Western Animation / Josie and the Pussycats

http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/josie-and-the-pussycats_anim_350_6191.jpg
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 The New Scooby-Doo Movies.

It was adapted into a live-action film in 2001. For information on that, click here.


This series provides examples of the following tropes:

  • Cats Are Mean: Sebastian was a nasty prankster in the main show. He bedeviled Scooby when there was a Crossover, 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."
    • Can also be interpreted as Adaptational Wimp; in the comics, though Alexander is far from being a heroic and noble character, he isn't nearly as cowardly as his animated version.
  • 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, Where Are You!, 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.
  • Fishbowl Helmet: Sebastian the cat plunks an actual fishbowl over his head in order to rescue Josie and the Pussycats from prison capsules on the ocean floor. Thanks to Cartoon Physics, this works.
  • 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!
  • 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, though there were times when she actually managed to thwart the villain of the episode, mainly by accident.
  • 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.
  • Loves Only Gold: The episode "The Midas Mix-Up" has Josie and the Pussycats encounter a reclusive Mad Scientist who would threaten, "Unless I am paid half the gold in the world, I shall destroy all the gold in the world!" Midas has perfected a microbe mist that can dissolve gold, and plans to export the stuff disguised as spray cologne.
  • 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:
    Alexander: "There never 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.
  • Plant Mooks: Mad Scientist Doctor Greenthumb sought to create an army of plant-creatures in the episode "A Greenthumb Is Not A Goldfinger." His Evil Plan never made it out of beta.
  • 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.
  • 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 debut 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.
  • Shrunk in the Wash: Subverted in the episode '"A Greenthumb Is Not a Goldfinger." All six protagonists have been captured by Amazon basin natives, who plan to shrink the Pussy Cats' heads in their potion cauldron. To prove that Pussy Cat magic is stronger than the natives' magic, Alexandra dunks her brother's shirt into the potion, which has no effect. Alexander's shirt was the only one guaranteed not to shrink.

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/WesternAnimation/JosieAndThePussyCats