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The Main Duo
Voiced by: Maurice LaMarche
A genetically altered lab mouse with a large head who plans to - you guessed it - Take Over the World.
Tropes associated with The Brain:
- Affably Evil: Definitely affable but, depending on whether you consider trying to Take Over the World evil, generally doesn't veer into evil very often though.
- Anti-Villain: A hybrid of this and Anti-Hero. See Well-Intentioned Extremist below.
- Are You Pondering What I'm Pondering?: I think so Trope Namer, but what does having a TvTropes article have to do with taking over the world?
- Awesomeness by Analysis: You wouldn't think it by looking at him, but if a physical action or sport can be reduced down to physics/mathematics, Brain can do it flawlessly.
- Bad Bad Acting: Doesn't act so much as read his lines.
- His physical acting is just fine though - in "Brain's Song", he bounces a lemon-football around like a basketball during a live broadcast, and in "Cinebrainia" he essentially becomes a silent-film comedy actor this way.
- Berserk Button: Downplayed in the sense that he doesn't go blind with rage, but there are two things that he will give top priority to - saving Pinky, and stopping Snowball.
- Big Guy, Little Guy: The Little Guy to Pinky's Big Guy. Brain's not any weaker than Pinky though, and gives him credit where it's due.
- Big "YES!": Essentially what one of his Catch Phrases is.
- Break the Haughty: This Old Mouse.
- Byronic Hero
- Cartoony Tail: He has a tail like a real mouse, except it is kinked in a way that it looks like stair steps.
- Catch Phrase:
- City Mouse: Becomes The Load in outdoor and non-technical situations.
- The Comically Serious
- Creative Sterility: Seems to be a pet worry of his, bordering on Adult Fear. A couple of episodes focus on him worrying about how he can't come up with a new plan.
- Deadpan Snarker: Seems he can't tell a normal joke though.
- The Determinator: Tonight's plan failed? Start planning for tomorrow night. Repeat as needed.
- Ditzy Genius: His plans are quite brilliant, but lack common sense.
- Evil Albino: Even though he has black pupils, though he is not that evil.
- Evil Genius: Averted, in a couple of ways - he is a genius, but Brain works for himself and was never particularly evil (he'll take direct action against actual evil) - but we don't have "Anti-hero Genius" as a trope yet.
- Even Evil Has Standards:
- His refusal to sell his soul for world domination in the Halloween Special. Usually an aversion, since he was never particularly evil to being with, and has enough scruples that he doesn't need Pinky to be a Morality Pet... most of the time.
- One Very Special Episode against smoking has Brain playing Brainy The Elf, a spokesman for the tobacco industry, who use him as a mascot to get children to smoke. While he initially planned to put an additive in the tobacco as part of a plan to take over the world, he has a My God, What Have I Done? when he sees children about to start smoking, and turns against the tobacco industry.
- Fatal Flaw: His lack of common sense. He has a few other glaring flaws, but this is what kills the nightly plan the most.
- Four Legs Good, Two Legs Better: Walks and runs upright as a rule, even in the mouse wheel.
- Freudian Excuse:
- Being taken from his home and family when he was younger. Where were they living? A can with a globe (ie, the world) on it.
- As a lab mouse, he's subject to testing; in "Where No Mouse Has Gone Before" at least, he holds a mild grudge over this.
- Friendly Enemy: At least tries to be this to Snowball. It never works though.
- Gadgeteer Genius: Brain's strongest suit. Quite often, the gadget or means to world domination is assumed to be an automatic success, and their 'twilight campaign' is typically the duo filling in a minor cog in the plan. However, it only applies to gadgets - take away his lab access, and he's completely lost.
- Glad I Thought of It: Averted...? Though he will criticize the original comment as being unhelpful or irrelevant, quite a few plans are Brain's extrapolation(s) of something Pinky said, and he's more than happy to dole out credit for it.
- Grumpy Bear
- Guile Hero: ...Hero might be pushing it a little, but he shows a clear preference for plans involving as little physical violence as possible, with (temporary) Mind Control and other forms of influence being favorites.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Pinky, and he knows it.
- Hidden Heart of Gold
- Hoist by His Own Petard: The nightly plan usually fails because something he did boomerangs on him, such as trusting Pinky with a crucial part of the plan (more common early on), or some minor detail turns out to be a lynchpin.
- Indy Ploy: Averted. Brain's not all that good at dealing with a Spanner in the Works he didn't account for (separate from his lack of common sense), though this is due to an element he couldn't have predicted as often as it is just him dismissing something as irrelevant. In some cases, the plan gets as far as it does on sheer dumb luck.
- Insufferable Genius
- Iron Butt Monkey: Usually gets it worse than Pinky.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: It's implied that he does have a small soft spot for Pinky deep down. And by 'implied', we mean 'all but publicly stated with a megaphone from the rooftops'. (It's most obvious when he thinks he might have accidentally hurt or killed Pinky through a device.) Multiple times he has stated his conquests as "our", and though he repeatedly snarks at Pinky he would go out of his way to help him, even if it means aborting every single plan.
- Kavorka Man: Has no trouble attracting women when playing a human.
- Large Ham: His voice actor described Brain as "65% Orson Welles, 35% Vincent Price."
- Laughably Evil: To a large extent, even though he's The Comically Serious. To quote him, "I am not devoid of humor."
- Let's Get Dangerous
- Meaningful Name
- The Napoleon: He has his moments
- Noble Demon: Wants to conquer the world to make it a place of kindness, equality and happiness for all.
- No Celebrities Were Harmed:
- Paper-Thin Disguise: When not using a mech suit as part of it, a lot of his human disguises are just himself with a wig. Even with the suits, the head is just him with a wig.
- Parental Abandonment: One episode gave it as his Freudian Excuse. He meets them again in another episode; it doesn't exactly work out.
- Sarcastic Confession: Quite often, Brain will be forthright with people that he and Pinky are lab mice scheming to take over the world. Whoever he says this to thinks he's just joking around (and that's probably what he intends).
- Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness: He can speak in layman's terms when he wants to (he switches over when dealing with people as part of the nightly plan), and Pinky understands him just fine most of the time. It's only gotten in the way of a plan when he tried to be a stand-up comedian - even then, he became popular as a highbrow insult comic.
- Shorter Means Smarter
- Sophisticated as Hell: He doesn't dabble in this too often, but it's there. "Opportunity Knox" provides this little gem when they take the Lab's van:Brain: Now Pinky, let us, in their vernacular, take this hog out on the road and show who's boss.
- Take Over the World: He tries to, but always fails.
- Technical Pacifist: There's any number of explanations for it, but Brain's plans rarely involve direct physical harm for anyone, even when that would greatly simplify things.
- TV Genius: Averted. Though he's a brilliant engineer and scientist, he clearly has social skills (as well as a low tolerance for stupidity), and is sometimes seen studying.
- Villain Protagonist: Could be interpreted this way, though he's rarely out-and-out villainous.
- Vitriolic Best Buds: Brain supplies all the vitriol, Pinky cheerfully thinks (rightly) that they're best buds.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist:
- It's not often you get a character who wants to Take Over the World so he can change it for the better, but there you go.
- This was a bit of Character Development on Brain's part; the notion of making the world better was a result of events in the episode "Megalomaniacs Anonymous"...and even then, he's still doing it just a little for his own ego.
- Even before that, there's every indication that he plans to rule the world far more benevolently than Snowball.
- There are even quite a few implications that if he succeeded the world actually would be better off — in the Freakazoid! episode "Freakazoid is History," Freakazoid inadvertedly changes history and finds himself in a world where the Brain is president of the United States and the world is better off for it — among other things, cold fusion works and Sharon Stone is a good actress.
- Workaholic: The other side of being a Determinator, and occasionally to an uncomfortable degree. ("This Old Mouse" points out that he's around 2 years old, and can expect to reach 4.)
Voiced by: Rob Paulsen
The Brain's goofy assistant.
Tropes associated with Pinky:
- Anti-Hero: An example of Classical Anti-Hero.
- Anti-Villain: The only reason he's a villain at all is because he helps Brain.
- Attention Deficit... Ooh, Shiny!: Much more common earlier on, but continues to play a large role in his side of the 'Are You Pondering What I'm Pondering?' exchange, apparently.
- Bad Bad Acting: Not averted so much as downplayed - he's better with a role of the two. "Brain's Song" even has him juggling two roles, narrator, stagehand, and carpenter duties.
- Big Guy, Little Guy: Big Guy to Brain's Little Guy. Not any stronger than Brain, though.
- Break the Cutie: The Christmas episode, The Halloween Episode, That Smarts and The Pink Candidate to name a few episodes. He can easily go from Plucky Comic Relief to Woobie under the right conditions.
- Bumbling Sidekick: Though Brain clearly trusts him as an assistant, and they both think of it as a partnership/friendship anyway.
- Catchphrase: "I think so Brain, but [*improvises idea that has nothing to do with taking over the world*]" after Brain's Are You Pondering What I'm Pondering?.
- Cloudcuckoolander: In particular, he has a tendancy to bring up celebrities at random.
- Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass
- The Cutie: In contrast to Brain, he's usually cheerful and lovable.
- A Dog Named "Dog": The less obvious version - "pinkie" is a term for a newborn mouse (or other rodent), due to their lack of fur at birth.
- The Dragon: Generally The Lancer, as his Cloudcuckoolander status makes him a less than useful Dragon.
- Dumbass Has a Point: Often thinks to ask logical questions about the logistics of a plan. Brain will usually have thought of that himself, but props to Pinky for not needing to be prompted.
- Dumb Is Good: Though, when events conspire to make him 'smarter' than usual, he doesn't get any less good.
- First-Person Perspective: One episode is done entirely from Pinky's literal point of view, revealing that Pinky's flights of fancy take on literal form in his eyes (for instance, Pinky ruminates about hippos when listening to Brain. Brain turns into a hippo). Capped by a first-person perspective view of what it is like to be blasted out of the Space Needle.
- Four Legs Good, Two Legs Better: Usually walks upright, but runs on all fours in the mouse wheel.
- Genius Ditz: The theme song doesn't specify which one of them is the genius or insane... But in a more literal sense, Pinky's wide-ranging knowledge of pop culture (current and past) comes in handy from time to time - and he supplies them with no hesitation whatsoever. It's worth noting that, by mouse standards, Pinky is genuinely a genius: he's capable of speech, tool use, and higher-level reasoning. It's just that, by human standards (to say nothing of the Brain's standards), he's kind of a dim bulb.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Brain.
- Hidden Depths:
- Most of the time he's goofy and hyperactive, but has a strong moral compass that shows on occasion. Particularly when he became president of the U.S for one episode and turned Brain down when he tried to get him to abuse some of his new powers because "it would go against everything I've come to stand for."
- Besides that, while he doesn't have Brain's sheer intelligence, he is still keenly observant and humanistic, and by far the more grounded of the two.
- You wouldn't think being easygoing and adaptable would ever be useful, but it saves their lives in "Welcome to the Jungle" - Pinky manages to come up with stone age-level solutions to being trapped outside, while Brain is reduced to complete reliance.
- Indy Ploy: Pinky's fast talking has been the only thing keeping the plan going on many, many occasions.
- Innocent Blue Eyes
- Interspecies Romance: With Pharfignewton (a horse), of course, but also with a sea lion and a pig in other episodes (unsuccessfully).
- Iron Butt Monkey: Of course, Pinky doesn't really mind when Brain bops him on the head, so perhaps he's okay with it.
- Kindhearted Simpleton
- Mad Libs Catchphrase: "I think so Brain, but [*improvises idea that has nothing to do with taking over the world*]" after Brain's Are You Pondering What I'm Pondering?.
- The Millstone:
- On occasion, though Brain's plans tend to fall apart without outside help. Early on in the Animaniacs segments, he tended to be the latter far more often; by the time of the series, he's rarely even The Load.
- Brain at one point makes a calculation that it's always Pinky's fault that his schemes fail, so he uses an intelligence-enhancing device to make Pinky smarter. Pinky uses this newfound intellect to point out that it's Brain's nonsensical plans that are doomed to fail in the first place.
- Minion with an F in Evil: He's just too ditzy and sweethearted to realize that hanging around someone who wants to Take Over the World doesn't put you on the side of good.
- Morality Pet: On the rare occasions Brain's megalomania gets the better of him.
- Nice Mice: Between the two, he balances them out to this.
- Nice Guy: One of the nicest.
- Noble Demon: Downplayed. His demeanor isn't evil to begin with.
- Obfuscating Stupidity: There are hints that Pinky is actually very intelligent, the genius in the opening theme song, but his poor connection with reality and the fact that he's quite content with his lot in life hides it too well.
- Plucky Comic Relief
- Simpleton Voice
- Tender Tears: Despite his cheerful personality, he cries fairly easily.
- Too Dumb to Live: In the Animaniacs Stew episode "Pinky And The Cat", he gets devoured by Rita and enjoys it!
- Too Kinky to Torture: "This is more fun than the coat-me-in-peanut-butter-and-shove-me-in-the-anthill game!"
- Undying Loyalty: To Brain, for the most part.
- Verbal Tic: Narf! Zort! Egad! Poit! Troz!
- Villain Protagonist: Downplayed - he's villainous only by association.
- Vocal Evolution: Pinky's speech impediment is more pronounced in the earliest segments. His voice is also a notch lower in the earlier Animaniacs segments.
- The Watson: Grows into this as the show progresses. Brain is aware of this, and will occasionally rework the plan based on Pinky's observations.
- Wholesome Crossdresser
Voiced by: Roddy Mc Dowall
A hamster who was put through the same gene splicer as the mice and also schemes to Take Over the World, but does not intend on making it a better place like Brain would. As such, he is The Rival to the Brain. Was eventually changed back to an ordinary hamster in his last appearance.
Tropes associated with Snowball:
- Brought Down to Normal
- The Caligula
- Evil Brit
- Evil Counterpart: To Brain, and evil enough that Brain will drop everything to stop him.
- Evil Genius
- Faux Affably Evil
- Fluffy the Terrible
- From Nobody to Nightmare
- Killer Rabbit
- Knight of Cerebus: Snowball-centric episodes are always darker.
- Perpetual Frowner
- Rival Turned Evil
- Sanity Slippage
- Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness
Voiced by: Tress MacNeille
Another genetically altered lab mouse that Brain sometimes romantically pursued, despite her being as ditzy as Pinky. (Does This Remind You of Anything?)
Tropes associated with Billie:
- Distaff Counterpart: To Pinky.
- Genius Ditz
- Love Dodecahedron: Between her, Brain, Pinky, Pharfignewton and Snowball. Specifically, both Brain and Snowball love her, but she has a crush on Pinky, who in turn is in love with Pharfignewton.
PharfignewtonA grey and white race mare (female horse) whom Pinky fell in love with in the segment "The Kentucky Derby". She reciprocates his feelings, but sadly, they come from different worlds... not to mention different biological orders. The relationship between them obviously Squicks Brain.
Tropes associated with Pharfignewton:
- Interspecies Romance: With Pinky (a mouse).Brain (impatiently): Pinky, you are a mouse. That is a horse.Pinky: Oh, now don't start that again, Brain...
- Nearly Normal Animal
- The Voiceless
Roman Numeral 1 "Romy"
Voiced by: Maurice LaMarche (as an infant), Rob Paulsen (as an adult)
A clone of both Brain and Pinky created from their combined DNA. (Does This Remind You of Anything?)
Tropes associated with Romy:
- Cloning Blues
- Deadpan Snarker
- Does This Remind You of Anything?: Romy's "birth" in the episode "Brinky".
- Interspecies Romance: with Pat "the Bunny" (a human).
- Mix-and-Match Man: He looks like a cross between Pinky and Brain.
- Attention Deficit... Ooh, Shiny!: They make Pinky seem focused.
- Cloud Cuckoo Lander: It's clear where Pinky gets it from... if anything, his parents are worse.
- Companion Cube: "She's" a spool of thread.
Voiced by: Billy West
A dopey chubby mouse with frizzy hair that sticks out in the sides like Larry Fine of the Three Stooges. He accompanied the duo during one of their schemes, doing little except constantly introducing himself and providing useless observations. Eventually, Brain tires of him and tells him to leave. He later joins up with Paul Simon.
Tropes associated with Larry:
- Captain Ersatz: Of Larry, naturally.
- Catch Phrase: "Hi there!", "Hello!", and "I'm Larry!"
- Furry Baldness: He has tufts of hair around his head implying baldness even though his body's covered in white fur like Brain and Pinky.
- Green Eyes
- Here We Go Again: Finally, Brain managed to get rid of "Larry", and be just a duo with Pinky again. Now it's time to take over the world, without Larry... and the scientist opens the cage and introduces a new mouse, Zeppo. And Here We Go Again
- My Friends... and Zoidberg:Brain: Tonight's plan is my masterpiece, Pinky... and, ugh, Larry.Larry: Hi there!Pinky: I like the lines, Brain, and, ugh, LarryLarry: I'm Larry!(and it goes on the whole episode like that)
- No Celebrities Were Harmed: Larry from The Three Stooges
- Remember the New Guy: The one episode featuring him treats him as if he always was part of the main cast.
- Shoo Out the New Guy:Brain: It's all about teamwork. That special chemistry. The Yin and the Yang.Larry: And Larry!Brain: No, that's it! It's just yin and yang! There shouldn't be a Larry!Pinky: Zort! Am I the yin or the yang?Brain: I don't know, Pinky. But he is definitely the Larry!
Voiced by: Pamela HaydenA black-haired mouse from the black and white Pinky and the Brain episode, "The Third Mouse."
Voiced by: Diane Michelle
Russian lab mouse and rival to Pinky and the Brain in "To Russia With Lab Mice".
- Humanoid Female Animal: Has a curvaceous body and looks notably more humanoid than Pinky and Brain.
- Petting Zoo Person: She pretty much looks human from the neck down.
- Politically Incorrect Villain: "You Americans are so fond of being in charge."
Voiced by: Jeff Bennett
The scientist who built the gene splicer that turned Brain, Pinky, and Snowball into their anthropomorphic forms. Appears only in part 3 of "Brainwashed".
Tropes associated with Dr. Mordough:
- The Smart Guy
- Named After Somebody Famous: Sort of. Sounds like Dr. Moreau
- No Celebrities Were Harmed: He's a blatant parody of Marlon Brando.
The Evil Clown
Tropes associated with The Evil Clown:
- The Dragon: To Precious
- Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": His name is never given. In fact, his name was shown only on Kids' WB!'s website.
- Monster Clown
- The Voiceless
Voiced by: Nora Dunn
Dr. Mordough's cat who was the Diabolical Mastermind of the scheme the mice had to foil in "Brainwashed". Like the mice, she too gained brainpower from the gene splicer, but lost her feline beauty and swore vengeance on humanity as a result.
Tropes associated with Precious:
- Cats Are Mean: Though originally averted.
- Omnicidal Maniac: Unlike Brain or Snowball, she just wants to destroy humanity and bring everything to ruin out of anger and has no intention of ruling anything.
- Partially Civilized Animal
- Roaring Rampage of Revenge
Voiced by: Jeff BennettA humanoid alien who scouts planets to eat the being with the highest intellect's brain, he attempts to steal Brain's after sending him an email promising to help him take over the world, after his defeat he decides to settle for Dick Cavett's.
Tropes associated with Zalgar:
Pinky, Elmyra and the Brain Characters
Voiced by: Cree SummerThe annoying redhead from Tiny Toon Adventures. She turned up to chase the Warners in one of their segments, but is listed here because of her being shoehorned into Pinky and the Brain. See Tiny Toon Adventures for her tropes.
Mr. Pussy Wussy
Voiced by: Frank WelkerElmyra Duff's pet cat.
Tropes associated with Mr. Pussy Wussy:
- All Animals Are Dogs: He started out as a cat hungry for Pinky and the Brain (because, you know, they're mice). But then came "The Cat Who Cried Woof," where Brain turned him into a dog. And he stayed that way for the rest of the series, averting Status Quo Is God.
- Suspiciously Similar Substitute: To Furrball.
Mr. ShellbuttElmyra Duff's pet turtle.
Tropes associated with Mr. Shellbutt:
- Suspiciously Similar Substitute: To Tyrone Turtle. Also appears to be this to Byron Basset, since he's the other most frequently seen pet from Furrball.
Voiced by: Nancy Cartwright
A fat slob who replaced Montana Max as Elmyra's love interest in Pinky, Elmyra and the Brain. Has the hots for Brain's occasional alter-ego, Patty Ann.
Tropes associated with Rudy:
- Attractive Bent-Gender: He falls for Brain's Patty Ann persona.
- Even Evil Has Loved Ones: He may be a jerk, but he seems to care for his snake Tunk (pictured next to him).
- Expy: He is a copy of Nelson Muntz. He's a troublesome jerk and even has the same voice actor.
- Jerkass: He's completely rude to everyone he meets.
- Meaningful Name: Well, he is rude.
- Pet the Dog: At the end of "Party Night", he lets Elmyra walk with him on his way home.
- Replacement Love Interest: Elmyra must have moved on from Montana Max. Lucky him.
- Suspiciously Similar Substitute: He doesn't like Elmyra any more than Max did.
Voiced by: Jane Wiedlin
Tropes associated with Vanity:
- Alpha Bitch: Well, with a name like Vanity...
- Blondes Are Evil: Not exactly evil, but she often manipulates Elmyra for her own ends.
- No Celebrities Were Harmed: Vanna White.
Voiced by: Jeff Bennett
The seldom-seen antagonist of Pinky, Elmyra and the Brain, he is a man pursuing the mice to use in his own world domination schemes.
Tropes associated with Wally:
- Advertised Extra: He only appears a handful of times even though he's seen in the show's intro.
- Big Bad: He is the closest thing Pinky, Elmyra & the Brain has to a recurring antagonist, even though we barely see him.
- Determinator: The opening shows how persistent he is in checking on the mice he needs for world domination. So persistent that they "had to flee constantly, needing a place to hide".
- Early-Bird Cameo: Sort of. Christopher Walken has made at least a couple appearances on Pinky and the Brain before this guy appeared.
- Evil-Detecting Dog: Okay, evil-detecting cat, but still, a nearby alley cat sees Wally, and yowls in fear.
- Greater Scope Villain: The Circle as a whole could qualify under this, as it's suggested that he's just an agent, not their leader, but it's hard to tell.
- Knight of Cerebus: Reflected in the opening of the show. Elmyra's house and her surroundings are bright and colorful, but Wally Faust is almost always seen as a shadowy silhouette, and his surroundings are much darker. The few episodes featuring him also tend to be notably more serious in tone.
- Manipulative Bastard: He tried to manipulate Brain into a trap. Tried to, but he came kinda close.
- No Celebrities Were Harmed: He is clearly modeled after and talks like Christopher Walken.
- Ominous Latin Chanting: His presence is accompanied by this. Well, sort of. They're really saying things like "gingivitis," "lactose," and "gluteus maximus".
- Series Continuity Error: In the show's opening, Pinky and the Brain clearly know who Wally Faust is and what he wants with them, yet in his debut episode, they act like don't know who he is or what he wants with them until it came to Brain's "cheese ray". Their ignorance made it easy for Wally to almost lure them into his trap. Well, that's what happens when you take candy from strangers.
- Verbal Tic: He likes to say "crisply" in his sentences.