Western Animation / Droopy

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Hello, all you happy people!

Droopy is a cartoon character created by Tex Avery during his years with MGM (1942-1954). This low-key basset hound was his most popular recurring MGM character, and remains an icon of The Golden Age of Animation. Droopy is a pathetically tiny, very melancholic, slow moving dog. His Deadpan Snarker comments often form a sharp contrast to the zaniness of other characters around him and makes them appear even wilder. The plot of his cartoons are very similar. He is usually given some kind of mission that he needs to accomplish and allows him to be pitted against one of his two main antagonists: Wolfie the Wolf or Spike the bulldog. At first the odds seem against him, because he's such a tiny and slow dog. Yet Droopy is intelligent and always master of the situation. If his Berserk Button is touched he can even showcase enormous strength and beat those who underestimate him up.

List of Tex Avery's Droopy cartoons:

  • Dumb-Hounded (1943)
  • The Shooting of Dan McGoo (1945)
  • Wild and Woolfy (1945)
  • Northwest Hounded Police (1946)
  • Señor Droopy (1949)
  • Wags to Riches (1949)
  • Out-Foxed (1949)
  • The Chump Champ (1950)
  • Daredevil Droopy (1951)
  • Droopy's Good Deed (1951)
  • Droopy's Double Trouble (1951)
  • Caballero Droopy (1952)
  • The Three Little Pups (1953)
  • Drag-a-Long Droopy (1954)
  • Homesteader Droopy (1954)
  • Dixieland Droopy (1954)
  • Deputy Droopy (1955)
  • Millionaire Droopy (1956)

Several more Droopy cartoons were made (with Michael Lah at the helm) after Avery left the cartoon business, but none of them remotely as memorable or funny as he made them. The character has appeared in other works since the end of The Golden Age of Animation, with a renewed series by Filmation in the early 1980's, a cameo in Who Framed Roger Rabbit (and each of the subsequent Roger Rabbit Shorts), and appearances in several Tom and Jerry spinoffs such as Tom and Jerry Kids and Tom and Jerry Tales.

The character is not to be confused with Snoopy from Peanuts.

Droopy provides examples of the following tropes:

  • Alliterative Title: Many of his cartoon shorts have an alliterative title: Deputy Droopy, Drag-Along Droopy, Dixieland Droopy, Droopy's Double Trouble.
  • Amusing Injuries: A staple of many cartoons he appears in.
  • Animal Stereotypes: Droopy is a basset hound, therefore he must be a melancholic, just look at his face!
  • Art Evolution: Droopy's face became less droopy as time went on.
  • Big Ball of Violence: Happens often.
  • Big Guy, Little Guy: Droopy is much smaller than his opponents, Spike and Wolfie.
  • Beggar with a Signboard: One of the Master Detective stories features Miss Vavoom as such a good detective she drives Droopy, Dripple and McWolf out of business. Droopy and Dripple are last seen with a signboard reading "We'll solve cases for food" and McWolf has one reading "I'll do it for free".
  • Berserk Button/Beware the Nice Ones: Whatever you do to Droopy, don't ever, EVER deface a picture of the girl he loves...or take away his son's milk.
    Y'know what? That makes me mad!
  • The Cat Came Back: His trademark.
  • Catch Phrase:
    • Hello, all you happy people!
    • You know what? I'm happy!
    • You know what? That makes me mad!
  • Comically Invincible Hero: In quite a few of his appearances, Droopy's near-infallibility is the primary engine of comedy.
  • The Comically Serious: Part of what makes Droopy so funny is how utterly disinterested he is in... well, almost everything.
  • Crazy-Prepared: Droopy has to be a master of psychology to be able to figure out where Wolfie's gone to next.
  • Creepy Monotone: Droopy speaks in monotone all the time.
  • Crushing Handshake: In Droopy's Double Trouble, Droopy's super strong twin cousin Drippy crushes the hand of Droopy's superior, the mansion's head butler, upon extending it for a shake.
  • David vs. Goliath: Droopy's opponents, the Wolf and Spike, are way taller than he is.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Droopy's comments are very dry.
  • Dogs Love Fire Hydrants: In Dumb-Hounded Droopy walks behind a hydrant and after a brief pause, walks out with a look of embarassment on his face.
  • Early Installment Weirdness: In his debut cartoon Dumb Hounded all of Droopy's character traits are already present. The only thing different is that he tends to walk on all fours, like a normal dog.
  • The Eeyore: Droopy always seemed to be in a really sad and gloomy state. When he was happy, he would just say "I'm so happy..." in his usual morose tone. When sufficiently provoked, he would just say, "You know what? That makes me mad," and then beat the other guy to a pulp. Sometimes throwing him miles and miles away.
    • Subverted when he won a large sum of money. He smiled from ear to ear, and leaped across the screen. This actually was how he ended several cartoons, bouncing and cheering madly, then returning to his sad state, looking at the camera and saying, "You know what? I'm happy."
  • Fake Rabies: In the Droopy short "Wags to Riches," Spike puts shaving cream on a sleeping Droopy and phones in a report of a mad dog, but a fan blows the foam onto Spike's face just as the dog catcher arrives.
  • Flat Character: Droopy, depending on the short, tends to be vague and nondescript in personality, which is why the shorts tend to focus more on his adversaries than himself.
  • Flat Joy: Even when Droopy is truly happy his voice and demeanor hardly change.
  • Homage:
    • Gotlib's Gai-Luron is a homage to the character. Both of them are white melancholic dogs.
    • Hans Moleman from The Simpsons was based on Droopy, according to Matt Groening.
  • Lampshading: Droopy often comments on the predictability or corniness of the story and/or the gags.
  • Later Installment Weirdness: The later Droopy cartoons made just before and then after Tex Avery left MGM can be a bit jarring, as they are done in Limited Animation with neither the Wolf nor Butch/Spike as antagonists, the madcap slapstick humor is severely scaled back, and worst of all, Droopy's face is no longer "droopy".
  • Let's Get Dangerous!: Droopy, when someone has a laugh at his expense for any reason and is about to be severely punished by him for it.
  • Love Makes You Crazy: Whenever Droopy receives a kiss from Red, he generally reacts the same way Wolfie would, even kidnapping her at the end of Wild and Woolfy.
  • Meaningful Name: Droopy has a droopy face.
  • Offscreen Teleportation: Droopy can appear anywhere in a matter of seconds, even if its at the other end of the world. Though in North West Hounded Police it is explained that there are just a large number of identical Droopys.
  • On One Condition: In "Wags to Riches", Droopy and Spike are the pets of a deceased millionaire who bequeathed his fortune to Droopy on the condition that the fortune will go to Spike upon Droopy's death. Spike spends most of the episode trying to kill Droopy.
  • Perpetual Frowner: Droopy rarely smiles.
  • Pintsized Powerhouse: Although small and unimposing, Droopy will kick the snot out of anyone who makes him angry.
    • His twin brother Drippy in Droopy's Double Trouble. He's strong.
    • In Homesteader Droopy, it's Droopy's infant son who delivers the beatdown.
  • Pre-Asskicking One-Liner: Y'know what? That makes me mad!
  • Shout-Out:
    • Droopy had a memorable cameo in Who Framed Roger Rabbit.
    • He had a less memorable cameo in Tom and Jerry: The Movie.
    • He also appeared in cameo roles in all three Roger Rabbit cartoon shorts.
    • Droopy apears in a cut-away gag in the Family Guy episode Ocean's Three And A Half as Alan Colmes.
  • Sophisticated as Hell: The very English fox in the Droopy cartoon "Out-Foxed" lapses into this at one point.
    Droopy: Hello, Mr. Fox. Now can I catch you?
    Fox: Ah, as they say in America... (Brooklyn accent) Are you kiddin'?
  • Standard Hero Reward: In One Droopy Knight he fights a dragon to earn the hand of the king's beautiful daughter.
  • The Stoic: Droopy doesn't show too much emotion, but when he does...
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: Droopy had much of the mannerisms and actions in common with another one of Avery's creations: Cecil Turtle from the Looney Tunes cartoon Tortoise Beats Hare (1941). Droopy's voice and personality were modeled after Wallace Wimple, a character from the radio show Fibber McGee and Molly, whom was also portrayed by actor Bill Thompson (Droopy's voice).
    • Gotlib 's comic book character Gai-Luron is basically a copy of Droopy: a bassoon hound with a melancholic expression and Dead Pan Snarker comments.
  • Take Our Word for It: In the Droopy cartoon The Three Little Pups, one scene ends with the pursuing dogcatcher swallowing Droopy's tv set whole. A couple of scenes later, Droopy and his brothers are watching tv again, and he says to us "Now don't ask how we got the television back." Probably just intended as a wink toward cartoon continuity, but, bringing it up like that, one can't help wondering how they got it back.
  • Talking Animal: Droopy and all the others can talk. Yet in Dumb-Hounded he barks with another dog, then says to the audience: Heh-heh, dog talk!
  • That Makes Me Feel Angry: Droopy used to say this, almost word for word.
  • Tranquil Fury: See Pre-Asskicking One-Liner above.
  • Tricked Into Signing: One cartoon has a competitor in a sports contest set up a fake psychic reading tent and asked for Droopy's signature to get a reading off it. Turns out he tricked him into signing a document confessing to cheating and forfeiting.
  • Twin Switch: Happens accidentally on Droopy's Double Trouble. Whenever Droopy leaves Spike's side, Drippy comes along to beat him up.
  • Unlikely Hero
    Droopy: You know what? I'm the hero.
  • Unstoppable Rage: When Droopy says he's mad, somebody's in for a world of hurt.
  • Wet Cement Gag: While fleeing from the owner of a flea circus in "Dixieland Droopy", John Pettibone rounds a corner and finds himself trying to run through wet sidewalk concrete. The Dixieland fleas embedded in John's fur slow their music tempo down as John gets bogged down in the stuff, then speed up their tempo as John gets his Heroic Second Wind at the midpoint. Once free of the concrete, John resumes running at full tilt as his fleas play furiously fast.
  • When He Smiles: Droopy's small, bashful smile is adorable.

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