don't have to be crazy to do this, but it sure helps!"
Originally created by Ben Hardaway as a Captain Ersatz for Daffy Duck, this rabbit character shares many of the same traits as Daffy, but also serves as a very early prototype for the later, more fleshed out Bugs Bunny. But wheras Bugs was more defensive, Genre Savvy and collected, this wild hare was loaded with motivation and energy and went out causing trouble on sheer principle, although Hare-Um Scare-Um showed us that he could be just as resourceful as the later Bugs. This prototype appeared in five shorts: "Porky's Hare Hunt", "Hare-Um Scare-Um", "Presto Change-o", "Patient Porky" (in the opening) and "Elmers Candid Camera".When Hardaway left Warner Bros. for the Walter Lantz cartoon studio, he would later take the traits of this character and use them to create Lantz's biggest star of the 40's, Woody Woodpecker.Debut: "Porky's Hare Hunt" (1938, Ben Hardaway)
Hammer Space: One distinguishing trait this character had was that he could pull objects out of thin air like magic in "Presto Change-O" and "Hare-Um Scare-Um", something that would be integrated into the fully realized Bugs Bunny.
Jerkass: Especially in "Elmer's Candid Camera", where the Proto-Bugs heckled poor Elmer just because he was taking pictures of wild life. He was probably the reason why Elmer took up hunting in the first place.
Mad Hatter: In "Hare Um Scare Um", he is unabashably crazy, and proud of it.
Pint-Sized Powerhouse: He was very small in his first three appearances, but very strong and fast. "Elmer's Candid Camera" brought him up to about as tall as Elmer, however.
Super Strength: A mild example, but in Porky's Hare Hunt, he snapped Porky's rifle like a twig.
Sniffles The Mouse
This early creation of Chuck Jones is a ridiculously cute, naive little mouse that often obliviously wandered into danger's way. As the shorts transitioned into zanier humor, attempts were made to evolve Sniffles accordingly, Flanderizing him into a Karmic Trickster with a Motor Mouth, though the character was ultimately phased out (though still had a healthy run in the comics.) His motor mouth version made a brief speaking appearance in Space Jam.Debut: "Naughty But Mice" (1939), Jones.Tropes:
Slow paced (but quick-witted) turtle that rivals Bugs Bunny. One of the few characters to consistently defeat Bugs, in shorts that were based on the fable The Tortoise and The Hare.Debut: "Tortoise Beats Hare" (1941)Tropes:
Manipulative Bastard: He's played Bugs like a chump every single time. His most notable accomplishment is tricking Bugs into effectively dressing as a tortoise himself, which draws the ire of rabbit mobsters.
Not So Invincible After All: In "Rabbit Transit", he actually has a tougher time with Bugs, even getting visibly frustrated when he manages to heckle him back. Bugs actually defeats him this time round, though Cecil happily settles for a moral victory.
An absentminded buzzard who lives with his momma in the distant desert. Appeared in three shorts. Came back as a background regular in Space Jam, and made a cameo in "Looney Tunes: Back in Action".Debut: "Bugs Bunny Gets the Boid" (1942)
Driven to Suicide: In "Cheese Chasers", they overindulge in a cheese factory and get sick of the stuff, so they figure they have nothing left to live for and throw themselves to Claude Cat. Claude thinks there's something off about mice wanting to get eaten and becomes frightened of them, so he figures there's nothing left for him to live for, and goes to the dog to get himself killed. The dog, trying to figure the whole thing out, has a breakdown of his own and is last seen running afther the dog catcher.
Took a Level in Jerkass: After his run with Hubie and Bertie ended, he became a jealous foil for Frisky Puppy and Pussyfoot.
Hyperactive and incredibly clingy mutt that is constantly searching for a home and master. With mannerisms not distant from those of a slick-talking salesman, Charlie goes to extremes to be accepted by his potential master (usually Porky Pig) who are often equally determined to get him off their backs. Debut: "Little Orphan Airdale" (1947), Jones (Note however that the plot and character seems to be heavily based on that of the earlier "Porky's Pooch" (1941), Clampett)Debut: "Little Orphan Airdale" (1947) note Though if you count the character he was created to be an expy of, his actual debut is "Porky's Pooch" (1941).Tropes:
The Cameo: Made an appearance in "Dog Tales". However, this appearance was mostly recycled from "Often an Orphan".
Genre Savvy: At the beginning of Often an Orphan, his previous owner tricks him by luring him away during a game of fetch and then drives off, abandoning him on the side of a road. At the very end when Porky apparently caves in and adopts Charlie, Porky attempts the same trick, but Charlie easily sees through it and abandons Porky on the side of a road instead.
Loveable Rogue: Though like Daffy, he can act less than loveable in his schemes at times.
Rule of Three: Each of his shorts with Porky has a scene where the Pig attempts to mail him off to a different part of the world, but it never works.
Small Name, Big Ego: Claims to have all sorts of skills and abilities as the perfect dog. In reality, he's a worthless mutt.
Expy: Originally, Ralph had significant differences from Wile E (Earlier shorts show different feet, more tail, etc) but since they had a similar faces, later animators became lazy and started drawing them the same way.