Western Animation: Timon & Pumbaa

Timon and Pumbaa is a cartoon starring Timon the meerkat and Pumbaa the warthog from the Disney franchise The Lion King. The show first aired on CBS. It premiered in 1995, betwewn the first two !ovies. It has been rerunning on various Disney channels ever since. Instead of the realistic style of the movie, it goes for Surreal Humor. The show seems to borrow a lot of its humor from both The Ren & Stimpy Show and Animaniacs, which makes it a distinct change of pace from the movies.


This show provides examples of:

  • Absentee Actor: Timon and Pumbaa usually don't appear in episodes centred around the film's other characters.
  • A Day in the Limelight: Zazu, the Hyenas, and Rafiki had their own episodes.
  • Anthropomorphic Shift: The duo, and any other character from the original film to some degree. Having bipedal moment is only a fraction of it, they interact with humans, wear costumes, have access to Hammer Space, desire money and business ambitions, play sports...
  • Artistic License Biology: "Nearly Departed" says that the Red Skeetle Orpion is the most dangerous insect and related to the scorpion, even though scorpions aren't insects but arachnids.
  • Balloon Belly: Happens in many episodes.
    • First, in "Cooked Goose", Cheetato and Cheetata get this, and can't run away from the hyenas.
    • In Brazil Nuts, Timon gets fat from earing a buffet, and uses strange words like "yay big", "baby" and "flant it", things Timon wouldn't say in his normal form (although he has actually said "baby" in his normal form). He even stuffs a dollar bill in Ralph the snake's eye.
    • In Washington Applesauce, Timon and Pumbaa decide to eat the giant worm that was ruining the apple festival, so they become fat and gigantic.
    • In "Island of Manhood", Timon drinks a bug soda and gains a mild balloon belly. (This was in order to earn a "Burp" badge as part of the test in the episode.)
  • Bears Are Bad News: Smoulder, who would threaten to hurt the duo if they anger him. However, he can be nice at times.
  • Berserk Button: Pumbaa's famous "THEY CALL ME MR PIG" berserk button is called back twice, during "Mombasa In Law" and "Gabon with the Wind".
  • Big Bad: Quint is the closest to this.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall:
  • Bilingual Bonus: Besides "Hakuna Matata", there are other Bilingual Bonuses in the series.
    • In Brazil Nuts, Ralph the snake says "Moi" (Me) and "N'est-ce pas?" (Isn't it?)
  • Busy Beaver: Boss Beaver, to amazing levels that it puts him at odds with Timon and Pumbaa.
  • Butt Sticker: in episode Kenya Be My Friend: while Pumbaa is searching for a new friend, he sits on a meerkat named Monty.
  • The Cameo:
    • Scar of all characters shows up in the series. Once When Zazu is cleaning his nest.
    • Zazu, the hyenas, Rafiki... pretty much every character except for Nala appear in the show at some point.
  • Canon Discontinuity: The midquel focusing on Timon and Pumbaa's lives ignores this series.
    • Maybe because the series is supposed to be set after the film? Whenever Simba appears, he's already as an adult, after all.
    • Watch The Lion King 1 1/2, and then watch the episode "Once Upon a Timon" which tells of how Timon and Pumbaa met. While the circumstances on how they meet is similar, the reasons for Timon leaving the meerkat colony are wildly different.
  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: Nala, Sarabi, and Sarafina, are never seen or mentioned in the series.
    • Within the show itself, most of the other characters' appearances dry out after the second season, making it near exclusively about the title duo.
  • Closer to Earth: Pumbaa often comes up with the most rational-sounding plans, but they have to go through all of Timon's wacky ones first.
  • Con Man: Toucan Dan, who can make anyone believe anything he tells them. Including convincing Timon he is Santa Claus.
  • Depending on the Writer: Timon's greediness for money and power varied from episode to episode. Sometimes he didn't care about money, just as long as he could get a meal.
  • Demoted to Extra: The rest of the film's cast make only sparse appearances. Zigzagged since some minor characters such as Zazu and the hyenas actually get A Day in the Limelight.
  • Denser and Wackier: There's a lot more Surreal Humor going on than in the film series.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Since his first appearance, Boss Beaver would often punish Timon and Pumbaa for things that weren't their fault, or for just simply disagreeing with his rules and policies. Thankfully, Laser-Guided Karma usually sets in, and will often have him end up working for Timon and Pumbaa in a sheer act of irony.
  • Dumb Is Good: In the episodes where the hyenas are the heroes they are pitted against two incredibly smart cheetahs and have their own idiocy increased. The cheetahs still can't win.
  • Exact Words: Timon uses this on Pumbaa three times in "Mombasa-In-Law"
    Timon: What are we going to do, put her in a rocket and send her to the moon? Besides, Pumbaa, you said you'd do anything for me! Don't you remember?
    (Pumbaa goes into flashback)
    Pumbaa (Flashback 1): I'd do anything for you, Timon, even dress up like a woman!
    Timon: What are we going to do, put her in a rocket and send her to the moon? Besides, Pumbaa, you said you'd do anything for me! Don't you remember?
    (Pumbaa goes into flashback)
    Pumbaa (Flashback 2): I'd do anything for you, Timon, even dress up like a rich old movie star!
    Timon: What are we going to do, put her in a rocket and send her to the moon? Besides, Pumbaa, you said you'd do anything for me! Don't you remember?
    (Pumbaa goes into flashback)
    Pumbaa (Flashback 3): I'd do anything for you, Timon, even dress up as an entire family!
  • Failure Is the Only Option: In "Hot Air Buffoons", Timon and Pumbaa won a hot air balloon race, but then lost when "a new winner" landed, even though he came second.
  • Feel No Pain: Timon and Pumbaa definitely go through a lot, and definitely show they are in pain, but seem to be made of iron.
    • The hyenas can go back and forth on this, usually for the sake of comedy.
  • Feud Episode:
    • The episodes "Kenya Be My Friend?," "Rumble In the Jungle", and "The Sky is Calling". This show loves to test their friendship.
  • Funny Animal Anatomy: Surprisingly subverted with Boss Beaver, who has yellowish teeth like a real beaver.
    • Also subverted with the film cast. While they are more prone to Funny Animal antics, their proportions never really change (outside the film's own crime of Pumbaa and other non bipedal characters suddenly gaining "hands").
  • Gasshole: Pumbaa's constant farting is something of a Running Gag.
  • Hammer Space
    • In "Luck to be A Meerkat", Pumbaa has a lot of things in his belly when Timon wants to find a place to store the "lucky marble".
    • In "Island of Manhood", one of the things Timon must do to pass the manhood test is carry a backpack with a ton of things on top of it.
  • Her Code Name Was Mary Sue: In "Wide Awake In Wonderland", Timon becomes so frustrated with a warthog fairytale book that puts meerkats in a negative light, so he makes up a story about a handsome, brave, and smart meerkat king named "Timun" who singlehandly defeats every warthog villain and gets rewarded for it. Pumbaa responds to the story by falling asleep.
  • Hollywood Natives: A tribe of masked natives kidnap Pumbaa and make him their king. Subverted when at the end they take off their masks, revealing them to be urbane yuppies with British accents on some sort of corporate retreat.
  • Illogical Safe: A short in which Pumbaa suffers a run of bad luck has this happening to Pumbaa — and then, as soon as he's out of the safe, it happens again with a space capsule.
  • Incredibly Lame Pun: Happens in Brazil Nuts when Timon makes a pun about how long it is taking to get ants, and claims they "must be after the uncles, too!" He finds that nobody heard the pun, but Pumbaa runs in to warn about Ralph and Eddie eating them.
  • Instant Roast: Done with vicious guinea fowl, first by a fiery discharge from Timon's rocket booster which fried several birds, then by setting the rocket-propelled car to explode, finishing off the lot of them. Timon eats a guinea fowl drumstick and pronounces it delicious.
  • Jerkass: The biggest jerkass in this show is Boss Beaver, who will just smite Timon and Pumbaa every time they break something of his or violate one of his unfair rules. The worst thing he has done is take all the credit for a dam that Timon and Pumbaa built.
  • Kangaroo Court: There is no other name for the trial of Timon, accused of touching the Forbidden Stick, when the judge makes up new laws whenever he wants.
    "It is hereby illegal to tell me to 'chill out!'"
  • Latex Perfection: In "Congo on Like This" the tiny tarsier turns out to be a much bigger wolf in disguise.
  • The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything:
    • In "Pirates of Pumbzance", Pumbaa wants to be this type of pirate, under the impression that that's what real pirates are like. Whenever the captain tries to do any actual piracy, Pumbaa stops him.
  • Pulled From Your Day Off: In "Zazu's Off Day Off", Zazu tries to enjoy his day off, but Gopher continually interrupts it to tell him that the river has dried up and the animals are dying of thirst. Jumbo Jumbo, a stubborn elephant, is sitting in the middle of the river and refuses to move. At the end of the episode, it is revealed that Jumbo Jumbo was only sitting in the river because he thought it was his day off, and promptly moves when he realizes his mistake. Then Gopher tells Zazu that tomorrow is Jumbo Jumbo's ''real'' day off.
  • Running Gag: In "Shopping Mauled", Timon keeps reminding Pumbaa how much bad luck Irwin has caused them in the past, resulting in a clip from "Frantic Atlantic" where Pumbaa is hit by a boating anchor.
  • Saturday Morning Cartoon
  • Shout-Out: "Washington Applesauce" is one to Jaws.
  • Significant Anagram: Monti and Baampu from the episode, "Kenya Be My Friend?" have names that are anagrams of "Timon" and "Pumbaa", respectively.
  • Smug Snake: The two cheetahs, usually pitted against Shenzi, Banzai, and Ed. While both cheetahs are legitimately intelligent, the hyenas are so dimwitted and persistent that they tend to win in the end.
  • Stating the Simple Solution: In "The Pain in Spain", Pumbaa has been mistaken for a bull and is about to be forced into a bullfight he cannot win. They have to wait in the stadium for the fight to begin, and Timon draws up an elaborate escape plan involving many maps and diagrams. When he's finished going through it, Pumbaa points out they could just use the back door.
  • Stealth Parody: It's pretty easy to see, when you look at the fact that it's the cast of The Lion King in this show, that it's pretty much a parody of every Saturday Morning Cartoon ever made. Most people took it at face value, however, and either loved it or considered it a complete cash-in on the franchise.
  • Strong Family Resemblance: The Quint Family, a bunch of Boisterous Bruisers, each with a Meaningful Name.
  • Talking Animals: Animals and humans can talk to each other with no problem.
  • There Are No Therapists: Rafiki averts this. He usually counsel and therapy to the animals of the Pride Lands.
  • Too Dumb to Fool:
    • Many attempts to appeal to Pumbaa's ego go this way, as he can't understand how he'd ever want to outshine Timon.
    • The hyenas in a short with two Smug Snake cheetahs, continually foiling the cheetahs' plan to eat a wildebeest. Finally the cheetahs resort to telling each hyena individually to go on a Wild Goose Chase, only for all three to follow the directions to the letter and all end up at the same point, thus realizing they've been had and going for revenge.
  • Two Shorts: Though a small number of episodes had Three Shorts instead.
  • Uncancelled: Was brought back n 1999 after a few years of not having new episodes produced, but with a new set of writers and a new director.
  • The Unintelligible: Ed, who communicates with gibbering howls, growls, and stock sound effects.
  • Unstoppable Rage: When Pumbaa gets angry and charges, everyone runs for their lives (including a Tyrannosaurus rex).
  • Visual Pun: In Brazil Nuts, Eddie the snake claimed he got horseradish for Ralph, but all he got was a horse and a radish. Ralph gets mad, later causing him to strap the horse and the radish to a rocket.
  • Walk Into Camera Obstruction:
    • "Klondike Con" with Pumbaa as he and Quint charge inside a cave to rescue Timon from a polar bear; happens with Pumbaa's nose.
    • "Circus Jerks" with Timon and the very end when he and Pumbaa are blasted out of a cannon out of the circus; happens with Timon's nose
    • "Rocky Mountain Lie" with Pumbaa when he's taking a bug in an icicle inside a cabin; again with Pumbaa's nose.
  • Walking Away Shot: in episode "Timon Alone" with Pumbaa chasing away a bunch of animals that were after Timon.
  • Walking the Earth: This seems to be what the duo is doing here, with every few episodes showing them in a different place in the world (as pointed out by the punny titles of said episodes).
  • Why Do You Keep Changing Jobs?: Quint, whose job and title changed on every episode that featured him.
  • Your Size May Vary: Timon sometimes suffers from this, but generally (probably for reasons of convenience), he is much larger in the series than he is in the movies. Still small enough to ride on Pumbaa's head with no problem, but large enough that he can physically interact with the larger Pumbaa and other large animals more effectively.
  • Zany Scheme: Timon, well into the dozens. Even when Pumbaa offers a much simpler plan.


Alternative Title(s):

Timon And Pumbaa