''Capitol Critters'' is an animated television series created by Nat Mauldin, Creator/StevenBochco & Michael Wagner and produced by Creator/HannaBarbera. It chronicles the lives of mice, rats and roaches who reside in the basement and walls of the White House in UsefulNotes/WashingtonDC. The series was produced by Steven Bochco Productions and Creator/HannaBarbera Productions in association with Creator/TwentiethCenturyFox Television for the Creator/{{ABC}} Television Network, which aired seven out of the show's 13 episodes from January 31 to March 14, 1992. Creator/CartoonNetwork began airing all 13 episodes in 1995.

The series' first episode began on a Nebraska farm, which was also home to a family of mice, including a young mouse named Max. While the mice were on a trip outside to gather some corn, exterminators arrived to eliminate the mice. Once Max noticed the exterminators from a distance, he quickly returned to the basement. There he witnessed the death of his entire family. Before Max's mother was killed after a failed rescue attempt, she told him to leave for Washington, where his cousin Berkeley could be found. Upon his arrival in the nation's capital, Max encountered a rat named Jammett, who resided along with Berkeley in the White House basement. After meeting Berkeley, Max met a former lab rat named Muggle and Jammett's mother, Trixie, who allowed Max to share her son's room.

A new set of cats (presidential and vice presidential) were just beginning to be a nuisance for the mice before Max's arrival. Also, the familiar sight of rat poison was a part of Max's life in his new home. When death appeared to be his fate, a cockroach named Moze came to his aid and brought him outside the White House basement. When Max returned to the basement, the sight of Muggle unconscious brought back terrible memories that caused him to run outside toward a presidential helicopter preparing to take off. Jammett managed to join Max on the helicopter before returning to the White House, giving the two plenty of time to know each other better.

This show was one of a trio (joining ''Family Dog'' and ''WesternAnimation/FishPolice'') of animated shows from the Big Three networks (ABC, CBS, and NBC) trying to cash in on the early 1990s success of FOX's ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'' by making a primetime animated show that looked like Saturday morning fare, but had social satire and adult themes.
* AnAesop
* BreakTheCutie: Max, following his family's death.
* CatsAreMean: Played with the presidential felines. (They were supposed to represent then-President UsefulNotes/GeorgeHWBush and Vice President Dan Quayle.)
** The big cat was mean, brutal, savage and murdered mice, while the smaller cat was thin, calm, polite and even was willing to lend a hand to Max's colony as long they kept it as a secret.
* CloudCuckoolander: Muggle.
* CourtroomEpisode: Max and Jammett once were defendants in a courtroom of cockroaches. Jammett complained about [[CrowningMomentOfFunny being treated like a human being]].
* CreepyCockroach: A cockroach husband and wife come for a short time to tour the capitol, and she leaves millions of eggs everywhere.
* CountryMouse: Max, literally.
* DeadpanSnarker: Several characters but Max, Trixie and Jammett stand out.
* DoesThisRemindYouOfAnything: Pretty much what fueled the whole show.
* DownerBeginning: The first episode starts with the death of Max's entire family.
* EekAMouse: Subverted once: a group of policemen start freaking out at the sight of Max, and it's a woman who picks him up and throws him out.
* FantasticRacism: The rats aren't too fond of the cockroaches.
* GettingCrapPastTheRadar: Justified, as this was an adult cartoon that looked as if it could be for kids (like ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons''). The show later reran on Creator/CartoonNetwork late at night in its pre-Creator/AdultSwim days.
* HalfDressedCartoonAnimal: Most of the characters, regardless of gender. A few (like Trixie) are [[FullyDressedCartoonAnimal fully dressed]], and characters kept as pets (like the two cats and the hamster in the final episode) tend to be {{accessory wearing cartoon animal}}s instead.
* HumansAreBastards: What little we see of them involves them treating the main cast... well, like unwanted vermin.
* IRememberItLikeItWasYesterday
* {{Jerkass}}[=/=]JerkWithAHeartOfGold: Jammett.
* MadeOfExplodium: Since his metabolism was completely screwed up after living as a lab rat, Muggle tended to combust or explode at random.
* MoodWhiplash: Part of the series' problem is that whenever it tries telling a moving story, it keeps getting undercut with standard cartoon slapstick hijinks and cat and mouse cliches.
* MouseWorld
* NewAgeRetroHippie[=/=]SoapBoxSadie: Berkeley.
* NoSwastikas: Averted with Kid Vicious, the leader of an (apparent) Neo-Nazi cockroach biker gang.
* RescueRomance: Max and Miko, after Max saves her from being eaten by a cat (although it's mostly on Max's part).
* TonightSomeoneDies: "The Rat To Bear Arms" gives [[spoiler: Felix]] a quick introduction for the sole purpose of [[spoiler: killing him off]].
* WorldOfSnark: Muggle is the ONLY character who isn't a DeadpanSnarker. Even sweet little Max is one, mainly due to being the OnlySaneMan. Jammet and Trixie are the most notorious, though.
* VicePresidentWho: In the first episode the mice and rats who live in the White House are surprised when two cats are brought in to try to catch them. (They're surprised because "they got dogs, they can't get cats, [[AnimalJingoism cats and dogs hate each other]].") The one with the collar tag "P" is heroically built (for a non-anthropomorphic cat) and aggressive; the one with the collar tag "VP" is a pathetic loser who couldn't catch a cold and within seconds of his first appearance trips on his own tie.
* WomenAreWiser: Subverted. Berkley and Trixie are usually more level-headed than Max, Muggle and Jammett, but make their fair share of mistakes.