->'''Bart Simpson:''' You invented Itchy? The ''Itchy & Scratchy'' Itchy?\\
'''[[NoCelebritiesWereHarmed Chester Lampwick]]:''' Sure. In fact, I invented the whole concept of cartoon violence. Before I came along, all cartoon animals did was play the ukulele. I changed all that.
-->-- ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'', "The Day the Violence Died" (1996)

Frederick Bean "Tex" Avery (February 26, 1908 August 26, 1980) is widely considered the original animated cartoon gag-man, famous for employing [[WildTake wild takes]], BreakingTheFourthWall, lampshading [[BornInTheTheatre medium conventions]], and stretching every joke to its [[CrossesTheLineTwice comedic limit]]. Sure, there were gags in cartoons before Tex, if you are particularly tickled by [[WesternAnimation/LadyPlayYourMandolin a fox]] in BlackFace being [[LiteralAssKicking smacked on the ass by stuff]]; but it was Tex's arrival at [[WesternAnimation/LooneyTunes Warner Bros.]], and his hand-picked staff of animators and directors, that defined what we now call UsefulNotes/TheGoldenAgeOfAnimation.

Tex's attitude was that cartoons could and ''should'' do ''anything'': Avery and his crew were among the first in Hollywood to realize cartoons (and movies) were ''just'' old enough to have established expectations in its audience, which could be [[PlayingWithATrope played with, teased out, or simply destroyed]].

For this wiki's purposes, his cartoons are the first of their medium to recognize tropes and gleefully subvert them: radioland had probably beaten him to HappilyEverAfter, but visual tropes like the SpinningPaper, the IdeaBulb, the RebusBubble and ChainedToARailway were still alive and well before Avery's boys at Termite Terrace got their hands on them. "I wanted the audience to know ''I knew'' they were out there," he later said, referring to some of his earliest gags, like animated hairs in the projector or [[BornInTheTheatre silhouetted audience members]] disrupting the action (and occasionally being shot dead).

While Avery's career in theatrical animation began and ended at the Creator/WalterLantz studio, it's his six years at Warners and twelve-year tenure with MGM that made him a revered figure to animation buffs. His filmography produced several milestones: Tex directed the first WesternAnimation/DaffyDuck short, "WesternAnimation/PorkysDuckHunt" (1937) and the first "true" WesternAnimation/BugsBunny cartoon "WesternAnimation/AWildHare" in 1940, creating with them The KarmicTrickster and [[ScrewySquirrel Screwball]] character tropes; his MGM variations of these characters, WesternAnimation/{{Droopy}} and Screwy Squirrel respectively, have had similar longevity, as has the risqué "WesternAnimation/RedHotRidingHood" series.

Understudy Creator/BobClampett in many ways continued his mentor's work (not surprisingly, to a similar undoing). If Tex modernized the cartoon gag, it was Clampett who modernized the old "squash and stretch" animation techniques, shaping and accelerating them to the limits of abstraction. Clampett directed the first Tweety short, "A Tale of Two Kitties" in 1942.

Oh, and did we mention he has [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tw3zWL3Vr20 his own theme song]]?

On a side note, Tex has sometimes been given the dubious honor of being the inventor of (or at least making an early precursor of) the parody remix video style of filmmaking that would be become known as WebAnimation/YoutubePoop, with the "Gold is Where You Find It" segment of WesternAnimation/DaffyDuckInHollywood being considered one of the earliest, if not the first, forerunners to the comedic dada remix video style.

See WesternAnimation/TexAveryMGMCartoons for information on the short subjects he made there.
[[folder: Non-MGM Filmography]]


* WesternAnimation/TheSingingSap: An WesternAnimation/OswaldTheLuckyRabbit short. First cartoon where he is credited as an animator.


* WesternAnimation/{{Confidence}}: Another Oswald Rabbit short where he is credited as an animator.


* WesternAnimation/ChrisColumbusJr: Mentioned working on the lengthy cannon scene; possibly directed it.


* WesternAnimation/TowneHallFollies: Directed it, but was uncredited.
* WesternAnimation/TheQuailHunt: Directed it, but was uncredited.
* WesternAnimation/GoldDiggersOf49: First credited director work.

* WesternAnimation/TheBlowOut
* WesternAnimation/PlaneDippy
* WesternAnimation/IdLoveToTakeOrdersFromYou
* WesternAnimation/PageMissGlory
* WesternAnimation/ILoveToSinga
* WesternAnimation/PorkyTheRainMaker
* WesternAnimation/TheVillageSmithy
* WesternAnimation/MilkAndMoney
* WesternAnimation/DontLookNow
* WesternAnimation/PorkyTheWrestler


* WesternAnimation/PicadorPorky
* WesternAnimation/IOnlyHaveEyesForYou
* WesternAnimation/PorkysDuckHunt
* [[WesternAnimation/UncleTomsBungalow Uncle Tom's Bungalow]]: One of the WesternAnimation/CensoredEleven.
* WesternAnimation/AintWeGotFun
* WesternAnimation/DaffyDuckAndEgghead
* WesternAnimation/EggheadRidesAgain
* WesternAnimation/ASunbonnetBlue
* WesternAnimation/PorkysGarden
* WesternAnimation/IWannaBeASailor PublicDomain.
* WesternAnimation/TheSneezingWeasel
* WesternAnimation/LittleRedWalkingHood


* WesternAnimation/ThePenguinParade
* WesternAnimation/TheIsleOfPingoPongo: One of the WesternAnimation/CensoredEleven.
* WesternAnimation/AFeudThereWas
* WesternAnimation/JohnnySmithAndPokerHuntas
* WesternAnimation/DaffyDuckInHollywood
* WesternAnimation/CinderellaMeetsFella
* WesternAnimation/HamateurNight
* WesternAnimation/TheMiceWillPlay


* WesternAnimation/ADayAtTheZoo PublicDomain.
* WesternAnimation/ThugsWithDirtyMugs
* WesternAnimation/BelieveItOrElse
* WesternAnimation/DangerousDanMcfoo
* WesternAnimation/DetouringAmerica
* WesternAnimation/LandOfTheMidnightFun
* WesternAnimation/FreshFish
* WesternAnimation/ScrewballFootball
* WesternAnimation/TheEarlyWormGetsTheBird PublicDomain.


* WesternAnimation/CrossCountryDetours
* WesternAnimation/TheBearsTale
* WesternAnimation/AGanderAtMotherGoose
* WesternAnimation/CircusToday
* WesternAnimation/AWildHare
* WesternAnimation/CeilingHero
* WesternAnimation/WackyWildLife
* WesternAnimation/OfFoxAndHounds
* WesternAnimation/HolidayHighlights


* WesternAnimation/TheCrackpotQuail
* WesternAnimation/TheHauntedMouse PublicDomain.
* WesternAnimation/TortoiseBeatsHare
* WesternAnimation/HollywoodStepsOut PublicDomain.
* WesternAnimation/PorkysPreview PublicDomain.
* WesternAnimation/TheHecklingHare
* WesternAnimation/AviationVacation
* WesternAnimation/AllThisAndRabbitStew: One of the WesternAnimation/CensoredEleven, and the only one featuring a major WesternAnimation/LooneyTunes character (Bugs Bunny)PublicDomain.
* WesternAnimation/TheBugParade
* WesternAnimation/TheCageyCanary


* WesternAnimation/AlohaHooey
* WesternAnimation/CrazyCruise

!1942 (Speaking of Animals series, that he made for Paramount)

* Speaking of Animals Down on the Farm
* Speaking of Animals in a Pet Shop
* Speaking of Animals in the Zoo

!1942-1955: Filmography for these cartoons can be found on WesternAnimation/TexAveryMGMCartoons page.


* WesternAnimation/ImCold: Second in the WesternAnimation/ChillyWilly series of shorts.


* WesternAnimation/CrazyMixedUpPup
* WesternAnimation/TheLegendOfRockabyePoint. Third Chilly Willy short.
* WesternAnimation/{{Shhhhhh}} (1955). Avery's last animated short.


!!His cartoons provide examples of:

* AbsurdlyLongLimousine: Done in a lot of shorts. Often the gag would be further reinforced with a secretary or a 1940s female switchboard operator at the halfway point of the limousine. Another favorite gag would be the limo bending around corners to conform to the street.
* AcceptableTargets: ObnoxiousInLaws, almost always "the mother-in-law" (invoked and parodied).
* AccordionMan
* AndCallHimGeorge: The line "Which way did he go, George? Which way did he go?" is used a lot in "Of Fox and Hounds", "Lonesome Lenny" and various George and Junior cartoons.
* AmusingInjuries: His characters get injured all the time, but they always survive it unharmed the next scene.
* AnimationBump: Tex's later years on Looney Tunes got a significant upgrade in animation from his earlier shorts. Comparing shorts like WesternAnimation/PorkysDuckHunt and WesternAnimation/AWildHare is a day and night experience. Then he left for MGM, and the animation on his shorts got better than ever.
* AnnoyingLaugh: Screwy Squirrel.
* AnvilOnHead: Invented and popularized this trope, then taken UpToEleven in ''WesternAnimation/BadLuckBlackie''.
* AshFace: Usually shown as a blackface caricature and usually edited when shown on American TV due to racist imagery.
* AttackOfThe50FootWhatever: ''WesternAnimation/KingSizeCanary'' features a giant canary, dog, cat, and mouse (the latter two ending up planet-sized) who have consumed a miracle plant growth formula.
* BadHumorTruck: A [[IncrediblyLamePun "Good Rumor"]] ice cream truck, often getting robbed or blown up is a common running gag.
* BaitAndSwitch: Avery's trade secret was opening his cartoons very sedated and normal, letting the tension build in the audience before pulling the rug out from under them with an overblown gag.
* BloodlessCarnage
* BornInTheTheatre: Definitely a favorite of Tex's, from characters running off of the film they're printed on, to yelling at members of the movie theater audience, to pulling stray hairs out of the theater projectors, to passing the boundary of the Toon universe where Technicolor ends.\\
Tex virtually created this trope and changed cartoon comedy period in the scene of ''Porky's Duck Hunt'' where Daffy throws Porky's dog onto the ground (when it was supposed to be the dog fetching Daffy), after which Porky takes out a notepad and stammers "Hey! '''''That''''' wasn't in the script!"
* TheBully: Screwy Squirrel.
* ButterFace: Several cartoons use this gag.
%%* CartoonBomb
* TheCatCameBack: Droopy's stock and trade.
* CatchPhrase:
** [[MadLibsDialogue "[Adjective], isn't it?"]]
** "You know what? I'm happy!" - WesternAnimation/{{Droopy}}
** "You know what? That makes me mad." - Droopy
** "Which way did he go, George? Which way did he go?" (Borrowed from the film version of ''Literature/OfMiceAndMen'')
** "You know, if he does that one more time to me in this picture, I'll kill myself."
* CouldntFindALighter: At the end of ''One Droopy Knight'', WesternAnimation/{{Droopy}} keeps the dragon he defeated to light his cigars.
%%* CranialEruption
* DrippingDisturbance: {{Invoked}} by the rabbit in ''Doggone Tired'', as one of the tactics to keep the hunting dog awake at night.
* EarlyInstallmentWeirdness: The early shorts by Tex Avery at Warner Bros. are very different from his later work at MGM--with the except of a brief period in the late 30's (where he had wilder shorts like his three WesternAnimation/DaffyDuck cartoons), the pacing of his Looney Tunes is a lot slower than those of Creator/BobClampett and Creator/FrankTashlin, and instead of off the wall animation, he experimented with slow, tight animation that emulated the approach and timing of live action comedies in his travelogue parodies. His earliest Warners shorts, particularly shorts like "WesternAnimation/PageMissGlory", are barely recognizable as his work.
* EyePop: Tex Avery invented this.
* FlatCharacter: This is commonly cited as a major weakness of Avery's cartoons--with few exceptions (such as the Looney Tunes stable), his main characters tended to have one-note personalities, or even no personality at all. This of course, [[InvokedTrope was intentional on his part]]--Avery merely saw the characters as a means to an end for his gags and direction.
* FurIsClothing: Many of his cartoons employ this. One famous example, though it isn't fur, was a cartoon he did at Warner Bros. which was a parody of a nature documentary, in which a lizard shedding its skin gets on its hind legs and does a striptease dance while removing it, [[{{Rotoscoping}} rotoscoped]] off a real stripper.
* GettingCrapPastTheRadar and CensorDecoy: Avery and his animators would occasionally put some risqué jokes in their cartoons. In order to get this stuff passed the censors they combined it with some outrageously risqué stuff that would never get passed. As they expected the outrageously risqué stuff was never used, but some of the milder stuff now DID get greenlit, simply because it looked more innocent in comparison.
** The little duck in ''Lucky Ducky'' gets out of his egg shell by performing a parody of a striptease act.
*** The lizard in ''Cross Country Detours'' also sheds her skin like a stripper. A CensorBox was put in just before things got interesting.
* GravityIsAHarshMistress
* HardHead
* HarpoDoesSomethingFunny: Actually averted; Tex's cartoons, especially in his peak years, are very tightly structured and paced, and rarely if ever go off into these kind of tangents. The fact that he wasn't that interested in anything beyond basic characterization in the first place probably precluded using this anyway.
* HelloNurse: Another trope Tex Avery helped codify.
* HelpingGrannyCrossTheStreet: In ''Droopy's Good Deed'', rival Spike tries to thwart Boy Scout Droopy by dressing in old-lady drag, pulling this trope, and kicking Droopy into the path of a trolley. It backfires, of course.
* HeroesWantRedheads: Wolves do, too.
* HeWentThatWay: "Which way did he go, George? Which way did he go?"
%%* HollywoodHealing
* {{Homage}}: The 1997 syndicated show ''The Wacky World of Tex Avery,'' a DIC series which was allegedly patterned after Tex's classic cartoon style. It stars a cowboy [[NamesTheSame named]] "Tex Avery." It wasn't well-received.
* IFellForHours: Tex pulled this off in the WesternAnimation/BugsBunny short "The Heckling Hare", though the ending he originally wanted to do (having Bugs and his canine foil fall off yet another cliff) was cut short, prompting him to leave Warner Bros. for MGM.
* IKissYourHand: Almost always led up to some sort of gag.
* InstantRoast: In the short "One Cab's Family", a speeding car hits a pig and a chicken, which land back as a plate of ham and eggs.
* InteractiveNarrator: ''Red Hot Riding Hood'' begins this way, with the Wolf, Red Riding Hood, and Granny complaining about doing the same story the same way every time. Tex created this trope in the 1937 WB cartoon ''The Village Smithy,'' and conversely, the character talking back at the narrator.
--->'''Blacksmith:''' Listen, chief! Take it easy. We got plenty o' time...this cartoon ain't half over yet!
* IronButtmonkey: Most of the antagonists.
* KarmicTrickster: A core trope for Bugs Bunny, the most famous example.
* LandInTheSaddle: One cartoon has a cowboy try to jump onto his horse repeatedly, only to miss every time. Eventually he moves the horse to the place where he keeps landing and tries again, only to land where the horse originally was.
* LiteralAssKicking
--> '''George:''' "Junior...bend over."
* LongNeck: Certain characters have an expandable neck.
* LookBothWays: A favorite gag of his was to have characters do this, see nothing coming for miles, take one step onto the pavement, and immediately get flattened by a speeding car.
* LoveCanMakeYouGonk: Men would often bug out and even literally turn into wolves at the sight of an attractive woman.
* LoveMakesYouCrazy: In one short even ''Droopy'', who generally is '''not''' known to do this sort of thing, begins whistling, slamming his head against the table and taking bites out of a nearby wooden post after receiving a kiss from Red.
* MediumAwareness: Many times the cartoons characters in Avery's shorts knew they were in a cartoon. This exchange from "The Early Bird Dood It," as the worm and bird pass by a movie billboard with the lobby card of the very cartoon they're in:
-->'''Bird:''' Hey! I hear that's a pretty funny cartoon.
-->'''Worm:''' Well, I sure hope it's funnier than ''this'' one!
** The book the old coot is reading in ''WesternAnimation/WhoKilledWho'' is titled "Who Killed Who (From the cartoon of the same name)."
** In "Big Heel-Watha" the title character while walking on his toes says to the audience "Heh heh, in a cartoon you can do anything!"
* MeatOVision
* NamelessNarrative: Many Tex Avery cartoons feature one-time characters whom Avery never bothered to give a name. This includes many anonymous cats, dogs and mice and even the infamous wolf character who, despite being a recurring character, was never identified by a name (thought he'd be retroactively named "Wolfie").
* NoFourthWall: Fourth what? Never heard of it.
-->'''Tex Avery:''' ''"I want the audience to know I know they're out there."''
* NonFatalExplosions: Which more often than not would result in a [[ValuesDissonance blackface gag]].
* OstrichHeadHiding: ''WesternAnimation/SlapHappyLion'' has a lion roaring so loud that it scares off an ostrich, who sticks his head in the sand, then lifts the piece of ground head and all and runs off with it.
* OverlyLongTongue: Several characters whenever they are surprised or excited.
* {{Parody}}: This was a defining element of Tex's cartoons--he refused to allow Disney's idea of animation having to be believable dominate his cartoons as it had the rest of the cartoon industry in the 30's--he even made it his goal to have his cartoons do things that Disney would have never dared do. Many of his cartoons openly mocked Disney's mawkish content and subverted their idealistic characters and stories with street smart, sarcastic humor and characters, and poked holes in their naturalistic art style with realistically drawn characters doing completely ridiculous things (i.e. the animals and rotoscoped humans in his Travelogue parodies), and he used meta humor as a then-very unique way of remind the audience that they're just watching a fun cartoon. Even his less wild cartoons have a tongue-in-cheek tone to them.
* PantyShot:
** Red in ''Wild And Wolfy''
** The girl flea in ''What Price Fleadom''
** The ice skater in ''Land of the Midnight Fun''
%%* PepperSneeze
%%* PieInTheFace
%%* PinPullingTeeth
%%* PowderTrail
* RapidFireComedy: Avery both pioneered and set the benchmark for how this can be accomplished in animation.
* RelaxOVision: Parodied in "Cross Country Detours":
-->'''Narrator:''' Ladies and gentlemen, your attention please. The next scene is quite gruesome, so for the benefit of the children in the audience, we'll split the screen -- the left side for grown ups, the right for the children. For the grown ups, a hideous Gila monster. For the children, [[TastesLikeDiabetes a presentation]].
%%* RoadRunnerVsCoyote
* RunningGag: Some of these cartoons have running gags that result in a surprising twist at the end. A recurring one is a sign that pops up saying, [[MadLibsDialogue "[Adjective], isn't it?"]]
** And of course: "Hold on to your hats, folks, here we go again!"
%%* ScoobyDoobyDoors
* SelfDeprecation: Tex had a habit of lampshading his own corny gags as early as his first MGM cartoon, ''Blitz Wolf''.
* ScrewySquirrel: [[TropeNamer duh]].
* {{Sexophone}}: Whenever an attractive woman struts onto the scene. Always the same riff too.
* ShesGotLegs: Likely Red's most defining characteristic.
* ShoutOut:
** ''Film/TheMask'' had several direct shout outs to Tex Avery's cartoons, including several [[WildTake Wild Takes]], the main character morphing into a wolf and howling at a female performer, and early in the movie the main character can even be seen watching "Red Hot Riding Hood."
** 1939's WB short ''WesternAnimation/ThugsWithDirtyMugs'': Eddie G. Robbemsome stops counting his money long enough to do an impersonation of radio personality Fred Allen for us.
** 1940's ''WesternAnimation/HolidayHighlights'' - which features scenes illustrating each of the major U.S. holidays - has the narrator playing a practical joke by not having any scene for April Fool's Day; while he laughs and keeps saying, "Fooled You!", a title card shows up on the screen that reads, "[[Radio/FibberMcgeeAndMolly Tain't Funny, [=McGee=]!]] - The Management".
* ShowDontTell: Despite having a surface of anarchy, Avery was a master of visual storytelling, and far favored visual comedy over writing based gags (even his own ''Symphony in Slang'' relied purely on strong sight gags to carry over the deliberately lame puns). In his later years, he lamented about how dialogue-focused animation had become at the expense of visual comedy.
-->"What, all this junk, the yak-yak-yak? It would've broke my heart! Dialogue gags are a dime a dozen, but a good sight gag is hard to come by."
%%* SquashedFlat
* TallTale: Many of Tex's cartoons have stories and structure that call to mind a contemporary tall tale. "King-Sized Canary" and "Bad Luck Blackie" are his most notable ones.
* TakeThat:
** In Screwy Squirrel's first cartoon where he beats up a cute little Disney-esque squirrel after asking him what the cartoon the [[TastesLikeDiabetes cute squirrel]] was starring in was going to be about, afterwards [[NoFourthWall breaking the fourth wall]] to say, "You wouldn't have liked the cartoon anyway." One can assume it's a TakeThat at the cutesy cartoons coming out in the 1930's by Disney and at MGM's own ''Happy Harmonies'' series.
*** Then at the end, the cute squirrel comes back, declaring that his cartoon "Would've been cuter!" He gets [[CurbStompBattle curb-stomped]] again by Screwy, his pursuer, [[ItMakesSenseInContext and their doppelgangers]].
** ''Blitz Wolf'' is one large take that at UsefulNotes/AdolfHitler.
** Some of the final theatrical shorts also took shots at competing mediums. In one Droopy cartoon, the villainous cattleman can't get any of the other cowboys in town to help him chase Droopy (a rival sheepherder) because they're all at the saloon watching a western on a TV set, causing the villain to curse, "Lousy Television!" Another short ended with the antagonist declaring that if his latest plan to catch Droopy failed, he'd quit the cartoon and "Go on television!".
** The glut of westerns in general in the 50's earned a satirization in ''TV of Tomorrow''. About half of the live-action clips in this cartoon are of westerns, and one of the gags is a man frustrated with the fact that he gets a western on ''every channel''. He goes to the movies, gets a film with a romantic comedy title, but ''it'' turns out to be a western. The clip from the theater is replayed in the final gag of the cartoon, with an attempted broadcast to/from Mars. A "For the kiddies" television ad in ''House of Tomorrow'' also pokes fun at the western with another clip. [[note]]The glut of westerns earned a spot in the book ''Literature/WhatWereTheyThinkingThe100DumbestEventsInTelevisionHistory''.[[/note]]
** Tex would zigzag this, doing a TakeThat to himself in "The Car Of Tomorrow," deliberately putting out an extremely corny visual gag (the "seal-beam headlights" with two seals coming out of the headlight domes) and letting the narrator feel the pain for us--his hand comes in, scribbles the scene out with a pencil and groans "Oh, no!"
* TheTwelvePrinciplesOfAnimation: Avery is notable for his very direct, broad animation, as well as his razor sharp timing, streamlined and exaggerated design sense, and clear as crystal staging--he eschewed the more detailed Disney style characters and slick overlapping inbetweens (a flaw his early MGM shorts suffered from, since many of them were ex-Disney and ex-Creator/HarmanAndIsing animators unaccustomed to his approach to animation) in favor of animation that had exaggeration, rhythm and contrast, and thus the much faster timing and comedic impact he desired. Even when MGM began slashing cartoon budgets in the early '50s, Avery relied heavily on poses which made appealing silhouettes, a practice continued to this day in low-budget animation.
* ThatMakesMeFeelAngry: The basis for Droopy's CatchPhrase. ([[FlatJoy "You know what, I'm happy"]] delivered in complete deadpan.)
* TorsoWithAView: One of the many AmusingInjuries applied many of Avery's shorts.
* VisualPun: Taken to the extreme in ''WesternAnimation/SymphonyInSlang''.
* WartimeCartoon: Many of his WWII-era cartoons qualify, ''The Blitz Wolf'' being the one that dealt with WWII directly.
* WildTake: TropeCodifier.
* WolfWhistle: Tex's cartoons are known for this.
* YourHeadAsplode: Happens to Spike in ''From Wags to Riches'' after rigging a camera with a mortar shell.