"We're Tiny, we're Toony, we're all a little Looney! It's Tiny Toon Adventures! Come and join the fun! ...and now our song is done."
A revival of sorts for the Looney Tunes style of comedy, using teenage Toons highlyreminiscent of several classic characters. But rather than pure rip-offs, they were actually being taught in school by the originals on being funny and the finer parts of Cartoon Physics and being a Toon. This continues the proud tradition of Warner Bros. Animation having a heavy dose of meta-humor, shtick and Lampshade Hanging of many cartoon tropes, but this also incorporated themes of teen adolescence, Aesops, and '90s sensibilities. It was executive produced by Steven Spielberg, who, along with fellow executive Tom Ruegger, thought the Looney Tunes style was due for a makeover on television after the success of Who Framed Roger Rabbit. TTA started the Renaissance Age of Warner Brothers cartoons, resulting in similarshows that shared many of the same tropes and were produced in much the same way (writing, storyboards, key animation, and voice work done in the USA, inbetweening done by Asian studios—TMS excluded; they preferred to do most of their own work themselves, albeit with an uncredited staff). It was also one of the first shows not made by Disney to contribute to the '90s animation boom, following The Simpsons by less than a year.TTA premiered in syndication in the fall of 1990. Many of the stations that ran it were Fox affiliates, leading to Fox officially adding it to the afternoon lineup for its last season (1992-1993). After it left the Fox Kids lineup in 1995, it's since been shown in reruns on Nickelodeon, Kids' WB!, Cartoon Network, Childrens' ITV, Nicktoons, and The Hub starting in July.The characters included:
Buster and Babs Bunny ("no relation") - A (respectively) blue and pink pair of Bugs Bunnys. Served as the main characters and would alternate between Like Brother and Sister and love interests of each other. Would often host and close each episode. While Buster was the Straight Man, Babs had more of a concrete personality, and was known for her excellent impersonations.
Plucky Duck - A green (he's a mallard), white tank-top-wearing Daffy who's about as scheming and (un)successful as his inspiration.
Hamton J. Pig - A neat freak who acts more like Plucky's sidekick. About the furthest distanced from his counterpart, Porky, out of all the characters.
Fifi La Fume - A purple female skunk who's just as oversexed as her male counterpart, Pepe Le Pew. Unlike Pepe, however, she seems to have far more control over her odor, she's a tad more melodramatic, and she doesn't have a problem with her object of desire chasing her.
Montana Max - Based on Yosemite Sam in name and temperament. The richest and meanest kid in Acme Acres, and owner of the legendary Acme company. Oddly, the Big Bad of Hellsingmight be named after him.
Dizzy Devil, pink/purple-haired mentee of the Tasmanian Devil. Is a party animal who, despite being disgusting, is actually considered attractive to women.
Furrball, "thpiritual thucthethor" to both Sylvester the Cat and Penelope Pussycat, and (with three exceptions) The Voiceless (like the latter). Inevitably, he pursues Tweety's female counterpart Sweetie Pie (who unlike many of the Sylvester/Tweety shorts is the instigator while Furrball is minding his own business). Most of the time, though, he's just the Butt Monkey.
Calamity Coyote and Little Beeper, Wile E. Coyote and Roadrunner analogues.
Gogo Dodo - A thoroughly off-the-wall incarnation of cartoon surrealism, Word of God states that Gogo is the son of the original Dodo from Porky in Wackyland. He resides in the supposedly same Wackyland, which is just outside the town of Acme Acres.
Shirley The Loon- A Valley Girl, part-time psychic, and part-time Love Interest of Plucky. Supposedly created by putting Melissa Duck (from "The Scarlet Pumpernickel") and Shirley MacLaine into a blender.
Little Sneezer- A mouse in a diaper who has a chronic sneezing problem inversely proportional to his size. Could be the Spiritual Successor to Chuck Jones's Sniffles the Mouse. His name on the other hand is a pun on "Little Cheeser", a non-Warner Bros. character.
Arnold, who is basically an Arnold-Schwarzenegger impersonator in a white pitbull costume with shades. One of the only recurring new characters who is not an expy of a 'Tune.
Mary Melody, a black girl who often had Furrball as a pet. Is often featured as a background character or extra. Looks like a teenaged, less-stereotypical version of So White (the black princess) from the banned Bob Clampett cartoon "Coal Black and de Sebben Dwarfs", though Tom Ruegger denied that this resemblance was intentional. He name is, of course, a pun on "Merrie Melodies".
Concord Condor, a rather dopey purple condor who is probably an Expy of minor Looney Tune Beaky Buzzard.
Fowlmouth, a little chicken with a tendency to swear excessively. Is most likely a Verbal Tic reminiscent of his mentor Foghorn Leghorn's.
Bookworm, a green, well, bookworm with big glasses based off of the companion to the Merrie Melodies character Sniffles. Naturally, he works in the library and is shown to be quite smart and good with computers.
The original Looney Tunes, most of whom are faculty members of Acme Looniversity, and who all make cameos sprinkled everywhere in the show. Often, they are personal tutors and greatly admired by their younger, respective spiritual successors.
Episodes were either broken into three 7-minute shorts, or made into half-hour full-episode adventures. Similarly, these would be split among stories dealing with misadventures in school, Looney Tunes-like shorts out in Acme Acres, or the occasional music video (the show's renditions of They Might Be Giants' "Istanbul (Not Constantinople)" and "Particle Man", for example, are favorites amongst fans of both the show and the band to this day).A feature length direct-to-video movie, Tiny Toon Adventures: How I Spent My Vacation, shows the misadventures of the kids on various summer road trips. It was eventually split up into four parts and worked into the show's syndicated run.The show was a precursor to - and the inspiration for - Animaniacs; they were both produced by the same staff and shared many of the same writers. The main difference is that Tiny Toons generally had all the characters interacting with each other, while Animaniacs focused mostly on individual characters or groups for their Three Shorts.Fun fact: Tokyo Movie Shinsha (now TMS Entertainment, Ltd.), which made the intro and several episodes (including the direct-to-video Tiny Toon Adventures: How I Spent My Vacation) is a highly-regarded studio which also animated Lupin III, Devilman Lady, Golgo 13: The Professonal, and the original version of Aim for the Ace!.The first season is now available on iTunes, broken up into volumes. Here it is.The show has been reaired in Russia since 2010, "It's a Wonderful Tiny Toons Christmas Special" was reaired in the UK in December 2011, and the one hour special "Night Ghoulery" aired on Vortexx on October 27, 2012, with a repeat airing on November 24 of the same year. Tiny Toon Adventures will now be airing on The Hub as of July 1st.
Tiny Toon Adventures provides examples of:
Abnormal Limb Rotation Range: In "Concord the Kindly Condor" (part of "Toons from the Crypt"), one of the vultures keeps circling Concord who, instead of turning his whole body to look at the vulture, merely keeps turning his head. He turns it 360 degrees at least three times.
Absentee Actor: Babs does not appear in the episodes, "Test Stress", "Kon Ducki", Sepulveda Boulevard" (though her face can be seen on a billboard in the WB studio), "Flea For Your Life", "Toons From the Crypt", and "Grandma's Dead". Buster does not appear in the episodes, "Sepulveda Boulevard" and "Grandma's Dead".
Accidental Art: Plucky, after realizing that he was able to pause a dog fight in "Oh for Art's Sake", passes off the paused picture as a painting.
Acting for Two: Cree Summer (Elmyra and Mary Melody) and Frank Welker (Gogo, Byron, Furball and Beeper) both play several recurring characters, but surprisingly it rarely veers into Talking to Himself territory. Several more minor characters are played by the cast as well - like Rhubella and Roderick Rat being played by Tress MacNeille and Charlie Adler (who also voiced Buster and Babs). In The Movie, nearly everyone plays a side character or two.
Plucky: Call me "Pluck". It's more artistic, if you know what I mean, and... how could you?
A Day in the Limelight: The episodes "Two-Tone Town" and "Fields of Honey" are tributes to the original Warner Bros. cartoon stars, Bosko and Honey, as well as Foxy, Roxy and Goopy Geer, all of whom had been stuck in cartoon limbo for decades by that point.
Ahem: In "Bat's All Folks" (part of "Inside Plucky Duck"), the phone rings and Elmyra the maid doesn't answer it.
Plucky: A-he-hem. (phone continues to ring) A-HE-HEM! (more ringing) A-HAH-HAM!!!
And Call Him George: Elmyra loves doing this. It even gets to the point where one short revolves around the many animals she has inadvertently killed over the course of her childhood coming back to get revenge. And she loves them anyway.
Angst Nuke: In "Toons Take Over", Cooper DeVille is so furious at the movie Buster, Babs, and Plucky created that flames shoot out the top of his head.
Animal Stereotypes: Subverted with Hamton. Elmyra believes he's filthy just because he's a pig, even though many instances show he's the exact opposite. His uncle fits the pig stereotype, though.
Animated Actors: At the start of the second act of "A Quack in the Quarks", Buster, Babs, and Hamton are out of character and discussing Plucky's salary. They're told by an off-screen director to get into places, and when he says "Action", they get back into character and vow to save Plucky from space aliens.
The first episode goes even further and suggest that not only are Babs and Buster actors, they created the show from scratch! They even get a "created by" credit in the credits roll. Lampshaded in "The Looney Beginning."
One can tell which animation team did which episodes. For example, several episodes (including the pilot) resemble A Pup Named Scooby-Doo, being animated by Kennedy Cartoons (whose head, Glen Kennedy, was the animation director on the first season of APNSD).
As mentioned in the intro to this page, TMS animated several episodes.
Anvil On Head: Played straight, subverted, lampshaded, you name it! And we didn't even mention the "Anvil Chorus" short.
Artifact Title: Some might wonder why the episode titled "Animaniacs!" has nothing to do with the Animaniacs TV series to come later.
Art Shift: The dialog-free short "Sound Off" is drawn in rubber hose '30s animation style.
The various student films in "Animaniacs!" are each drawn in a different style than usual.
Ascended Extra: Gogo Dodo and his residence of Wackyland are a large part of the show, to the point that Gogo appears in the opening theme. He is based on a character from a single 1938 Porky Pig short, not counting the color remake.
Assumed Win: Played straight in "Hare-Raising Night" when Plucky assumed he won an Emmy and started to walk towards the stage. It went to Melvin instead.
Ate the Spoon: Does this a few times as a shoutout to their predecessors.
Bad Future: In the final Christmas Special episode, Buster is treated to a world where he was never drawn up. Montana Max had bought out EVERYTHING (Acme Acres now Montyville), the show itself is basically nothing more than shameless self-promotion and glorification for Plucky, and Acme Looniversity is now a BUSINESS Looniversity where students learn to be suck-up actors/actresses rather than on comedy. The real problem was a shot to Buster's heart when he finds out that Babs is forever miserable with her life, a complete opposite of how she used to be. It also didn't help that in that timeline, she's Plucky's personal Butt Monkey. All because in this timeline Buster was never drawn up.
Born In The Theatre: Tiny Toons would sometimes show the outer edge of the film itself as a gag, despite not actually being on a reel.
This is because it's a Shout-Out to the original Looney Tunes.
Brick Joke: During a Global Warming cartoon, Buster asks to book a trip on Noah's Ark.
The Cameo: An Animaniacs short about Noah would later have Buster and Babs cameo as the rabbits.
Early in "Hollywood Plucky", we see Buster and Babs sitting at an abandoned bus stop in the middle of nowhere, due to faulty directions Plucky gave them. At the very end of the episode, after Plucky finally makes contact with Cooper De Ville, Cooper mentions that he already made the script that Plucky was pitching, only starring Buster and Babs. He found them at a bus stop while out driving.
Butt Monkey: Plucky. Hamton drifts between this and the Woobie.
To say nothing of the treatment Furrball receives. Lampshaded in the lyrics to the opening theme, "Furrball's unlucky".
Butt Sticker: In How I Spent My Vacation, while Hamton's family is playing "Spot the Car", Hamton's cousin Stinky is hopping up and down on Plucky.
By the Lights of Their Eyes: Lampshaded, naturally. In "Gang Busters", Buster and Plucky decide to play Pong and Pac-Man with their stretched-out eyeballs, then witness something unexpected when they decide to light a match...
Call Back: In "A Bacon Strip" (part of "The ACME Acres Zone"), Hamton tries to sneak home naked, but is spotted by a tour bus, where the tour guide says, "And to your left is a naked pig." This joke is re-visited in "Kon Ducki" when Hamton briefly loses his grass skirt.
Canon Immigrant: Superman in How I Spent My Summer Vacation. He's a Warner Bros. property, so it makes perfect sense.
Can't Hold His Liquor: Buster, Plucky, and Hamton in "One Beer" (part of "Elephant Issues"); they're instantly winos after one beer. Justified in they're technically teenagers and the point of the short was to show kids the dangers of underage drinking.
Culture Police: "Washingtoon" had a woman representing an organization "against funny cartoons" and taking over Acme Acres with a device that stripped most of the kids of their "tooniness" so they could become bland, pro-social educators.
Deliberately Monochrome: The short "Sound Off", appropriate since it was parodying silent cartoons. Also Two Tone Town in the episode of the same name.
Depending on the Artist: Several animation studios worked on the cartoon and it often shows. Kennedy Cartoons, in particular, had a tendency to do "squash and stretch" Up to Eleven, leading to very polarized opinions (fans calling it energetic, fluid, and bouncy, haters calling it sloppy). They were fired after Season 1.
Babs, after trashing a TV that was showing a rerun of Tiny Toons: I hate the way I was drawn in that episode. I hate the way I was drawn in this episode too.
Deranged Animation: Seen in many episodes that were animated by Freelance, Kennedy Cartoons, and the early Wang Film Productions episodes.
Deus ex Machina: Hamton winning a brand new house at the end of "Hog-Wild Hamton".
Don't Eat And Swim: On one episode, Calamity Coyote works as a lifeguard at a pool. After he sees Hamton eat something and try to get in, Calamity warns him (with a sign) to wait 30 minutes. Hamton shrugs it off, and as soon as he dips his toe in the pool, he gets cramps all over and falls in.
Don't Explain the Joke: The plot of the short "Lame Joke" stems from Buster's titular joke (anthropomorphically personified by a clown) dying due to Babs, Plucky, and Hamton not getting it and Buster only saying in response, "Get it?" Hamton ends up explaining it after he and Babs finally get it, after which Plucky also joins in on the ensuing laughter. This somehow revives the dead joke.
Downer Ending: "One Beer" (part of "Elephant Issues"), where Buster, Plucky, and Hamton drive drunk, crash their car and die. Somewhat averted since it was all just an act designed to teach kids a lesson.
Buster: (taking his fake angel wings off) I hope the kids got the message.
Down to the Last Play: Pretty much any time they do a sports story, most notably "Buster at the Bat" which is a parody of the poem Casey at the Bat and another episode where they were playing Football. Averted in another baseball story where Buster's team was getting slammed, and they won by proving the other team was cheating.
Drugs Are Bad: One entire episode which was pulled off the line of reruns where Buster, Plucky and Hamton get a single beer from the fridge and goes on a drunken rampage ending with a car over the cliff scene to show kids that beer and drugs are bad for you.
The episode in question was in a Three Shorts format, but the other two cartoons didn't contribute to the ban. One of them is about Dizzy Devil obsessing over television and refusing to read books, and the other was about Montana Max discriminating against a robot.
Roderick and Rhubella Rat were introduced in "Butt Out" as a pair of smokers who annoy Babs, and Babs ensures they will never smoke again.
Dunce Cap: In "Never Too Late To Loon," Plucky has to wear one after he is put in detention for failing his math test. (He had asked Shirley to "channel Einstein" for him, not realizing that Einstein was a dunce at basic math as a child.)
Dying Declaration of Love: Played straight in the Tiny Toon Adventures movie, in which the cast is being pursued on an Indiana Jones-style minecart ride with a chainsaw wielding psychopath trying to kill them, and Babs and Buster both confess their feelings for one another.
Everything's Louder With Bagpipes: The plot to "My Brilliant Revenge" (part of "Fox Trot"): Plucky's loud bagpipe playing overpowers "Swine Search" on TV (which Hamton has been waiting all year to watch). After missing the entire show due to the noise, Hamton rips up Plucky's bagpipes.
Evil Counterparts: Roderick and Rhubella Rat are pretty much this to Buster and Babs, even sharing their voice actors.
Perfecto Prep (Roderick's school) has evil counterparts for several of the Tiny Toons.
Evil Versus Obliviously Evil: The show was fond of pitting the nastiest of vile villains against little Elmyra, only for the bad guys to find to their dismay that Elmyra is even worse. This happened quite a bit to Monty, but featured with other baddies as well.
Fake Interactivity: In the first "You Asked For It" episode, Plucky uses a mind-reading machine to read the viewers' minds and determine who will star in the upcoming cartoon. In "Duck Out of Luck", he rigs it to only display Plucky after the first two attempts resulted in Buster and Babs cartoons, but the bunnies have modified the machine so that the viewers could determine what happens to Plucky. Plucky is placed in what seemed to be favorable scenarios at first, only to end up in a Butt Monkey situation. At the end of the cartoon, he gives up and asks the viewers what they'd really want to see. He ends up being split into Buster and Babs.
Fantastic Voyage: "Inside Plucky Duck" features Buster and Babs going into the depths of Plucky's mind.
Fate Worse Than Death: When Hampton fails to boil a lobster, he sends the lobster to Elmyra instead. The lobster then decides that being boiled isn't so bad at all.
A baby version of Plucky Duck is learning how to use the toilet for the first time. He gets a lot of enjoyment flushing various items down it, such as toilet paper, Furrball, his toys, even his own diaper! He even climbed into it himself and tried to flush himself down the hole! The toilet gets clogged up as a result.
This gag was repeated in two more episodes, which consist of a trip to the mall where he plays with the elevator controls, and a miniature golf course with Plucky struggling to knock the ball in, going as far as to cheat (He gets better at it, though). It was also done in several Animaniacs episodes whenever he made a cameo.
"The Undersea World Of Fifi" had Elmyra searching for sea monkeys, and it ends with her draining it and having her say the exact same line as baby Plucky did.
The Kon Ducki episode had Plucky flushing a boat down the toilet as part of the "special effects" during the behind the scenes portion of the episode.
Furry Confusion: Furrball vs. the rest of the cast. Furrball was usually portrayed as being a "normal" cat instead of a Funny Animal, but kept weaving back and forth between the two extremes.
Then there's the owner of the pet store in "Elmyra at the Mall" (part of "You Asked For It Again"); he's a standing, talking dog instructing other animals how to get sold. The other animals act like regular animals.
Girlish Pigtails: Rhoda Queen, Elmyra's bratty Neighbor, in "Can't Buy Me Love".
Give Me a Sword: Played for laughs during the opening of "Buster and Babs Go Hawaiian" — Hamton asks Plucky for his sword, and Plucky appears dragging the sword across the floor, asking if they could have taken an elevator instead. Hamton responds, "Ahem!" Plucky then tries to actually lift the sword, only to fall down and flatten himself with the blade. Hamton then nonchalantly picks the sword up himself.
Go-Karting with Bowser: Elmyra and Montana Max both go to school with the main characters. This occasionally poses a problem.
Good News, Bad News: In "Lame Joke" (part of "Henny Youngman Day"), Henny delivers this one-liner:
Henny Youngman: I've got good news and bad news. The good news is, your joke died. The bad news is, who cares?
Gosh Dang It to Heck!: While most Fowlmouth episodes bleeped him whenever he swore, the movie inexplicably had him continually saying "dadgummed", like it was a dadgummed verbal tic.
Grande Dame: One appears in the short "A Night in Kokomo" (part of "New Class Day"), which is unsurprising, considering it's a parody of all those Marx Brothers flicks.
Grave Humor: There is one in "Lame Joke" while Buster eulogizes the dead Lame Joke:
Half-Dressed Cartoon Animal: Buster, and Babs on some occasions (like her tribute to Groucho Marx); in some cases, she's wearing pants or a skirt, but no shirt (her hula outfit from "No Toon Is an Island", for example).
Hanging Judge: In one of the skits in "K-ACME TV", Yosemite Sam plays "Hanging Judge Sam".
The episode "Starting From Scratch" is a homage to An American Tail, only it's done with fleas instead of mice. One must wonder if Steven Spielberg had a say in that episode, since he produced An American Tail too.
The episode "High Toon" featured a Mousekewitz-esque family of Mexican chihuahuas, complete with the kid that voiced Fievel voicing the young chihuahua Pedro.
Humans Are Bastards: Ever notice that most of the antagonists on this show are humans? Mostly Montana Max and cloud cuckoolander Elmyra Duff but the only sole exception to this is Mary Melody, in fact she is a better owner for Furrball than Elmyra was. It seems pretty hard to find a human on this show who isn't a total jerk to the main characters.
That basically stems from the fact that humans were usually the antagonists in most of the Looney Tunes shorts as well. When Bugs and Daffy weren't at each others' throats, it was either Yosemite Sam, Elmer Fudd, or some other guy.
Hypocritical Humor: The big running gag when Buster does a "Mr. Popular" episode - where he gives bad advice on how to be cool, backslides when that advice goes hilariously sour, and turns out not to be all that cool in the first place. Mr. Popular also gave advice against buying stuff bearing images of people they idolize, prompting the person who asked for the advice to inquire about a refund for Mr. Popular merchandise. Buster moaned the loss of his Christmas Bonus.
Ice-Cream Koan: Plucky's inspirational speech to the alien kids in "A Quack in the Quarks", which included such gems as "Let the force be... your umbrella" and "A stitch in time saves... a lot of embarrassment."
I Fell for Hours: In the episode "Journey to the Center of Acme Acres", Plucky and Hamton fall down a crack in the ground when a huge earthquake hist Acme Acres. After a while, they start getting bored and hope they eventually hit something just to break the monotony. They eventually end up at the center of the Earth where they float because their gravity reaches an equilibrium.
I Have a Family: A lobster tries this on Hamton in "Drawn and Buttered" (part of "Here's Hamton"). Hamton knows he's lying because he has the same photo; it came with the wallet.
Played straight in "Easy Biter" (part of "Stuff That Goes Bump in the Night") when the mosquito shows Hamton a picture of his family from his wallet. Hamton lets him live.
In Case You Forgot Who Wrote It: "Kon Ducki" begins with: "Plucky Epic Pictures presents: A Pluck Production of a Plucky Duck Film, "The Voyage of Kon Ducki", starring Plucky Duck as Pluck Heyerdahl, a film directed, produced, written, visualized, conceived, choreographed, and catered by Plucky Duck." Oh yeah, and there's a brief mention that Hamton is in the film.
Incessant Music Madness: In "Toon TV", the song "Do You Love Me?" appears to conclude, only to iris in on Babs plucking her eyelashes and getting annoyed that the song is still going.
Babs: MAKE IT STOP! MAKE IT STOP!!!
In Joke: During the beginning of "Buster and Babs Go Hawaiian", the duo are trying to sneak in to Steven Spielberg's office to complain to him about Hampton's day in the limelight. On their way, they pass a group waiting to be seen by Spielberg: Christopher Lloyd as Doc Brown, George Lucas as Darth Vader, and...some guy dressed up as a tiger. The joke here is that tiger is the school mascot of Kate Collins Middle School in Waynsboro, VA, The school the three young ladies who wrote this episode, Renee Carter, Sarah Creef, and Amy Crosby, attended at the time they wrote "Buster and Babs Go Hawaiian".
Interspecies Romance: Dizzy was often found in the company of (sometimes several) beautiful, human women.
Fifi has also gone after Dizzy, but she usually chases after characters (namely Furrball, Calamity, and Beeper) that she thinks are skunks. She also went to the prom with Hamton, who was revealed to have a crush on her. Chalk it up to the lack of skunks at Acme Loo.
Plucky and Shirley the Loon are a fairly consistent couple, despite Shirley being...well, a loon. (She looks exactly like a duck.) Fowlmouth also likes Shirley, though, and in "The Return of Pluck Twacey", it seems that Plucky, like his mentor, has a thing for the pigeon from "Plane Daffy".
Jerkass: Sweetie Pie, who hijacks a themed episode to indulge in her own egotistical fantasies where she tortures anyone and everyone in her path. One short has her attempting to get Furrball to chase and eat her, heaping various punishments and humiliations on the poor cat, and when he does finally reach his breaking point and attempt to off the little hellspawn she just heaps MORE violence on the poor cat, who at the beginning of the short was minding his own damn business.
Montana Max, Plucky Duck, and Little Beeper are also jerkasses more often than not.
The entire cast (sans Mary, Hamton, Calamity and Fifi) are this when you think about it.
Kangaroo Court: In "Gang Busters", Buster and Plucky are put on trial for a crime Montana Max framed them for. The jury is made up of clones of Yosemite Sam.
Kids Shouldn't Watch Horror Films: In "Duck in the Dark," Plucky watches a marathon of "Eddie Cougar" horror movies, including one that has him attacking a screaming Bambi. Of course it ends up giving Plucky horrible nightmares.
Plucky: Only a total idiot would be afraid of these movies!
Buster: I rest my case.
Kill the Poor: Buster and Babs once tried to get into Montana Max's house, claiming to be collecting money for "fighting the poverty fund." He is about to slam the door in their faces when they explain that the plan is to send all the poor to the Moon.
Kissing in a Tree: Sung sarcastically by various characters to Montana Max in "My Dinner With Elmyra" (part of "Love Disconnection").
In the episode, "Prom-ise Her Anything", Elmyra wore Furrball as a sash as part of her prom outfit.
In the short, "Fur-Gone Conclusion" from the episode, "Rainy Daze", Babs, as Buffy Vanderbunny, wears a Baby Seal as a sash in order to save him from being skinned alive by Gotcha Grabmore. She even tells her that wearing live animals is the latest fashion.
Logo Joke: One sight gag in "The Looney Beginning" featured the classic "WB shield" chasing the "Big W" logo from The Seventies with a large hammer.
Loud of War: Seen in "Hog-Wild Hamton" when Plucky plays loud music from Hamton's house, which causes Egghead Jr. to eventually retaliate by blowing up their house.
Meaningful Echo: In "Washingtoon", Babs comments to Buster that his "tooniness" is too much for the censor lady's vaccum machine. Later near the end, Buster's tooniness gets sucked into the machine...and it becomes so much for the machine, it explodes, releasing his and the others' tooninesses and saving Acme Acres.
Medium Awareness: Characters will often mention that a commercial break is about to start.
Medium Shift Gag: Though not really animated, during the "Love Among the Toons" segment of the episode "Spring in Acme Acres", we see clay model versions of the toons through a ViewMaster.
Mickey Mousing: One of the first cartoons in years to do this, due to an orchestra scoring each episode individually, rather than recycling canned scores for the entire series.
Mid-Battle Tea Break: Seen in "And All That Rot" (part of "Brave Tales of Real Rabbits"): During a high-paced chariot chase/duel through city streets, Big Ben chimes, to which everyone (including the horses) stops for tea time. After a few seconds of this, the chase resumes.
Morally Ambiguous Ducktorate: Not only used (Plucky being an Expy of Daffy), but implied to be an in-universe stereotype about ducks. During the "Acme Looniversity" song in the first episode, Bugs directs Plucky toward "classes ducks might find appealing/Like, for instance, Spotlight Stealing!" (The Spotlight Stealing class is taught, of course, by Daffy.)
Ms. Fanservice: Bizarrely enough, Babs (as much as is possible, anyway), mainly due to some of her costume changes.
"One word, girls: SPANDEX." (Cue Babs revealing herself a spandex bodysuit with more curves than usual, and Buster promptly losing his mind Tex Avery style).
No Dialogue Episode: There was even an episode done in faux-retro style, with black and white animation and no spoken dialogue whatsoever.
No Fourth Wall: The characters very frequently acknowledge that they're in a cartoon and/or address the audience in some way.
Buster: (facing the camera) Hiya, toonsters!
In fact, the first episode of the series has no fourth wall, as it's about a cartoonist under a deadline creating Buster, Babs, and Acme Acres and interacting with his backtalking, suggestion-offering creations as they look up at him from the page.
No Name Given: In "Toon TV", Babs introduces herself as "Downtown Babsy Brown", while Buster introduces himself as "someone else".
Obliviously Evil: Elmyra, to a staggering extent. She's generally totally confused as to why her smothered and mistreated pets keep running away.
Ocular Gushers: Parodied to the extreme in "The Return of Pluck Twacy" (part of "New Character Day"): Shirley cries so much that her tears flood Pluck Twacy's office and send him onto the street, miles away.
Official Fan-Submitted Content: The episode "Buster and Babs Go Hawaiian" was written by Renee Carter, Sarah Creef, and Amy Crosby. The 3 make a cameo addressing Buster's complaints about the Plane Scene.
Off Model: Daffy and Plucky in prison at the end of "Who Bopped Bugs Bunny?" look noticeably off-model and sloppy.
"Buster and the Wolverine" had quite a few off-model shots as well.
Plucky is briefly wearing a sleeved shirt in "What's Up Nurse?" of "Looniversity Days". In the same episode, during the first segment, he's colored purple.
Also, in "The Learning Principal", Bugs is briefly drawn without whiskers. In the very next shot, Bugs is drawn with whiskers as usual.
Of course, this is all due to multiple studios working on the series.
The episodes done by Kennedy Cartoons are particularly notorious for this, which explains why the studio was fired after the first season. At least one episode of theirs allegedly had to be completely redone before it could be aired.
In some respects, the episodes done by Encore Cartoons can be considered even worse, though they tend to be forgotten, since they only did three episodes (one of which has Alan Smithee credited as director), and nothing else, neither on Tiny Toons or on any other series. Which means that these episodes are often mistaken for Kennedy episodes.
The number of off model episodes was so high, a Lampshade Hanging was only inevitable; twice in fact. Unsurprisingly, they were in gag credits of a Kennedy episode ("Hare Today, Gone Tomorrow") and an Encore episode ("Strange Tales of Weird Science"). The former has "Moral of the Story: We Need More Animators," while the latter had "Number of Retakes: Don't Ask."
The One Who Wears Shoes: A few, such as Calamity Coyote and Little Beeper. It's especially weird because it's the only thing they wear.
Only Smart People May Pass: Done in "Day For Knight" (part of "Brave Tales of Real Rabbits") when Buster wants to cross the bridge.
The Other Darrin: John Kassir took over the voice duties for Buster Bunny from Charlie Alder for the last few episodes of the series. He even took over halfway through a short!
Pair the Spares: Basically the reason why Hamton and Fifi are occasionally paired together, usually seen alongside the other main couples Buster/Babs and Plucky/Shirley. "Prom-ise Her Anything" is the best example of this.
Political Correctness Gone Mad: The episode "Washingtoon", where a lobbyist calls for the cancellation of Tiny Toons because it contains comic violence. She wants every kids program on the air to be touchy-feely, inoffensive, and bland.
The first one introduced us to Mr. Skullhead, as the subject of Elmyra's imaginary TV show. He went on to become a recurring character in Animaniacs.
Elmyra ended up starring in another show anyway, but her family (and even Furrball) got left out of it.
"Fields of Honey" and "Two-Tone Town" were also suspected of being this; the latter even lampshades the show's eventual replacement (with "ACME Oop!", a.k.a Animaniacs).
"The Return of Batduck" was a pilot for The Plucky Duck Show, which wound up airing only as a package of previously-aired Plucky Duck cartoons from Tiny Toons.
Positive Discrimination: Young black female Mary Melody, the only non-villainous human, whose main purpose is to be nice. She wasn't used often or in significant roles, to the point that Lampshade Hanging was done when she turned up as one of the hero's Merry Men in a Robin Hood parody: "Another cameo, another paycheck."
Prehensile Tail: Fifi, who can use her tail to grab "boyfriends", as a bat (As seen in Buster at the Bat), as a shield (As seen in the Defenders of the Universe licensed game), and to spray stink (Being a skunk and all).
Premature Eulogy: Doubly subverted near the end of "Lame Joke" when, after Buster finishes the eulogy, and he and his friends say goodbye to the dead Lame Joke, he suddenly recalls his lame joke that didn't make them laugh before but now makes them laugh with a little bit of reasoning... and brings the Lame Joke Back from the Dead.
Prima Donna Director: Sappy Stanley from "Who Bopped Bugs Bunny". Just one example of his demanding nature:
Stanley: NOBODY drinks coffee on my set! I make one phone call and there won't be any coffee in this town for a month!!
In-universe, Steven Spielberg in "Phone Call From the 405" (from "Fox Trot"), as he re-writes pretty much everything about a skit Buster and Babs just finished, and even after they do everything he tells them, Steven criticizes that their fall off a cliff was all wrong and they should just do it over.
Pun-Based Title: "Born to Be Riled", "Fang You Very Much", "Easy Biter", "Bird-Dog Afternoon", "Senserely Yours, Babs", "Prom-Ise Her Anything", "Tennis the Menace", "Fur-Gone Conclusion", the list goes on.
Retcon: The episode "Fields of Honey" re-writes the Bosko history for the purposes of the plot. In real life, the Bosko series ended because Harman & Ising left Warner Bros. and took Bosko with them, but "Fields of Honey" claims Bosko and Honey lost their popularity because new star Porky Pig debuted—although in reality, Porky didn't debut until 1935 (arguably didn't make it big until 1936) a good three years after WB's Bosko shorts already ended. Then again, who could blame them for wanting to Retcon the existence of Buddy?
In "Elmyra at the Mall" (part of "You Asked For It Again"), Elmyra has a completely different set of parents than the ones which later appeared in "Take Elmyra, Please" and "Grandma's Dead".
Right on the Tick: Plucky and the other classmates wait for school to end in the song "Waiting for the Clock".
Rise from Your Grave/Back from the Dead: The Lame Joke miraculously revives from his grave after Buster recalls the lame joke that didn't make them laugh before but now makes them laugh with some reasoning. And as a bonus for being raised from death, the Lame Joke no longer needs the crutches so he can walk with the RunningGag.
Running Gag: Several. "No relation!" is one of the most well-known.
Episode specific example: In "The Learning Principal" (part of "Looniversity Days"), everyone requesting Buster's stereo.
Self-Deprecation: The characters made fun of the writers all the time, from lampshading their falling through literal plot holes to the lyrics for the Wonderful LifeChristmas special ("Our writers aren't gifted/the story has been lifted...").
From "Strange Tales of Weird Science", after one of the segments:
Babs: Wow, you came back??
Sexy Santa Dress: Babs and Cher wear skimpy dresses when shooting a video (Babs even wears a wig matching Cher's hair).
Shaped Like Itself: In "Stand-Up and Deliver" (part of "Henny Youngman Day"), a Louie Anderson-esque walrus said: "I'm so fat, I'm... fat!"
Ship Tease: Buster and Babs can't seem to decide whether they're just really good friends or a couple, and the writers had quite a bit of fun teasing us about it until the third season (when they finally started being overtly romantic).
Short-Distance Phone Call: Seen in "Day For Knight" (part of "Brave Tales of Real Rabbits") when Buster and Hamton talk on the phone, and are standing right next to each other.
Shout-Out: In "Brave Tales of Real Rabbits", Babs performs a train-whistle style scream that is a shout out to a similar scream done by Roger Rabbit.
A Roger Rabbit look/sound-alike also appeared in "New Character Day" and "Buster and Babs Go Hawaiian."
For that matter, "Bat's All Folks" (also an obvious shout-out to Batman) introduced a set of Batman villain parodies and had Plucky react to them in the same way Duck Twacey reacts to his rogue's gallery.
"Inside Plucky Duck" is the Shout Out towards the Clampett Corneal Catastrophe, in Book Revue.
"Ruffled Ruffee" has several shoutouts to the Chuck Jones classic, Long Haired Hare.
There's also Buster's dance moves in "Prom-ise Her anything". Which come straight out of Bugs' Hot Cross Bunny
Shirley's psychic rampage in "The Amazing Three" is reminiscent of the prom scene of Carrie. Babs even asks Fifi if she remembered that particular movie.
In "Drawn and Buttered" (part of "Here's Hamton"), the lobster pranks Hamton and then says a line used in many Tex Avery cartoons:
Lobster: I do this kind of stuff to him all through the cartoon.
The Parody EpisodeA Quack in the Quarks is a big shout out to Star Wars. At one point, every character is dressed up like someone from the movie to battle "Duck Vader." And in the loading bay? If you look closely between all the ships, you can see the TARDIS!
In one "Night Ghoulery" sketch, a Witch tasks her pet cat Furrball with getting rid of a ghostly mouse (Li'l Sneezer). On his second attempt, Furrball emerges from behind the sofa, decked out in screen-accurateGhostbusters regalia. Li'l Sneezer even takes the place of the "No-Ghost" on his shoulder patch!
Sidekick: In the first episode, Plucky is hired specifically to be the joint sidekick of Buster and Babs. He angrily points out that Hamton (who they've already hired as the Straight Man) "has all the earmarks of a sidekick" and reveals that Hamton really does have "sidekick" written on his ear. These two characters pretty much play the sidekick roles throughout the series, and in a lot of the action parodies Hamton becomes Plucky's sidekick, making him the sidekick to a sidekick.
So Bad, It's Good: In-universe example; Cooper DeVille realizes that Buster, Babs, and Plucky's movie in "Toons Take Over" falls into this category, though he initially feels it's horrible.
Something Completely Different: The episodes "Tiny Toons Music Television" and "Toon TV", which abandoned the three shorts format in favor of some music videos.
"How Sweetie It Is" also counts, since all the shorts star Sweetie and two of the three shorts don't feature any recurring characters.
"The Kite" (part of "Pledge Week"), which is about a moth befriending a kite. Hamton and Buster are briefly in it, but for the most part it's focused on the moth and kite, with minimal amounts of gags.
The two episodes starring the Flea family, "Starting From Scratch" and "Flea For Your Life". They do feature regular characters (prominently Furball), but the focus is mainly on the fleas.
Something We Forgot: "Who Bopped Bugs Bunny" ends with Buster asking this question. Turns out they forgot to release Plucky and Daffy from jail.
Sound Effect Bleep: Used liberally in "To Bleep Or Not To Bleep" (from "Test Stressed"), as Fowlmouth can't stop swearing.
Also used in "Stand-Up and Deliver" (from "Henny Youngman Day") in the case of a briefly-appearing comedian named "The Roach" (based off of Andrew Dice Clay).
Also "Happy Birthday Hamton", where Buster and Plucky's screens crush Hamton in the middle.
Spotlight-Stealing Squad: There's actually a Spotlight Stealing class at the Looniversity (taught by notorious Attention WhoreDaffy Duck). Plucky, Buster, Babs, Hamton and Elmyra must have done especially well, considering how much focus they got.
This is lampshaded at the end of "How Sweetie It Is", in which the secondary characters protest against Buster and Babs for not giving them enough focus.
Steven Ulysses Perhero: Parodied on "Superbabs", wherein Babs Bunny, as Superbabs, protects the general metropolitan area. The other characters realize at the end of the short that she must be someone they know.
Plucky Duck: Now who do we know named "Super"?
Stock Footage: "Take Elmyra Please" begins with reused animation from "K-ACME TV", except with new dialog reflecting that Buster and Babs are presenting an episode centered around Elmyra's family. This is particularly odd because the "K-ACME TV" footage was by Wang, but "Take Elmyra Please" was done by TMS.
An odd example: The opening of "Strange Tales of Weird Science" (that is, Elmyra forcing Buster and Babs to play with her) was actually stock footage, though it wasn't used in any aired episode. It was originally intended for "The Looney Beginning", but was cut for time. Since "Weird Science" was running short, this bit was inserted into that episode and some new dialog was ADR'd into the scene to change the context that Buster and Babs are late starting the show because they're being hounded by Elmyra. It's easy to tell this footage was meant for another episode, however, because it was animated by Kennedy Cartoons and Wang Film Productions, while "Weird Science" was by Encore Cartoons.
Straight Man: Hamton, much like his mentor Porky Pig was to the Looney Tunes. Mary Melody in the rare times she actually interacts with the main characters.
Lampshaded in the first episode, when Hamton auditions for the show. He's specifically hired because Babs says they need a straight man.
Hamton: I react to characters funnier than I am!
Suck E. Cheese's: Cheesy Sneezer's. Although the name brings to mind Caesarland, the Chuck E. Cheese's clone made by Little Caesars.
Suddenly Fluent in Gibberish: In the episode where the main gang ends up in England, Babs reveals she's fluent in "royalese," which was necessary in order to talk to Prince Charles and Princess Diana.
Suddenly Voiced: Furrball, and not consistently, either. One time it was Frank Welker performing Furrball's voice (basically, a higher version of his Fred Jones voice); another time, it was just Frank meowing; yet another time, Rob Paulsen did his voice instead.
It should be noted that two of the instances where Furrball speaks (specifically, "Cinemaniacs" and "Buster and the Wolverine") were early in the production order, and thus can be seen as testing whether he should have a voice or not. The writers quickly decided Furrball worked better as a normal cat who just meows.
Taken for Granite: Happens to Roderick in "The Acme Bowl" after running through and smelling a cloud of Fifi's stink, Hamton in "The Just-us League of Supertoons" after being hit by a blast of Fifi's stink, and Hamton in "Pluck O' the Irish" by a banshee's stare.
The above-mentioned Roderick and Rhubella Rat are almost certainly meant to be the Tiny Toons counterparts to Mickey and Minnie Mouse.
The creepy fanboy in "Night Ghoulery" is based on a stalker who sent Tress MacNeille disturbing letters which caused her to fear for life and cancel any convention appearances she was planning to make around where he livesnote As an interesting historical footnote, this same guy, Dennis Falk, was also an early activist for the fair-use rights of privately owned internet fansites, which just goes to show you don't need to be sane, or even a decent human being, to get shit done..
Censors are frequently bashed, even making a whole episode ("Washingtoon") about how it's bad. It doesn't help they openly bash them in the theme song.
"Acme Cable TV" straddles the line between being an Affectionate Parody and a Take That to various TV shows and commercials of today and yesteryear.
Theme Tune Roll Call: In order of appearance: Babs, Buster, Montana Max, Elmyra, Hamton, Plucky, Dizzy Devil, Furrball, and Gogo.
Also parodied in "The Buster Bunny Bunch", due to it being a parody of The Mickey Mouse Club.
They Might Be Giants: "Particle Man" and "Istanbul" were made into videos with the TTA characters, but both have Plucky and Hamton in the starring roles. In one part of "Istanbul", they even have Plucky and Hamton portray TMBG themselves.
Those videos are still fan favorites today. A lot of people only got into They Might Be Giantsafter hearing their songs in the show.
Buster: Who are these guys?!
Thick-Line Animation: Certain scenes in most episodes animated by Kennedy Cartoons, which was not used after Season 1 due to quality control issues.
Wang is also guilty of this in its S1 episodes, though they got better, as mentioned above.
Three Shorts: Some were in this format (usually with a bumper before each), while others were standalone 22-minute episodes. Even rarer are the "one short and one long" 2-ep format.
In "To Bleep or Not To Bleep" from "Test Stressed", a furious Fowlmouth finds out that Shirley had already been asked to the prom by Plucky; he looks as if he's about to blow up once again, the few babies Buster used to ease up on the rooster's obscenities cry and flee, he's literally stomping mad, so much so he causes the earth to shake, his face turns violet and just as he's seemingly going to let loose with the bleeped, bad language, his facial color reverts to normal and he nonchalantly and coolly says, "rats, maybe next time".
In "Born To Be Riled" from "The Buster Bunny Bunch", Shirley and Fifi's faces turn red, as they're fuming at Babs' impressions of them.
In "Kat-Astrophe" from "Wake Up Call of the Wild", Hamton's face gets red, heated over Furball's inability to resist destroying the house.
In "Pledge Week" from " It's All Relative", a ticked-off and irritated Babs' face turns red when her mother tells her once again to do "that other funny thing you do", which is hindering her plans with Buster. Babs quotes her except in first person, through clenched teeth.
In "Buster and Babs Go Hawaiian", Buster's face turns into a paler shade of blue than usual, when steward Plucky asks if he'd like gray lumps with brown sauce or brown lumps with gray sauce. Save for his red shirt, Buster also gets ill from eating a carrot chip and in reaction to it, he melts into a puddle and dashes to the airplane's restroom (which is already full of occupants who also have upset stomachs) to throw up in there. He then exits the restroom and asks, "So you guys had the carrot chips too?"
In "The Voyage of Kon Ducki" from "Kon Ducki", Plucky's face is turned white during the sea storm part and he gets seasickness, and turned away from the viewers, he's seen vomiting over the ship, into the sea.
In the same segment/episode, a bashful Hamton is seen blushing lightly after his grass skirt falls from his waist and a tour bus guide points him out to the tourists.
Tickle Torture: Performed by a villain (Sloppy Moe from the Injun Trouble short with Porky Pig and Wagon Heels) on Plucky in "The Return of Pluck Twacy" (part of "New Character Day").
Trade Snark: In "Hollywood Plucky", Hamton was working a valet parking job, and Batman has him park his Batmobile. However, while attempting to do this, Hamton accidently flies it into the moon. It turns into a Bat-signal, and a "TM" quickly flies up next to it.
Twist Ending: Lampshaded in "A Walk on the Flip Side" (part of "The ACME Acres Zone"); Montana Max dreamed he was a rabbit and went through numerous hardships. But when Buster and Babs beg for carrots, Max shouts, "Carrots?! You have the nerve to ask me for carrots?! AFTER WHAT I'VE BEEN THROUGH?!" Babs is dismayed that Max didn't learn anything and that the short didn't have a twist ending (per usual for The Twilight Zone), but Buster tells her to wait for it. Sure enough, Max's mansion is then overrun by rabbits, a fitting punishment.
Two Shorts: While most episodes typically adopted the Three Shorts format or a single story for the half hour, five episodes utilized the Two Shorts format: "Inside Plucky Duck", "Ask Mr. Popular", "Fairy Tales For the 1990s", "New Character Day", and "Buster's Directorial Debut".
Vague Age: Somewhere from elementary school to college, although Babs says she's 14 in the first episode (oddly, 16 in the Brazilian dub).
If they are indeed in high school, they might fall into Older Than They Look. Indeed, some episodes portray Acme Loo as high school, or even middle school, instead of a university.
In almost every episode, Elmyra is seen going to Acme Loo with the others as if she were a teenager, despite having the mentality of a small child. In the episode "Grandma's Gone", though, she's seen going to a different school and in a class with young children. Possibly justified in that it was a Poorly Disguised Pilot.
Valley Girl: Like, Shirley Mcloon, or some junk. She was voiced by noted valley girl Gail Matthius.
Very Special Episode: At first parodied ("Elephant Issues", the Toxic Revenger episodes), but later played straight ("Whale's Tales" and "Washingtoon").
Viewer Species Confusion: Invoked; the Credits Gag for "Pledge Week" aptly asks: "Quick Question: Those Babes Around Arnold— What Kind of Animals Were They?" (referring to the babes in "Lifeguard Lunacy")
Villain Decay: Many characters (Furrball, Dizzy, Calamity) started out as villains but quickly became neutral or sympathetic. Even Montana Max underwent a serious mellowing out after the first season (in the storylines, as a result of his parents asserting themselves in his life; in reality, because his young voice actor complained about being "the bad guy".)
Vocal Evolution: Charlie Adler's voice for Buster is noticeably higher in some of the earlier-recorded episodes (e.g. "Cinemaniacs" and "Buster and the Wolverine"), almost sounding as if it were pitch-shifted slightly. Montana Max's voice also became a little deeper over time, but it's justified in his case, as Danny Cooksey was the one of the only actual children in the voice cast (Nathan Ruegger, who voiced Baby Plucky, was the other).