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Characters: Pinky and the Brain
Characters from Pinky and the Brain.

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    The Main Duo 

The Brain

"I am a mind — a Brain! I am the Brain!"
A genetically altered lab mouse with a large head who plans to - you guessed it - Take Over the World (OF COURSE!). Voiced by Maurice LaMarche.
Tropes associated with The Brain:
  • Affably Evil: Definitely affable, but generally doesn't veer into evil very often though.
  • Anti-Hero/Anti-Villain: A hybrid of both. See Well-Intentioned Extremist below.
  • Anti-Villainous Albino
  • Are You Pondering What I'm Pondering?: The Trope Namer.
  • 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 "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: "Are You Pondering What I'm Pondering?"?
    • "Yes!"
    • "I'm going to have to hurt you."
  • 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 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.
    • It also 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: Usually downplayed, at least on the 'insufferable' side. He's certainly a genius, but not a braggart, and he understands people well enough to give a good impression.
  • 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.)
    • Oh, he definitely cares. 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 Mouse: Has no trouble attracting women when playing a human.
  • Large Ham: His voice actor described Brain as "65% Orson Welles, 35% Vincent Price."
  • Let's Get Dangerous
  • Little Guy to Pinky's Big Guy: Brain's not any weaker than Pinky though, and gives him credit where it's due.
  • 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: Orson Welles. One segment even had Brain mimicking the "frozen peas" take.
    • Possibly Maximilien de Robespierre as well. Very similar personalities and goals to take over the world.
  • 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).
  • Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: Manly to Pinky's Sensitive.
  • 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.)

Pinky

The Brain's dim-witted assistant. Voiced by Rob Paulsen.
Tropes associated with Pinky:
  • Adorkable
  • Anti-Hero: Type I
  • Anti-Villain: The only reason he's a villain at all is because he helps Brain.
  • Anti-Heroic Albino
  • 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 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.
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: 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.
  • Cloud Cuckoo Lander
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass
  • The Cutie
  • 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/The Lancer: Generally the latter, as his Cloud Cuckoo Lander 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.
  • 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
  • Keet
  • Kindhearted Simpleton
  • The Load/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
  • 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.
  • Noble Demon: Downplayed. His demeanor isn't evil to begin with.
  • Pinky Has Standards
  • Plucky Comic Relief
  • Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: Sensitive to Brain's Manly.
  • Simpleton Voice
  • Tender Tears: Despite his cheerful personality, he cries fairly easily.
  • Too Kinky to Torture
  • 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

    Other Characters 

Snowball

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. Voiced by Roddy Mac Dowall.
Tropes associated with Snowball:

Billie

Another genetically altered lab mouse that Brain sometimes romantically pursued, despite her being as ditzy as Pinky. (Does This Remind You of Anything??) Voiced by Tress MacNeille.
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.





Pharfignewton

A 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:

Roman Numeral 1 "Romy"

A clone of both Brain and Pinky created from their combined DNA. (Does This Remind You of Anything?)
Tropes associated with Romy:

Brain's Parents


Tropes:

Pinky's Parents


Tropes:

Pinky's "Sister"


Tropes:

Larry

"Hi there! I'm the one named Larry."
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. He was voiced by Billy West.


Tropes associated with Larry:

Trudy

A black-haired mouse from the black and white Pinky and the Brain episode, "The Third Mouse."

Tropes:

Mousey Galore

Russian lab mouse and rival to Pinky and the Brain in "To Russia With Lab Mice".
Tropes:




Dr. Mordough

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 Evil Clown

Precious's confidant.
Tropes associated with The Evil Clown:









Precious

Dr. Mordough's cat who was the Evil 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. Voiced by Nora Dunn.
Tropes associated with Precious:




Zalgar

A 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. Voiced by Jeff Bennett.
Tropes associated with Zalgar:

    Pinky, Elmyra and the Brain Characters 

Elmyra Duff

The 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. Voiced by Cree Summer. See Tiny Toon Adventures for her tropes.

Mr. Pussy Wussy

Elmyra Duff's pet cat.
Tropes associated with Mr. Pussy Wussy:

Mr. Shellbutt

Elmyra Duff's pet turtle.
Tropes associated with Mr. Shellbutt:

Rudy Mookich

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. Voiced by Nancy Cartwright.
Tropes associated with Rudy:

Vanity White


Tropes associated with Vanity:











Wally Faust

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. Voiced by Jeff Bennett.
Tropes associated with Wally:
AnimaniacsCharacters/Western AnimationThe Ant and the Aardvark

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