Western Animation: Josie and the Pussycats
Left to right: Alexander, Valerie, Melody, Josie, Alan, Alexandra. Foreground: Sebastian.
Although based on an Archie Comics
publication, this series was produced by Hanna-Barbera
rather than Filmation
. The all-female rock trio
comprised guitarist Josie McCoy, tambourinist Valerie Brown and drummer Melody Valentine. Valerie is Black and Nerdy
, Melody is a Dumb Blonde
and Josie is of average intellect.
Supporting characters were Alan Mayberry, an ex-country singer who became the Pussycats' roadie and Josie's love interest; Alexander Cabot III, the Pussycats' manager; Alexandra Cabot, Alexander's twin who continually tried to steal Alan away from Josie and/or replace Josie as leader of the band; and Sebastian, Alexandra's snickering cat. In the successor series, Josie and the Pussycats in Outer Space
, a woolly creature named Bleep joined the cast.
Voice talent included Janet Waldo, Casey Kasem
and Don Messick
, enabling Josie and friends to cross over to Scooby-Doo
It was adapted into a live-action film
in 2001. For information on that, click here
This series provides examples of the following tropes:
- Animated Adaptation: It started in Archie Comics, after all.
- Alternative Foreign Theme Song: In the Japanese version.
- Ascended Extra: Similar to Hot Dog in The Archie Show, Sebastian has a much larger role in the cartoon than he did in the comics.
- Aside Comment: Sebastian's snickering.
- Badass: Yes, Alexandra has her good qualities, when used against any "creeps."
- Betty and Veronica: Averted slightly in that Alan is very clearly involved with Josie and has no interest in the scheming Alexandra.
- The Blank: Mastermind from "Never Mind a Master Mind".
- Blonde, Brunette, Redhead
- Cats Are Mean: Sebastian was a nasty prankster in the main show. He bedeviled Scooby when there was a Cross Over, and he and Bleep were in a constant state of war when the show ended up Recycled In Space.
- Cat Girl: The theme of the band.
-"...long tails, and ears for hats."
- Chase Scene: A staple of each episode accompanied by a song from the 'Cats.
- Classical Anti-Hero: Alexander, the self-described "chicken."
- Crossover: Particularly noticeable is the one with Scooby Doo.
- The Ditz/Dumb Blonde: Melody, to the point she could be the poster child of both tropes!
- Dumb and Drummer: It likely isn't a coincidence that Melody is the drummer.
- Dumb Is Good: Melody. Besides being uber-nice:
- She had a preternatural power to understand the speech of alien animals.
- She wept when upon hearing Alexandra's voice (she was hiding in a plant - see Shout-Out below), she thought Alexandra was eaten by one of Greenthumb's plant-monsters!
- Everybody Laughs Ending: Usually because of some tragedy befalling Alexandra.
- Expy: The show being heavily inspired by Scooby-Doo, Alan and Alexander have been Re Tooled into fairly obvious expies for Fred and Shaggy. The change is most noticeable with Alexander, whose comic-book counterpart is an Expy of Reggie Mantle.
- Failure Is the Only Option: Once the series was recycled in Space, this became the only option for our heroes finding their way home. Even if some benevolent aliens pointed them in the right direction, Alexandra would inevitably accidentally bump into something, throwing them off course (which is how they got lost in space in the first place).
- Fainting: Alexander is prone to this, whether out of fright or by Foreign Queasine.
- Five-Man Band:
- Fun with Acronyms: In "Spy School Spoof," the gang enters Laser's lair claiming to be from QUACK (Quality Undercover Agents Checking Kooks).
- Genius Ditz: As dumb as Melody is, she plays the drums professionally.
Melody: Eat your heart out, Ringo!
- Glurge Addict
- Hair Decorations: Josie's bowed headband and Alexandra's ponytail ribbon. Also, of course, those "ears for hats." In one episode, Melody briefly wears a bow that's actually a homing device.
- Heroes Want Redheads: Though he's not The Hero (he fits as a sort-of Lancer), Alan would rather have Josie than Alexandra.
- Insult Backfire: Laser-Guided Karma aimed at Alexandra, especially when she calls anyone "dum-dum."
- Iron Butt Monkey: Alexandra, for all of her Amusing Injuries.
- Ironic Echo Cut: In "The Jumpin' Jupiter Affair":
(cut to Alexander, running for his life as a result of his sister's bumbling)
- Jerkass: Alexandra's arrogance, impatience and pomposity make her very difficult to like.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Sebastian. He's an often mean-spirited prankster who finds other people's pain and humiliation hilariously funny, but he does care about his humans, particularly Alexandra, and will provide aid and support when needed.
- Large Ham: Alexander in the comics, Alexandra in the cartoon.
- Let's Split Up, Gang: Lampshaded by Alexandra in the final episode, having been sent off with Sebastian, Alexander, and Melody:
- Limited Wardrobe
- The Load: Alexandra, who stoops to subversion to undermine Josie, and insists upon being the Designated Hero, which often sunders the effort to thwart the villain.
- Locking MacGyver in the Store Cupboard: If you're gonna kidnap Valerie, you'd better be damn sure she can't move or speak.
- Lovable Coward: Alexander, who talks a big game, but has no spine to back up his boasting.
- Love Triangle: Josie, Alan, Alexandra. In the comics, Alexander (who was much less cowardly and much meaner) had a crush on Josie.
- MacGyvering: Valerie was the champion of this, making solutions and springing traps with guitar strings, bubble gum and hairspray.
- Mad Scientist: SEVERAL.
- Miles Gloriosus: Alexander will gladly take credit for foiling the Villain. However, in "Plateau of the Apes Plot," he has this to say at the end - this was after he had been transformed into a gorilla and had to be rescued from the pound:
was any doubt that we could handle the situation. After all, under my skillful and fearless
leadership, mmph ..."
- Mind Control: Melody gets hypnotized, brainwashed and mind-controlled by the villains a lot. In every single instance they end up wishing they hadn't, because her ditzy nature is only exaggerated when she's hypnotized, and she will screw up the simplest of tasks.
- Mind-Control Eyes: Again, Melody gets them when under the influence of the villains.
- Nearly Normal Animal/Speech-Impaired Animal: Sebastian falls in between.
- Non-Human Sidekick: Sebastian, and Bleep in outer space.
- Pokémon Speak: Bleep
- Power Trio: Josie, Melody, Valerie.
- Prince and Pauper: Melody was more than once mistaken for somebody of elevated status, including one Outer Space episode where the residents of a planet mistook her for their goddess.
- For that matter, a pair of shoes was accidentally mixed up for another pair of shoes that were intelligence-gathering devices.
- Valerie turned out to be a dead ringer for a princess from India, and agreed to act as a decoy to catch a villain who was after her.
- Recognizable By Sound: While sneaking around the mansion of Mad Scientist Doctor Greenthumb in the episode "A Greenthumb Is Not A Goldfinger," the three band members encounter a walking pile of leaves. They presume that this is one of the mad doctor's plant creatures, and attack it. While Josie and Valerie are pummeling the creature, it cries in pain from the blows. Melody recognizes the voice, and begins sobbing, "That sounds like Alexandra. The creature-plant must have eaten her!" Immediately, Josie and Valerie realize that Dumbass Has a Point, and it's revealed that the creature was Alexandra disguised as a creature plant.
- Recycled In Space: Their outer space adventures are the Trope Codifier, possibly the Trope Namer.
- Red-Headed Hero: Josie is the leader of the Pussycats and often leads the whole group.
- Rich Bitch: Alexandra, the sarcastic and selfish twin sister of the Pussycats' manager, Alexander.
- Rock Trio: A pop version that swapped the bass guitar with a tambourine.
- Scooby-Doo Hoax: The plot of "The Jumpin' Jupiter Affair," subverted in that the villains were revealed to the audience in the middle of the episode.
- Shout-Out: From the second episode, "Greenthumb Is Not a Goldfinger", after the others find Alexandra, Alexander and Sebastian hiding in plants:
Josie: Alexandra, it's you!
Alexandra: Of course it's me! Who were you expecting? Scooby-Doo?
- Shrunken Head: Having fled the mansion of the Mad Scientist, The Pussy Cats are soon captured by a tribe of Amazon natives. Alex wonders what the natives will do with their captives. Valerie shows him some shrunken heads, and replies, "Do these answer your question?" Fortunately, the Pussy Cats are able to use the natives' superstition to effect an escape.
- Skintone Sclerae
- Slapstick Knows No Gender: Alexandra suffered by far the most comic mishaps on the show, with Alexander coming in a distant second.
- Skunk Stripe: Alexandra.
- Spy Speak: In the episode "Never Mind a Master Mind".
- Strictly Formula: Similar to a lot of Hanna-Barbera mystery shows. The gang shows up in a new town, stumbles onto some great crime or mad plot, solves the mystery, and then everyone laughs as Alexandra's attempt to steal Alan screws up.
- Stylistic Suck: Results whenever Alexandra actually gets to perform.
- Suddenly Fluent in Gibberish: A second-season episode has the team flying into outer space and encountering a dog-bird alien named Bleep, who communicates as follows: "Bleep bleep bleep." Melody, the Ditz, says, "Bleep bleep bleep, bleep bleep?" Bleep responds, "Bleep bleep bleep, bleep." Melody then gives an English translation.
- Sunglasses at Night: Alexander, who's seldom seen without his sunglasses.
- Token Minority: Valerie, but this was the late 1960s and early 1970s. Pretty progressive for the times, really, especially considering her TV Genius and MacGyver talents.
- TV Genius: Valerie could often hold her own, understanding what the Mad Scientist was talking about.
- Villain Ball: In many episodes, the villains would have gotten away if they didn't kidnap those meddling kids!
- Walking the Earth: The band was always getting into trouble in a city or town they'd visit as part of a gig for their tour.
- Weirdness Magnet: Wherever they tour, a supervillains is always around.
- With Friends Like These...: Alexandra and Alexander (sometimes Alan as well) got the Pussycats more often in trouble than aided them.
- X-Ray Sparks: Alexander in one episode experiences this, complete with his shades being visible over his skull eyes!
- You Meddling Kids: Very rarely were those words used verbatim, but the sentiment was there when the gang solved the mystery. This was true for the majority of Hanna-Barbera's Animated Series in the 1970s.