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Western Animation: Yogi Bear

"I'm smarter than the av-a-rage bear!"
Yogi Bear

Originally a supporting character on The Huckleberry Hound Show, Yogi Bear was one of the most popular early Hanna-Barbera characters. Most episodes revolved around Yogi's attempts to do things that other Jellystone Park bears didn't do (or weren't allowed to do): make money, fly, dodge hibernation, escape—or simply relieve tourists of their pic-a-nic baskets. Yogi's sidekick, Boo-Boo, would often warn Yogi that "the ranger isn't going to like this!" Indeed, Yogi would invariably be scolded by Ranger Smith.

Basically, the premise was that Yogi and Boo-Boo would steal picnic baskets from visitors to Jellystone National Park, and hilarity would ensue.

The character was popular enough to headline his own series in 1961. Supporting segments on The Yogi Bear Show featured Snagglepuss and Yakky Doodle. In 1964, Hanna-Barbera released its first animated feature, Hey There, It's Yogi Bear!, through Columbia Pictures. In the 1970s and 1980s, Yogi and his contemporaries appeared in the following series:

There were also a few prime-time specials, the best-remembered of which is probably the TV movie Yogi's First Christmas.

A live-action/CGI Yogi Bear feature film, with Dan Aykroyd as the voice of Yogi and Justin Timberlake as the voice of Boo-Boo, was released in December 2010.

Check the character sheet. Also see the memes page.

This series provides examples of:

  • Adaptation Dye-Job: Cindy Bear was blue furred in the original shorts, though became light brown in later interpretations (par John Kricfalusi's shorts). Ranger Smith's uniform also changes color throughout the early series (also parodied in the Spumco shorts) while Yogi's original design had light colored highlight around his eyes (again, used in the Spumco shorts).
  • A Day in the Limelight: Ranger Smith was billed the star character for two cartoon shorts created by John Kricfalusi in the late 1990s, though the second one focuses more on Boo Boo.
  • Ageless Birthday Episode: Two of them: one for Ranger Smith and one for Yogi, and The New Yogi Bear Show had another one for Yogi.
  • An Aesop: Primarily in Yogi's Gang.
  • Animated Series
  • Animation Bump: The "New Yogi Bear Show" is a bit more fluid than the original 1960s episodes. And let's not go through the John Kricfalusi cartoons...
    • Hey There, It's Yogi Bear is also noticeably higher budget, bringing Hanna Barbera back up to the standard of their later Tom and Jerry shorts.
  • Batman Gambit: Ranger Smith tried enforcing rules in Jellystone Park in order to reduce Yogi to a feral state. It backfired when Boo-Boo did this instead.
  • Bears Are Bad News: Well, they sure make Ranger Smith's job a lot harder.
  • Beary Funny: That's Yogi in a nutshell.
  • Big Damn Movie: Hey There Its Yogi Bear
  • Big Eater: Yogi, of course.
  • Bottle Episode
  • Camp Gay: Snagglepuss. Drawn Together runs with this character interpretation.
  • Can't Live with Them, Can't Live without Them: The majority of times Yogi or Ranger Smith leave Jellystone Park, the other ends up pining for them. The key plot point of "Home Sweet Jellystone".
  • Captain Ersatz: Quack-Up from Yogi's Space Race and Galaxy Goof-Ups IS Daffy Duck with white plumage. Mel Blanc even does almost the exact same voice for him.
  • Catch Phrase: "Smarter than the average bear!" Also Boo-Boo's oft-repeated line, "Mister Ranger isn't gonna like this, Yogi!"
    • If the other segments count, there's Snagglepuss' famous "Exit, stage right" (or whatever direction it was) and "heavens to Murgatroyd"
  • Crossover
  • Deadpan Snarker: Boo Boo has become this in the most recent update.
  • Depending on the Artist:
    • In the original series, Ranger Smith's design changed frequently between episodes; they eventually decided upon his permanent design in Hey There, It's Yogi Bear!.
    • As if that weren't enough, though, his appearance on Yogi's Gang gave him blond hair.
    • This is parodied in a sequence from "A Day in the Life of Ranger Smith", where Smith suffers an Art Shift every time he passes by a tree, from prior Ranger Smith models to the more John Kricfalusi-esque designs (John K directed this cartoon, after all), accompanied with increasingly bizarre walk cycles in Limited Animation.
    • Yogi himself had his mussel fur expanded around his eyes initially (this design was also revived in the Spumco series, John Kricfalusi stated his fondness of it).
    • Cindy Bear was also initially just a female Yogi with a dress and blue fur before being redesigned to look more feminine. The Spumco shorts use her later design but reuse her blue fur.
  • Deranged Animation: Naturally the Spumco shorts have their usual trademark style. Boo-Boo Runs Wild stands out in particular.
  • Early Installment Weirdness: Ironically, the original shorts themselves. As noted above, the characters' designs varied between shorts. The designs created for Hey There, it's Yogi Bear would eventually be used from that point on.
  • The Film of the Series: Hey There, It's Yogi Bear, and Yogi Bear (2010).
  • Full House Music: Played surprisingly straight on both The Yogi Bear Show in the early-1960's and The New Yogi Bear Show from 1988, such as in Slap Happy Birthday, when Yogi and Boo Boo are in their cave talking about Ranger Smith's birthday (for a double whammy, the exact same music is re-used at the end of the episode when Yogi reveals their surprise party to the ranger).
  • Hanna-Barbera
  • Half-Dressed Cartoon Animal: Cindy Bear
  • Have a Gay Old Time: In the Yogi's Gang theme song, "If those big goons were out of the way / the world would be so bright and gay"
  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: Every episode of Yogi's Gang was named after the Villain of the Weeknote .
  • Live-Action Adaptation
  • Lovable Rogue: Yogi to a tee.
  • The Movie: Hey There, It's Yogi Bear!
  • Mythology Gag: The two gangsters in the 1958 episode "Big Brave Bear" were first used the season prior on The Ruff & Reddy Show as outlaws Killer and Diller.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: The plot of the Hey There, It's Yogi Bear! film is kicked off thanks to this, with Yogi attempting to bluff Ranger Smith into thinking he's willing to leave the park and get transferred to the zoo unless he bends the "Do Not Feed the Bears" rules. The Ranger calls it and prepares to have him shipped to San Diego, which leads to a chain of events that ultimately end up with Cindy Bear trapped in a circus forced to perform for a cruel ringmaster and Yogi and Boo-Boo having to go and save her and then find their way back home.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: Yogi's voice was based on Art Carney's character on The Honeymooners; further, Yogi Bear's offbeat philosophy (and name) was allegedly meant to remind people of baseball star Yogi Berra (William Hanna and Joseph Barbera denied it). Snagglepuss' voice was based on Bert Lahr, who played the Cowardly Lion in The Wizard of Oz.
  • Phrase Catcher: In Yo Yogi!, whenever Yogi finishes kicking ass or his friends come to the rescue, his friends exclaim, "Yo Yogi!"
  • Punny Name: Jellystone Park, an obvious pun on Yellowstone National Park. Yogi's own name is a play on baseball great Yogi Berra, though Bill and Joe claim that this was unintentional.
  • Ring Around the Collar
  • Sidekick: Boo-Boo.
  • Spin-Off Babies: Yo Yogi!
  • Take That: From Animaniacs, "Calhoun Q. Capybara".
  • Talking Animal: Both Yogi And Boo Boo can communicate with the Ranger in English.
  • Worthy Opponent: Yogi admits this about Ranger Smith in "Home Sweet Jellystone", outright becoming an Antagonist in Mourning after he leaves the park, losing any sense of competition in stealing picnic baskets anymore.
  • You Say Tomato: Yogi's famous pronunciations of "av-a-redge" and "pic-a-nic"

The 2010 feature film provides examples of:

  • Affably Evil: The Chief of Staff isn't a perfect example of the trope, but he sure loves partaking of the cotton candy at Jellystone's festival.
    Mayor Brown: What does that taste like? Unemployment?!
  • Beware The Cute Ones/Beware the Nice Ones: Boo Boo is the sweetest, nicest character in the film, not to mention a fifth of Yogi's size (if that), and he manhandled Yogi in a wrestling match when he needed to get Yogi's attention. When Yogi tried to get up, Boo Boo pinned him right back down.
    • Rachel is straight crazy when the Chief of Staff crosses her.
  • Big Eater: Yogi, of course.
  • Chekhov's Gun: The camera tie Boo Boo wears. Also, the Basket-Nabber.
  • Crapsack City: Based on an early scene with Mayor Brown and the Chief of Staff, the city is this, due to Mayor Brown's careless exploitation of city property to make a buck. The public golf course has been sold to condo developers. The bottling rights to the lake were sold off, resulting in the lake being drained dry. The resulting sinkhole is now an old mattress dumping ground. Two out of three fire stations have become yogurt shops, and the library would have become a make-your-own-donut place had it not burned down.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: This poster for the film.
  • Engineered Public Confession: Mayor Brown's diatribe about how he doesn't care about the park or the frog-mouthed turtle is recorded by a hidden camera on Boo Boo's person, and played in place of his last campaign video segment at his press conference.
  • Establishing Character Moment: Mayor Brown, after hearing that the city's bankrupt, balks at the price of a personally-tailored suit and bills it to the city.
  • Heroic BSOD: Ranger Smith's "The Reason You Suck" Speech causes Yogi to suffer one of these, but Boo Boo brings him back.
  • Idiot Ball: Yogi throws the turtle (in the style of a football game) to the Chief of Staff, and in so doing picks up the idiot ball without even realizing it.
    Ranger Smith: Yogi!
    Yogi: Sorry! He was open!
  • I'll Never Tell You What I'm Telling You: Yogi does this when he accidentally reveals the turtle's location to the bad guys.
  • Inevitable Waterfall: Yogi, Boo Boo, the turtle, Ranger Smith and Rachel encounter one of these in a raft. All five of them scream as they come upon it (including the turtle), but they're stopped a quarter of the way down by a conveniently placed tree branch. Yogi doesn't stop screaming, though, until Boo Boo points it out.
  • Oh Crap: Ranger Smith's reaction when he sees Yogi's flaming cape about to flutter down onto the fireworks, only a moment after he managed to stop the flaming baton.
  • Right Behind Me:
    Mayor Brown: Take it from me, people, there is no frog-mouthed turtle!
    [The turtle's tongue latches onto Brown's cheek.]
    Mayor Brown: He's standing right next to me, isn't he?
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: After Yogi's stunt goes disastrously wrong and nearly destroys the park (coming dangerously close to injuring people, as well), Ranger Smith has an especially pointed one of these for Yogi while barely raising his voice.
    Ranger Smith: Yogi, that's the problem, all the thinking. Hey, you know what would be great? If you didn't think. If you could just be a regular bear. You know— sit in the woods minding his own business. But nope, you're different, you're smart, and you have to spend your days being selfish and destructive while everyone else pays the price. I'm sure it's been enough screwing up my life. This time, you had to go down and destroy this whole park. So tell me, Yogi. How smart are you now?
  • Shout-Out: The fanfare that plays as Yogi dons his hat, collar and tie following his Heroic BSOD sounds awfully familiar...
  • Smug Snake: Mayor Brown and the Chief of Staff.
  • Stock Scream: Yogi does the Wilhelm Scream when a large acorn falls from a tree onto his open eye.
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial: Intentionally invoked by the Chief of Staff.
    Rachel: You need to let us in this park. That turtle needs protection.
    Chief of Staff: Don't worry about the turtle. We're handling it. We’ll make sure he's put in a nice zoo.
    Rachel: No. A turtle that's endangered can't be removed from its natural habitat. It's against federal law.
    Chief of Staff: It is? Wow, I've never heard of that law... in chapter 4, subsection 6 of the Wildlife Protection Mandate.
  • Weirdness Censor: The frog-mouthed turtle eventually brings people back to the park. You'd think they'd be impressed enough by having two talking bears.
    • The guy with the shopping cart, which Yogi asks to borrow, doesn't seem to find it strange that a bear has just talked to him. He just asks, "Is that chocolate?"
    • It kind of makes sense due to this movie supposedly taking place in the same universe as the cartoon, where Yogi would run into humans all the time and appear perfectly anthropormorphic and speak, and it would rarely register with them.
    • Rachel does point out that Yogi's species is rare, which implies there are definetly more of them around the world, and Yogi and Boo Boo simply being there isn't really enough to shock people.

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alternative title(s): Yogi Bear
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