Knock on wood! (taps on branch)
-Woody Woodpecker, in his early Cloudcuckoolander persona.
"Is this trip really necessary? Sure it's necessary! I'm a necessary evil!"
—Woody, from the opening of Ration Bored, in his more Jerkass persona.
Debut: Knock Knock (1940)
- Alliterative Name: His first and last names both begin with W.
- Animated Actor: As shown by the live-action segments of the original Woody Woodpecker Show.
- Arch-Nemesis: Wally Walrus, Buzz Buzzard, Gabby Gator and Ms. Meany. It's not the full list of the enemies he got over the series' lifespan, but those are probably his best known ones.
- Art Evolution: Woody's early appearance looked like a bizarre, ghoulish mix of a woodpecker and a ragdoll. He eventually got streamlined into more handsome and cuter designs from the mid 40's and onward.
- Attractive Bent-Gender: He's done crossdressing on a handful of occasions, and he's just as effective with it as Bugs Bunny.
- Big Eater: Woody's appetite was a frequent source of many plots.
- Breakout Character: Woody originally appeared in an Andy Panda short in an attempt by Lantz to deliberately invoke this trope. It worked.
- Captain Ersatz: Of Daffy Duck and the rabbit from "Porky's Hare Hunt", with some traces of Bugs Bunny in the earliest shorts. These aspects were dropped later on, and Woody became more of a playful trickster and foil character in the vein of Donald Duck and Barney Bear.
- The Cameo: Woody made a cameo alongside in the ending of Who Framed Roger Rabbit.
- Catch-Phrase: "Guess Who? Ha ha ha HA HA, ha ha ha HA HA, ha ha ha HA HA, hehehehehehehe!"
- Characterization Marches On: In the newer cartoons, Woody is much more relaxed than in his early shorts, where was a manic heckler.
- Composite Character: Originally a hybrid of Daffy Duck and Bugs Bunny in his earliest persona, but became a Screwy Squirrel and Donald Duck hybrid when Dick Lundy took over the shorts.
- The Determinator: Once Woody sets his mind on a goal, no force on Earth will stop him.
- Flight: Being a avian, Woody is very much capable of flying, although this ability was usually dropped after the early shorts in favor of him using Super Speed.
- Jerkass: Particularly in the shorts directed by Shamus Culhane.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: In later years.
- Karma Houdini: Happened very frequently in the early shorts.
- Nominal Hero: In his earliest shorts, he messed with people for no reason and often got away with it.
- Paper-Thin Disguise: Makes use of this several times.
- Took a Level in Jerkass: The Culhane shorts.
- Villain Protagonist: While it's a huge stretch to call Woody evil, he was by no means a paragon of virtue in his loonier days. He was often a selfish, self-serving troublemaker who wasn't above harassing or hurting other people to get what he wants. However, whether Woody is an Anti-Hero, a trickster or a villain really depends on the short and the time period in the character's history. However, while many shorts portrayed him as causing trouble for others around him, be it knowingly (stealing gas, heckling Papa Panda by tearing holes in his roof, breaking into a hotel owned by Wally Walrus, etc.) or just out of carelessness or ignorance, he is seldom portrayed as malicious and is more mischievous and playful or just irritated by his hapless foes and he rarely instigated the conflicts in the first place. And in the 50's shorts and onward, and in The New Woody Woodpecker Show, he was given more sympathetic qualities.
- Wholesome Crossdresser: In "Chew Chew Baby", "Drooler's Delight" and "The Woody Woodpecker Polka".
Debut: The Beach Nut (1944)
- Voiced by: Jack Mather (1944-48), Will Wright (The Reckless Driver), Dallas McKennon (What's Sweepin'), Billy West (The New Woody Woodpecker Show)
- Alliterative Name: First and last names both begin with the letter W.
- The Cameo: Wally made a cameo alongside Woody in the ending of Who Framed Roger Rabbit.
- Demoted to Extra: He was brought onto the "underdog" cast section when other characters that can be obviously referred to as bad guys, such as Buzz Buzzard, Dapper Denver Dooley and Dirty McNasty came up. At least not until The New Woody Woodpecker Show.
- Friendly Enemy: Sometimes to Woody in The New Woody Woodpecker Show.
- Funetik Aksent: Has a thick Swedish accent.
- Interspecies Romance: He's willing to date women who are birds.
- Leitmotif: My Bonnie Lies Over The Ocean has became one for Wally whenever he cooks or has dinner. The first instance of it, The Beach Nut, has both Woody singing this song and Wally happily humming it. Well, it could end there, but then he does the same thing in The Dippy Diplomat and Chew-Chew Baby.
- Rogues-Gallery Transplant: He antagonized fellow arctic character Chilly Willy in a few of his 60's shorts.
- Wily Walrus: An antagonistic, stuffy walrus who despises Woody.
Debut: Wet Blanket Policy (1948)
- Voiced by: Lionel Stander (1948-49), Dallas McKennon (1950-72), Mark Hamill (The New Woody Woodpecker Show)
- Alliterative Name: B is the first letter of both his given name and his surname.
- Captain Ersatz: Buzz is one of the Donald Duck character Ben Buzzard, a character director Dick Lundy created for the Donald Duck short The Flying Jalopy when he was working at Disney.
- Jerkass: Possibly the only character in the series who is more of this than Woody.
- Perma-Stubble: In the 40s, represented by the bottom part of his beak being darkened, as in the picture.
- They Killed Kenny: Several of the old cartoons ended up with him dying.
Debut: Real Gone Woody (1954)
- Voiced by: Grace Stafford (1954), BJ Ward (The New Woody Woodpecker Show)
- Adorkable: In the 1999-2002 series.
- Alliterative Name: Just like her boyfriend, her first and last names both begin with W.
- Art Evolution: Her post-Real Gone Woody design is just a slight tweak of Woody's design.
- Ascended Extra: Began as a one-shot character in the original shorts before being a regular character in The New Woody Woodpecker Show.
- Flat Character: Originally, her only role was for Woody Woodpecker and Buzz Buzzard to fight for her affection and she had very little characterization.
- Genki Girl: In the 1999-2002 series.
- Half-Dressed Cartoon Animal: In the 1999-2002 series, all she wears is a skirt and White Gloves.
- Non-Mammal Mammaries: She has breasts in her debut, but her redesign in The New Woody Woodpecker Show averts this, as by then she's basically Woody in a skirt.
- Tertiary Sexual Characteristics: Aside from wearing a skirt and having her head feathers bent forward, Winnie is nearly identical to Woody (in her post-"Real Gone Woody" appearances, however).
Knothead and Splinter
Debut: Get Lost (1956)note
- Canon Immigrant: The characters originally appeared in Lantz's New Funnies comics (1952-), but were later brought into the cartoons.
- Half-Dressed Cartoon Animal: Splinter is a rare female bird example of shirtless cartoon animal.
- Retcon: In the earliest comics, the kids were Nuthead (sic) and Splinter; both were boys; and the pair were Woody's adopted wards, not his relatives. First Splinter became a girl; then Nuthead became Knothead; then (in the cartoons) the pair became nephew and niece.
Ms. MeanyAn ugly, nasty, and occasionally smart-alecky old lady who often gets the better of Woody if he causes her trouble. First appeared late in the series, but became a regular very fast. Also a frequent player in The New Woody Woodpecker Show, often as Woody's short-tempered landlady.
Debut: Calling Dr. Woodpecker (1963)
- Voiced by: Grace Stafford (1963-72), Andrea Martin (The New Woody Woodpecker Show)
- Grande Dame: Occasionally, depending on the prestige of her job.
- Jerkass: Especially in Bye Bye Blackboard.
- Meaningful Name: "Meany" would be a rather fitting name for a person who isn't nice.
- New Job as the Plot Demands: Sometimes she works for a company or institution (she's a schoolteacher in Bye Bye Blackboard, a sheriff in Janie Get Your Gun); other times, she's just doing something on her own, such as birdwatching or archaeology.
- Old Maid: While the subject doesn't come up very often, an occasional New Woody Woodpecker episode features her looking for a date, sometimes Wally.
- Slapstick Knows No Gender: Not even she is safe from Woody's slapstick antics.
Debut: Life Begins For Andy Panda (1939)
- Voiced by: Bernice Hansen (1939-40), Sara Berner (1941-44), Walter Tetley (1945-49)
- Bratty Half-Pint: In his early appearances.
- The Cameo: On a poster in "Wet Blanket Policy" and in the opening of "The Woody Woodpecker Polka."
- Captain Ersatz: Andy's everyman incarnation seems to be one of Mickey Mouse.
- Jerkass: Shamus Culhane's very short lived take on the character in the short "The Painter and the Pointer".
- Ridiculously Cute Critter: In his baby appearances.
- Shared Universe: With Woody Woodpecker. Woody Woodpecker made his debut in one of his early cartoons, and both of them co-starred together in the short "Musical Moments from Chopin".
Debut: Chilly Willy (1953)
- Voiced by: Sara Berner (1953), Daws Butler (1954-62, 1969-72), Grace Stafford (1963-68), Frank Welker (The New Woody Woodpecker Show)
- Art Evolution: Initially, Chilly just looked like a Woody Woodpecker clone with flippers and black and white feathers. When he directed the second Chilly Willy short, Tex Avery created the much more distinct design that we know and love.
- Butt-Monkey: Not as much as his enemies though.
- The Generic Guy: He's adorable enough, but doesn't have much in the way of personality — which might be why he tends to be shoved Out of Focus for many of his cartoons, while his antagonists get most of the screen time.
- Better Chilly cartoons make him into a mischievous, almost demonic little squirt. Unfortunately, it's not done often enough.
- Misplaced Wildlife: He's a penguin from Alaska.
- Ridiculously Cute Critter: Even more so than Andy Panda. Just look at him!
- The Voiceless: Chilly frequently shifts between this and speaking.