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YMMV: Animaniacs

  • Accidental Innuendo: Much like Stewie Griffin on Family Guy, Wakko speaks with a regional English accent, but uses American slang, including "fanny," which in the US refers to the buttocks. In the UK, however, "fanny" is a crude term for a woman's genitals.
    • Another instance of slang which failed to cross over, this time spoken in an American accent: the line "persistent little buggers," spoken in "Critical Condition." In the US, "bugger" referred to someone or something that's bothersome. In the UK, it's used to refer to anal sex.
  • Americans Hate Tingle: When the show aired in Japan on TV Tokyo in 1996, only 13 episodes aired (the first 12 and episode 49). While Tiny Toon Adventures was incredibly successful in Japan, this show, for whatever reason, never caught on. It has been rerun on the Japanese Cartoon Network, but only the same 13 episodes have ever aired.
  • Awesome Music: Tons of it. Yakko's World is a standout and also a Crowning Moment of Awesome for its performer, Rob Paulsen, who can still perform it on request and at the same tempo from memory almost twenty years later.
    • Just about anything Yakko sings, including his epic entrance in the Christmas Plotz episode.
  • Base Breaker: The Mindy and Buttons segments due to their Strictly Formula nature and treatment of Buttons. There are a few fans who like them, though (even if it's because the voice of Mindy is also the same woman who voices Bart Simpson and other boys from the show, like Nelson Muntz and Ralph Wiggum). Mindy herself is either adored for being cute and naive and loving Buttons, or hated for being the one who causes him such grief.
    • To a lesser extent, the Rita and Runt segments due to the Mood Whiplash they tend to cause.
  • Canon Sue: Hello Nurse, if Wakko's song with the title character's accurate, especially the 'Let lighting strike us dead!' part. Subverted in Wakko's Wish where she was just beautiful and highly intelligent and just wanted people to like her for her brains rather then her looks.
  • Crazy Awesome: The Warners are made of this, Wakko in particular. Slappy as well.
  • Ear Worm:
    • The theme song.
    • "United States, Canada, Mexico, Panama, Haiti, Jamaica, Peru..."
    • And "Wakko's America".
    • And the "International Friendship Song".
    • Any of the songs. Least most of them had some educational value if you remembered the lyrics. So in a way, they were educational television.
    • And then... Macadamia Nut. The first time hearing this song... well, it's oddly addicting. It's not that it will never leave the listener's head, it is that one may want to listen to it again and again, over and over.
      • Might have something to do with the fact that it's a parody of the Macarena.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse:
    • Slappy Squirrel.
    • Minerva Mink, most likely due to the fact that only two cartoons starring her were made and the rest had to be scrapped due to censorship issues.
    • And of course, the biggest darkhorses in the show, who actually achieved Breakout Character status...
    "Gee, Brain! What are we going to do tonight?"
    "The same thing we do every night, Pinky. Try to Take Over the World!"
  • Even Better Sequel: Animaniacs was the successor to Tiny Toon Adventures and has been considered one of the crown jewels of Warner Bros. Animation.
  • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment:
    • The episode "Magic Time" had famous magicians Schnitzel and Floyd being abusive to their pet lion and elephant, and later are mauled by said animals in revenge thanks to the Warners. The two magicians are even dropped off in a jungle, where it's quite obvious they get more of the same. As of October 3, 2003, that might not be so funny anymore (but, like The Simpsons example, having either Siegfried and/or Roy get attacked by the animals they use for their magic acts was pretty much going to happen some day. People just didn't expect it to be so soon).
    • Dot's crush on Mel Gibson has definitely proven to be such of late, given his recent (and sexist) transgressions.
    • Dot: "What's Christie Brinkley got that I ain't got?" Yakko: "Billy Joel." Not true after 1994.
    • "A Quake, A Quake" is pretty funny, but the end line (which references the then-recent Lebanese Civil War) takes on a new Oh, Crap meaning after 2006:
    "We want to find some peace and quiet, so we're moving to Beirut"
  • Genius Bonus: Much like the early Simpsons episodes, the jokes on Animaniacs can only be understood if you knew anything about pop culture. In Animaniacs' case, the jokes aren't as obvious as what The Simpsons puts out, and doesn't always go for what's popular now.
    • Les MisÚrables and Sweeney Todd aren't musicals that kids would (or SHOULD) watch, but Animaniacs somehow managed to put them both together in Les Miseranimals and then also use Runt and Rita (because they're not sad enough).
  • Gone Horribly Right: The high amount of radar-breaking sex appeal was the reason Minerva Mink was removed from the series (except the comic books).
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • In "Hot, Bothered and Bedeviled", Ron Perlman voiced the Devil. Years later, he'd be Hellboy.
    • Also, "Hot, Bothered, and Bedeviled" began with a Saddam Hussein-esque dictator of Iraq getting dropped through a trap door into Hell. The Real Life version of this near the very end of 2006 would add a noose, but the principle's the same.
    • In "Critical Condition" the Siskel & Ebert parodies are tormented by Slappy for giving her a really bad review, finally being put inside an dinosaur movie and squashed. Cut to 1998, when Godzilla by Roland Emmerich comes out, and he just mocks them a little in-movie through Expies. Siskel even asked why he "didn't have the monster eat or squash them" after he went though the trouble of putting them in a monster movie.
    • As an airline stewardess, Dot asks passengers if they want "Coffee, Tea, or Monster." These days, the joke goes from being a non sequitur to a pun, as there really is a drink out there called "Monster" (it's a brand of energy drink).
    • In "One Flew Over The Cuckoo Clock", Slappy, driven crazy after too many talk shows, mentions that it's "Time for Montel and Phil on the Oprah Channel". Several years later, there really IS an Oprah Channel!
      • And Dr. Phil really does air on the network as well! (Though the Phil she was referring to was Phil Donahue, not Phil MacGraw)
    • In a Star Trek spoof, Spork attempts a Vorkan Mind meld on Wakko, ending in Spork clutching his head, disoriented. He walks away, runs into Uhura and hits on her, saying "Helloo, Nurse!" Looks like J.J. Abrams was watching the show.
    • The Power Rangers parody episode "Super Strong Warner Siblings" had the siblings colors as red, blue, and yellow. Later, Super Sentai released their own Self-Parody Hikonin Sentai Akibaranger with the same colors.
  • Love It or Hate It: Some of the lesser segments are quite divisive, such as The Goodfeathers, Hip Hippos, Mindy & Buttons, Rita & Runt, Katie Ka-Boom, Chicken Boo, etc. Likewise with some of the one-off sketches featuring none of the usual cast (one notable example being "The Flame", a mostly serious cartoon from the POV of a candle flame who watches Thomas Jefferson write the Declaration of Independence).
  • Memetic Mutation:
    • "Wakko's America".
    • "Baton Rouge, Louisiana; Indianapolis, Indiana; and Columbus is the capital of Ohio!..." Jess Harnell can still sing the whole song from memory. Also an awesome Ear Worm.
    • "Yakko's World" is also legendary — so legendary that Rob Paulsen still remembers it (even though it's a bit outdated, as a lot of African countries have changed their names due to civil war and unrest and there is no Yugoslavia anymore).
    • Brain's "Brainstem" (sections of the brain) got a good run as well. Basically any song where anyone lists everything that makes up anything.
    • "...G'night everybody!"
    • "When the whippoorwill / Whippoors in the wind / The wind can whippoor back / Oh nice and chubby baby!"
    • "Hellooooo Nurse!"
    "Pinky, are you pondering what I'm pondering?"
    "I think so, Brain, but (insert completely random and off-topic question here)"
    "Gee, Brain, what do you want to do tonight?"
    "The same thing we do every night, Pinky. Try to TAKE OVER THE WORLD!"
  • Moral Event Horizon: Walter Wolf faking his own death in order to turn everyone against Slappy Squirrel, including her own nephew!
    • King Salazar the Pushy crossed it when he tried to kill the Warner Bros. (and sis) by blasting them with a cannon. This led everyone on his side to turn against him when they believed that Dot was caught in the blast and killed.
  • Most Wonderful Sound: Rita's gorgeous singing, all courtesy of Bernadette Peters.
  • No Problem with Licensed Games: Konami's video game adaptations are considered to be pretty well done.
  • Painful Rhyme: The reason why "Yakko's World" wasn't as accurate as it could have been.
    • "The Big Wrap Party Tonight" is full of these. Probably the worst is "Sylvester wants a parakeet-a" to rhyme with "Rita" (Sylvester is shown chasing Tweety, who is a canary).
  • Periphery Demographic: What happens when a majority of the best jokes appeal to the older crowd.
    • Heck, even the educational segments have fallen under this—some of them are even popular mnemonics among college students!
  • Rescued from the Scrappy Heap: Skippy Squirrel was seriously annoying in his first two appearances before settling in as his aunt Slappy's sidekick.
  • The Scrappy:
    • The Hip Hippos for their attitudes; luckily the writers took notice and quietly phased them out.
    • Mindy's mother. She's not merely the one always yelling at Buttons (if he hasn't done something wrong yet, she yells at him to not do something), but whenever Mindy is put in danger, it's because her parents have either left her alone with Buttons and no proper babysitter, or because she wanders off without them noticing. The very first short in fact, she leaves Mindy alone in the backyard in a flimsy safety harness and relies on Buttons to watch her. In short, she is a horrible mother. Mindy's father is also guilty of this.
    • Katie Kaboom for basically having no potential as a character, to the point where her cartoons are almost indistinguishable.
      • Chicken Boo for similar reasons, though he has some fans due to the surrealness of the one-joke premise.
  • Seasonal Rot: Some fans consider the Kids' WB! episodes this. It's just that the "spark" seems to be missing.
  • Soundtrack Dissonance: You may find the overly cute background music to be very strange for a show that's infamous for getting past the radar so often.
  • Suspiciously Similar Song: During the Yogi Bear parody in "Back in Style", a song plays that sounds like "Tobaggan Run" by Jack Shaindlin, which was frequently used in early '60s Hanna Barbera cartoons.
  • They Just Didn't Care: One would think that a near six-year gap between two volumes would give WB plenty of time to get a decent volume 4 DVD out. The first three volumes had crystal-clear picture quality, but volume 4 has washed-out colors, and the footage is even interlaced. They also didn't bother with any bonus features, they just rushed it for a quick cash grab. Again, considering they had nearly six years to get this right, these kinds of results are inexcusable.
  • Too Good to Last: While the show itself lasted 99 episodes (which is longer than the average modern cartoon TV series for kids), two of its shorts (Minerva Mink and Rita & Runt) got retired. Minerva was too overtly sexual, and the voice actress playing Rita, Bernadette Peters, was getting too expensive to hire.
  • Viewer Gender Confusion: If you don't catch Mindy's name during her shorts (or if you mishear it), it's quite possible to mistake her for a boy due to her short hair and overalls.
  • What Do You Mean, It's for Kids?:
  • The Woobie:
    • Buttons (that's the whole point.)
    • Also Chicken Boo himself near the end in just every Chicken Boo cartoon, after his disguise is off.
    • Rita also counts as a woobie, as most of her misfortunes show examples of unfairness and inequality.
    • The clown in "Clown and Out". Most victims that find themselves at the receiving end of the Warners' tricks amply deserve it, but he just wanted to cheer Wakko up, not knowing that Wakko had coulrophobia and that Mr. Plotz forced him to perform at the party, not caring that Wakko was hurting him. On the upside, the clown ended up in Mars, where a bunch of blue, mouthless kids actually like him.
    • Surprisingly, Ralph becomes one in certain episodes, such as "A Hard Day's Warner", in which he is repeatedly trampled by overenthusiastic Animaniacs fans while trying to stop their stampede, and "A Christmas Plotz".
    • The title character in "Wally Llama", an apparently all-knowing creature, has spent countless hours answering increasingly stupid questions, and eventually decides he's done for the day and sits down to take a well-deserved break. Cue the Warners showing up and relentlessly heckling him to answer a supposedly "extremely important" question. His attempts to make them leave are admittedly somewhat rude and nasty, but the lengths they go to in order to get him to answer what ultimately turns out to be a petty and stupid questionnote  arguably venture into Dude, Not Funny! or even Moral Event Horizon territory! They finally trick him into listening to their question by using reverse psychology, and when it turns out he doesn't know the answer, he goes completely insane and runs off laughing insanely while the Warners, showing absolutely no remorse for their behavior, simply shrug it off as the cartoon ends.

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