Western Animation / Pete

Not Pete's usual state of dress, but fitting nonetheless.
Pete is a large anthropomorphic cat from the Classic Disney Shorts who is constantly causing trouble for Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck, and Goofy (all of whom, ironically, he predatesnote ).

Pete's brand of villainy has evolved subtly over the years, his intelligence is optional and his goals range from a simple con to taking over a country, but one thing remains the same in this selfish, menacing brute - Pete is up to no good. He gets what's coming to him with perfect Laser-Guided Karma, and yet he never learns.

As a villain and antagonist, Pete's most notable trait to date is that he has never learned the difference between fear and respect. As opposed to many Disney villains who lust for power, Pete is a bully who desires control over people; a goal that can never be accomplished since he has never displayed any self-control himself.

He debuted in the Alice Comedies short "Alice Solves the Puzzle", and also appeared as a bear in some of the Oswald the Lucky Rabbit cartoons. This makes him the oldest Disney character that is still in use today.

Tropes That Apply to Pete:

  • Abusive Father: Zig-Zagged. On Goof Troop he can range from a relatively distant but still concerned Bumbling Dad to a harshly verbally abusive slave-driver with his son. With his daughter he can range from spoiling her with love to being somewhat neglectful. In "Bellboy Donald", he was not abusive at all, but was useless.
  • Adaptational Heroism: While Pete has traditionally been a truly evil villain, in Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and, to a lesser extent, Goof Troop, he was played differently. In Goof Troop at least, he was a Jerkass, a Manipulative Bastard, and (as a result of the premise) an Abusive Parent, but he was also shown to have standards, fight against greater evils from time to time, and have a few Pet the Dog moments, making him more of an Unsympathetic Comedy Protagonist or Anti-Hero. In Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, he is played much more sympathetically due to the target audience being younger to the point where he's not even very mean and actually gets along with the other characters. One episode of DuckTales had a gruff but outright heroic Pete who was only positioned as a potential villain as a Red Herring. A few incarnations of Pete in Epic Mickey depict them as Punch Clock Villains and are aware of it; they will help Mickey if it means it'll help Wasteland as a whole.
  • Arch-Enemy: To Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck and/or Goofy, depending on the cartoon. The last one, however rarely ever suspects that they're enemies.
  • Artificial Limbs: Due to having his peg leg removed from his design, one European artist justified this change with "he got a much more realistic prosthetic".
  • Art Evolution: Pete started off as a bear, but was made into a cat in The Gallopin Gaucho. He lost his long tail and shaved his muzzle in 1932, where he was given his current appearance.
  • Bears Are Bad News: Before Steamboat Willie he was a bear.
  • Bumbling Dad: Pete plays this trope to perfection in Goof Troop.
  • Cartoon Creature: He was originally a bear, but he is a cat now. In Goof Troop, A Goofy Movie, and An Extremely Goofy Movie, he is portrayed as a Dogface.
  • Cats Are Mean: Believe it or not, Pete is a cat, even though he hasn't really looked like one since 1932, when he lost his tail. He's also one of the biggest jerks around.
  • Chaste Toons: Averted. He has three children: Junior from "Bellboy Donald" and PJ and Pistol from Goof Troop.
  • The Chew Toy: Often, usually due to Goofy's inadvertant bumbling.
  • Cigar Chomper: Sometimes he's shown smoking a large cigar like in the picture above.
  • Composite Character: He was originally named Tom, but was renamed Pete when Disney decided to make him a continuation of the bear character from earlier shorts.
  • Consummate Liar
  • Cranky Neighbor: Toward Donald in "The New Neighbor", which takes this trope Up to Eleven as they engage in all-out war with each other.
  • Depending on the Writer: Pete has been seen as a calculating and scheming villain, a simple criminal thug, a relatively mundane Jerkass, a simple annoying foil, a Cranky Neighbor, or another type of creature altogether, in various appearances, and no one complains!
  • Diabolical Dog Catcher: Pete was depicted as one in "The Mad Dog" (1932) and "The Worm Turns" (1937). Both times he tries to seize Pluto, and when Pluto resists, Pete resorts to actually trying to flat-out murder the dog with a shotgun!
  • The Dragon: To Maleficent in Kingdom Hearts II.
  • Drill Sergeant Nasty: To Donald Duck in a series of Wartime Cartoons.
  • Enemy Mine:
    • In one of European comics, Pete teamed up with Commisoner O'Hara to make a scheme that will get dissuade Police Chief and Pete's Wife from making police and his gang more like those in action movies.
    • He sometimes teams up with his nemesis Mickey Mouse to deal with an even bigger enemy.
  • Evil Laughter: In Mickey's Christmas Carol, playing the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come, Pete does this after shoving Scrooge McDuck into what will be his grave, mocking him with the line, "The richest man in the cemetery!!!" and then ignoring Scrooge's pleas for mercy as he is about to fall into a flaming casket. (This was all a dream, to warn Scrooge of what might be if he continues his misery, jerk-ass ways.)
  • Evil Sounds Deep: Especially the Jim Cummings version. His original actor, Billy Bletcher, was famed for such roles. The Other Wiki once said it was done to contrast Mickey's light falsetto voice.
  • Fat Bastard: To varying degrees throughout the years (see Depending on the Writer) but he always is fat and almost always is an incredible bastard.
  • Fat Cat: He's an obese cat.
  • Freudian Excuse: As seen in Mickey, Donald, Goofy: The Three Musketeers, during his Villain Song, we learn the reason why Pete has been so evil: because his mother didn't like him and he wanted to become king to impress her.
  • Go-Karting with Bowser: When Pete is subject to Adaptational Heroism, he, Mickey, Donald, and Goofy have been rivals rather than enemies, and even been amicable towards one another.
  • Good Smoking, Evil Smoking: Frequently seen chewing on the stump of a fat cigar.
  • Hair-Trigger Temper: It doesn't take much to make him angry. In fact seems like he's always angry.
  • Heel–Face Turn: He sometimes helps Mickey in his adventures. See also: Enemy Mine.
  • Honest John's Dealership: In Goof Troop.
  • Iconic Outfit: Pete is one of the few, if not the only, classic Disney characters who completely averts this. Throughout the years, he has worn quite a variety of outfits depending on what's appropriate, and has no real "default" look like other characters.
  • I Have Many Names: Peg-Leg Pete, Big Bad Pete, Pistol Pete, Black Pete, and Pete Pete, to name a few. In the Alice Comedies, he was known as Bootleg Pete, while as Oswald's nemesis, he was called Putrid Pete. He also has had names that did not contain Pete: e.g., Terrible Tom, Tiny Tom (in Officer Duck), Sylvester Macaroni (in Symphony Hour), and Al Muldoon (in How to Be a Detective).
  • Informed Species: His species is even less clear than Goofy's, and he's often mistaken for a Dogface.
  • Jerkass: Whether the setting makes sense for him to be a traditional villain or not, he's almost always a big selfish bully.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: On occasion. Kingdom Hearts II and Mickey Mouse Clubhouse show a more sympathetic side for example. The latter show and a commentary feature on The Three Musketeers DVD implies that he's usually a case of Mean Character, Nice Actor. Also, every once in a while he'd slip into this role on Goof Troop but there more often than not he was just a Jerkass.
  • Large Ham: Expecially in The Three Musketeers.
  • Laughably Evil: Even at his most diabolical, he is usually a bumbling goofball.
  • Lighter and Softer: In Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, he's far less malicious, and much more mischevious. He's also on far better terms with the good characters.
  • Manipulative Bastard
  • Mega Neko: He's a massive, obese cat.
  • The Millennium Age of Animation
  • My Future Self and Me: In Kingdom Hearts II, the party follows Pete into Timeless River, an area of the past modeled after the black-and-white Disney Cartoons. Here they also meet Pete as portrayed in Steamboat Willie, who even helps them fight Present!Pete and his army of Heartless.
  • Perma-Stubble: Pete's once white-furred muzzle is now clean-shaven, except for bristly stubble to emphasize his often malignant and brusque character.
  • Punch-Clock Villain: In European comics continuity Pete is a robber but treats his profession like a normal job, up to the point of not committing crimes when he is on vacation.
  • Punny Name: In France, Pete is named "Pat Hibulaire", a pun on the French word "patibulaire", which means "sinister".
  • The Rival: To Mickey, of course. He's also one to Goofy.
  • Seadog Peg Leg: For most of the early thirties, when he was also known as Peg Leg Pete. It disappeared around 1936 in the theatrical cartoons, although it remained in the comics for some time after that.
  • Spiteful Spit: In the early cartoons, Pete chewed tobacco and would often spit a glob of it when irritated or spiteful.
  • Team Rocket Wins: He actually wins Minnie's affections over Mickey in The Barn Dance (granted this was one of the few times he was acting more scrupulous than his nemesis).
  • Those Wacky Nazis: During World War II, Pete was drafted into the US army, but in the comics released at the time he was revealed to be working for the Nazis.
  • Ugly Guy, Hot Wife: His marriage to Peg in Goof Troop certainly counts for this.
  • The Usurper: In The Prince and the Pauper and Mickey, Donald, Goofy: The Three Musketeers, Pete is The Captain of the royal guard and attempts to usurp control of the kingdom.
  • Villain Decay: He used to be truly evil in his early shorts, even kidnapping Minnie on occasion. But around the 1940s, his character was toned down to just a selfish Jerkass who, while still mean to Mickey and the gang, wasn't truly evil. He still has his moments of outright villainy, however. It seems to vary depending on what the setting requires. A domestic or Slice of Life setting will have him simply be a Jerkass, while a fantasy or adventure setting will feature more traditional villainy.
  • Your Size May Vary: Pete's size seems to vary between appearances, from being twice the size as Mickey, to being incredibly imposing to Mickey.