If imitation, as they say, is the SincerestFormOfFlattery, then Creator/FamousStudios' ''Herman and Katnip'' certainly flattered Creator/{{MGM}}'s WesternAnimation/TomAndJerry. Given that any mouse and cat cartoon is going to have some similarities with any other cat and mouse cartoon, the resemblances of the characters is still quite striking.

Herman the mouse in particular bears a strong resemblance to Jerry the mouse. Katnip the cat did not look quite so much like Tom the cat, but you would be forgiven if you thought you knew where the inspiration for the cartoon character came from.

Herman and Katnip did diverge from Tom and Jerry in two respects. The characters spoke: Katnip in a dopey SimpletonVoice, Herman in a Brooklyn twang. The standard episode setup was different, too: Herman's cousins Reuben, Dubin, and Louie (and other, unnamed mice) would be having fun at some activity; Katnip would arrive to persecute them; then Herman would arrive (often coming "from the city") to defend them.

Herman was voiced by Arnold Stang, who later supplied the voice for WesternAnimation/TopCat. There is quite a similarity between the mouse's voice and that of Leo Gorcey of the Bowery Boys. Syd Raymond supplied the voice for Katnip. Raymond was also the voice of WesternAnimation/BabyHuey.

Herman and Katnip are not remembered like MGM's cat-and-mouse pair; not only, perhaps, because they appeared on cinema screens later than their more famous rivals, but also because the personalities of the pair were possibly not quite as engaging. Also, the Famous Studios' cat-and-mouse series did not receive as many later television airings as Tom and Jerry enjoyed.

If Herman and Katnip lacked anything in personality, they tried to make up for it with action. For "action" read blowing Katnip up; sending Katnip off a cliff; squashing Katnip with a 100-ton weight, and so on. With so much emphasis placed on violence—almost all of it delivered to the cat—it's no surprise that Mike Reiss, a writer on ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'', [[WordOfGod confirmed]] that Herman and Katnip, not WesternAnimation/TomAndJerry, were the real inspiration for [[WesternAnimation/TheItchyAndScratchyShow Itchy and Scratchy]].

When the series ended, it wasn't so much because the cartoons ran out of steam, as because the studio sold all its ongoing characters to Creator/HarveyComics, which had licensed them for several years. But Herman and Katnip didn't go on to very great success at Harvey. They appeared in the back pages of a lot of comics during the 1950s and early 1960s, and were featured in an occasional issue of ''Harvey Hits'' (a later Harvey title with rotating stars), but never had their own comic book. When other Harvey characters were re-adapted into animated form—even some who, like ComicBook/RichieRich and Wendy the Good Little Witch, had never been animated before—''Herman & Katnip'' weren't. [[note]] though their segment were added to the "Casper the friendly ghost" cartoon, along with segments with WesternAnimation/BabyHuey and WesternAnimation/LittleAudrey. [[/note]] Eventually, they faded from view, and are now scarcely remembered.

With that said, in October 2011, a complete DVD set of all their adventures was released[[note]]Albeit in their 90's broadcast form[[/note]]. Creator/{{Universal}} Studios, through Harvey Comics parent Creator/DreamWorksAnimation, now owns the rights to the characters and all shorts in the series, but so far there are no plans for any sort of revival.
!!''Herman and Katnip'' and ''Herman and Henry'' provides examples of the following tropes:
* AmusingInjuries: How else can we explain it?
* AnvilOnHead
* ArtEvolution: Katnip had a drastically different design in his early appearances before they settled on his dopier look and color scheme.
* CatchPhrase: Katnip's "Hmmmm, that sounds logical."
* CatsAreMean
* CatsHaveNineLives: At the end of "Naughty But Mice," Herman thoroughly dispatches the cat that has been eating his cousins, only to be greeted by nine feline ghosts rising from the grave to chase him away.
* TheChewToy: It's Katnip's designated role.
* ComedicSociopathy
* DarkerAndEdgier: Than ''WesternAnimation/TomAndJerry''--not really [[BloodlessCarnage bloodier]] but even more violent and mean-spirited in tone.
* DesignatedVictim: Katnip.
* {{Determinator}}: Katnip.
* EarlyBirdCameo: A prototype of Herman briefly appears in the first WesternAnimation/CasperTheFriendlyGhost short "The Friendly Ghost".
* {{Expy}}: The 50's short "Of Mice and Magic" had a very blatant stand-in for WesternAnimation/BettyBoop called "Louise" who was a mouse. Her design and mannerisms were basically the same as Betty's, but adjusted to have bits of a cartoon mouse -- also, there was the fact that she was voiced by Mae Questel, Betty's voice actress, who used her Betty voice for Louise.
* EyePop: Played with at the end of "[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tg_v16kIcVc&t=0m38s Mouseum]]".
* EyeScream: In "Sock-a-Bye Kitty", Buzzy '''''smashes through Katnip's eye with a hammer''''' after getting eaten alive.
* FamilyUnfriendlyDeath: Many of the cartoons end with Katnip being brutally killed, and the mice playing around with his dead body. (For example, using Katnip's corpse as a Christmas tree in [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0CEJFLCSGH0&t=5m50s "Mice Meeting You"]]).
* FamilyUnfriendlyViolence: These cartoons are mean and they ''hurt'', enough to make ''Tom & Jerry'' look tame by comparison.
** Check out the [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1uvp3xXbTrA&t=2m48s "wheel of knives"]] gag from "Mouseum". Katnip throws knives at Herman, hitting a wheel instead. Herman hops on top of it and rolls it after Katnip, slicing off segments of his back until he falls flat. Ouch!
* GRatedDrug: The use of a catnip dipped flower by Herman, used on Katnip to get him dazed in "Naughty But Mice".
* HalfDressedCartoonAnimal: Herman from the start, but Katnip picked up a pair of trousers in later cartoons.
* HaveAGayOldTime: The theme song says "All the mice are feeling gay".
* HeartBeatsOutOfChest: A melancholy instance occurs in the cartoon "Of Mice and Magic", when Herman hears that Katnip has caught his beloved. A LetsGetDangerous moment follows.
* HumanPopsicle: Happens to Katnip at the end of "Northwest Mousie".
* InflatingBodyGag: In "Rail Rodents", Katnip gets his head stuck in a water tower's output pipe and inflates like a balloon. In "Mouse Trapeze", Herman tricks Katnip into drinking from a hose connected to a fire hydrant, swelling several times larger before he pops off and flies across the room.
* MadeOfBologna: The cartoon "Mouseum" shows Herman powering a bladed wheel behind Katnip that shears off successive layers from the cat from back to front. Each layer seems composed of reddish bologna.
* NameAndName
* NiceHat: Herman occasionally wears a snappy looking boater hat when he appears.
* OffWithHisHead: Herman decapitates Katnip with a pair of scissors in "Herman The Catoonist".
* PantyShot: From Henry's wife Bertha in "The Henpecked Rooster".
* RoadRunnerVsCoyote
* SadistShow
* StayInTheKitchen: Henry says this to his wife Bertha (aka "Chicken Pie") after Herman was took away by his own wife in "The Henpecked Rooster".
* TalkingAnimal: Herman and Katnip.
* TakenForGranite: In "Cat Tamale", Katnip gets trapped in a starch cocoon. [[AndIMustScream He is only able to move his eyes]].
* ATasteOfDefeat: Herman never 'lost' to Katnip outright, though some cases had his victory tainted in some way. One case had him take out a similar cat nemesis, only to be tormented by his nine angels.
* TheyKilledKennyAgain: Katnip died at the end of many shorts.
* TooDumbToLive: Katnip.