These are what we call the 'YMMV items.' Things that some people find in this work. We call them 'your mileage might vary' because not everyone sees these things in the same way. This starts discussions in the trope lists, a thing we don't want. Please use the discussion page if you'd like to discuss any of these items.
YMMV: Looney Tunes
Adaptation Displacement: Bob Clampett's adaptation of Dr. Seuss' Horton Hatches the Egg (1942) used the book itself as a storyboard with additional gag ideas (and Horton's "Hut-Sut" song) written in.
Alternate Character Interpretation: It's been debated that Elmer Fudd in "Hare Brush" was faking insanity and pretending to be a rabbit so he wouldn't get busted by the feds for tax evasion. This is further evidenced by Elmer's final line, after Bugs (in Elmer's clothes) is hauled off to jail: "I may be a screwy rabbit, but I'm not goin' to Alcatwaz..."
Archive Panic: Exactly 1,000 classic-era theatrical shorts, plus the SNAFU shorts and other bits of miscellanea. At least there haven't been new Looney Tunes shorts regularly made since 1969. That would make the series even more grueling to get through (both in viewing it and for Warner Brothers Studios to actually put out all the classics — and not-so-classics — on DVD and/or Blu-Ray).
Award Snub: Despite winning seven Oscars, almost no Looney Tunes productions has ever gained an Annie Award, which is an award ceremony exclusively for animation. The biggest letdown would've had to be Looney Tunes: Back in Action losing to Finding Nemo.
Then there was the famous incident in which A Wild Hare, the first Bugs Bunny cartoon (and the one that pretty much established the kind of cartoons Warner Bros. would put out in the years to come), as well as Puss Gets the Boot, the first Tom and Jerry cartoon, were passed up for an Academy Award for one of MGM's Happy Harmonies shorts, The Milky Way.
Milder case for Cecil Turtle. In his first two appearances, he was a clear cut Always Someone Better to Bugs, anticipating the latter's every move and having the full control usually adorned to the rabbit himself. In "Rabbit Transit" however, he is a more arrogant cheat, the short playing more as an Escalating War with Cecil even getting visibly frustrated at Bugs outsmarting him at times (Bugs actually beats him this time, though Cecil returns to form with a moral victory).
Yosemite Sam started off as a Worthy Opponent for Bugs, to counter Elmer's pitiful streak, being more capable of genuinely menacing Bugs. As time passed however, the series' usual Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain formula took over him as well, and by the mid fifties he was actually less of a threat than Elmer (who could at least outsmart Bugs on rare occasions), just more of a prideful Asshole Victim about it.
Bizarro Episode: "Porky In Wackyland" and "Dough For The Do-do" are extremely nonsensical, even by the standards of these cartoons.
Dork Age: Every cartoon produced in the 1960s after the WB animation studio initially closed its doors (Except for Norman Normal).
Far earlier than that, the studio went through an early dork age during the period after Harman And Ising left during late 1933 to 1935, resulting in a huge downslide in quality, as well as the advent of the impossibly bland Buddy. Fortunately, Tex Avery and Frank Tashlin's arrival began pulling the studio out of this from 1936 and onward.
And some of the cartoons made after Mel Blanc died and other voice actors were hired to replace him (that includes the TV shows like Baby Looney Tunes, Loonatics Unleashed, and The Looney Tunes Show), like Greg Burson, Billy West, Jeff Bergman, Tom Kenny, etc.
Arguably this could include the batch of 75 black-and-white Looney Tunes that were previously part of the Sunset Films/Guild Films packages which WB had sent to Korea in 1967 to be redrawn and painted in color. The trace jobs were sloppy, color schemes were off key and synchronization faltered in spots.
The mynah bird, despite only appearing in a handful of cartoons (many of which are banned for also featuring a stereotypical African boy named Inki), is somewhat popular as a Memetic Badass.
Michigan J. Frog
Daffy Duck, Bugs Bunny, Tweety, the Roadrunner... hell, any major character that wasn't in the lineup from the beginning.
Fandom Berserk Button: The easiest way to annoy fans of the series is to misspell it as Looney Toons; ironically, even some official art or descriptions make this mistake.
Even mentioning post Golden Age material like Space Jam or Loonatics Unleashed is an easy way to piss off a hardcore Looney Tunes fan. Praising them only adds more fuel to the fire. Some diehards even hate the spinoffs, such as Tiny Toons or Animaniacs.
Fanon Discontinuity: There are a large number of fans that tend to ignore most of the pre-1940's Looney Tunes shorts, as well as those who ignore most of the post-1964 shorts (though it's hard to ignore the cartoons made after 1964 when CBS and Nickelodeon used to air the Daffy Duck and Speedy Gonzales cartoons on their respective classic short block shows and you were alive when they were heavily featured).
Many fans go as far as ignoring any post theatrical era Looney Tunes property, especially Space Jam, The Looney Tunes Show, Baby Looney Tunes and especiallyLoonatics Unleashed. Not even the generally well recieved Back In Action is safe in some circles.
Beaky's Disney Death in "The Bashful Buzzard" (complete with his mother fretting over him) has a slightly tragic undertone, given Beaky's voice actor, Kent Rogers died in action during the production of the short.
Gateway Series: When asking someone what was their favorite cartoons or what inspired them to do animation, and it isn't a more contemporary work, it will be either Looney Tunes or Disney, or both.
Growing the Beard: Initially, the Looney Tunes started as shameless ripoffs of Disney's success and Merrie Melodies was just made to sell Warner Studio's sheet music (it's the 1930s version of the music video). That all changed after Hugh Harman and Rudolph Ising parted ways with Leon Schlesinger, forcing him to assemble a new staff—many of them important in shaping the studios future. While the shorts still remained Disney like in nature, Tex Avery and Bob began going against the status quo of animation, starting with Tex's landmark short "Gold Diggers of '49" where he started taking advantage of cartoons being able to do anything and use them as vehicles for gags. It's generally agreed that things vastly improved as a whole when Tex Avery and Bob Clampett began to direct, as they were both a big part of shaping the Looney Tunes sense of humor we know today. However, it's the '40s that are often seen as the high point in the studio's history (ironically, Avery had left WB in 1941, but his influence had already been established).
Hilarious in Hindsight: In "Tortoise Wins By a Hare," one of the headlines on the newspaper advertising the race between Bugs Bunny and Cecil the Turtle reads, "Hitler Commits Suicide." This cartoon was released in 1943, a mere two years before that actually happened. It would be Harsher in Hindsight, but this is Hitler we're talking about...
Some jokes about prices unavoidably get this, thanks to inflation. Daffy complaining about paying 25 cents for cab fare in "Show Biz Bugs" is one of the funnier examples. Most people nowadays would kill for fare like this.
In 1990's "Box-Office Bunny", Daffy complains about paying seven dollars to see a movie. Compare that to today where it can cost more than twenty dollars for just one person to get admission!
1943's "Super-Rabbit" parodies the Superman Theatrical Cartoons of the 1940s, with Bugs as a Captain Ersatz version of Superman. A similar premise is used in "Stupor Duck" in 1956, only with Daffy instead of Bugs. Now, many years later, Superman and all of the other DC Comics superheroes are legal property of Warner Bros. This has enabled direct Shout Outs in later cartoons such as The Looney Tunes Show, where both Bugs and Daffy claim to be Batman and the batsuit and bat-signal are both shown.
I Am Not Shazam: The title Looney Tunes does not refer to the characters, be it individually or as a group, just to the no-continuity cartoons themselves.
Looney Tunes Collector Martian Alert and Marvin Strikes Back!/Looney Tunes Collector: Martian Revenge! for the GBC are fun Zelda-esque Looney Tunes games which are also fairly well received.
The Problem with Licensed Games: Many of the Looney Tunes tie-in video games range from mediocre (i.e. Bugs Bunny's Birthday Blowout) to outright terrible, most notably Bugs Bunny's Crazy Castle and Looney Tunes: Acme Arsenal, the latter of which was critically panned (but sold very well, unfortunately).
Recycled Script: Several early black-and-white shorts were later remade in color:
Porky's Badtime Story (1937 with Gabby Goat) as Tick Tock Tuckered (1944 with Daffy Duck)
Injun Trouble (1938) as Wagon Heels (1945)
Scalp Trouble (1938) as Slightly Daffy (1944)
Notes To You (1941 with Porky and unnamed cat) as Back Alley Oproar (1947 with Elmer and Sylvester)
Porky's Pooch (1941) as Little Orphan Airedale (1947)
Porky In Wackyland (1938) as Dough For The Do-Do (1949)
Friz Freleng's cartoons are notorious for recycling scripts from earlier cartoons (and recycling scenes).
Rooting for the Empire: Most of the shorts' antagonists are jerks, but utterly harmless and pitiful, usually getting maimed and humiliating to a sadistic degree by their far more competetant foes. Chuck Jones implemented this trope deliberately with Wile E Coyote and the Road Runner and even lampshaded it in Adventures Of The Road Runner.
Sacred Cow: People will open fire upon you if you openly declare your distaste for the 1940s shorts (or worse, say you like the post-70's shorts). That's not even getting into dislking the characters or any of the 90's television series directly descended from the theatrical series.
Buddy, the studio's main character from 1933—1935. Unusually for a Scrappy, he wasn't that annoying. In fact, he wasn't really anything at all — his problem was that he had absolutely zero personality, which was compounded by the dull, plotless cartoons that he starred in.
A lot of people feel that Tweety deserves this title too, though he also has his fans.
Pepe Le Pew due to how formulaic his shorts are.
Henery Hawk from the Foghorn Leghorn cartoons is practically the Ur Example of a Scrappy in as much as he even share's Scrappy Doo's personality and physical traits (Mark Evanier admitted outright he used Henery's character as a basis for Scrappy). He's a belligerent, loudmouthed little pipsqueak who picks fights with other characters many times bigger than him.
The series introduced a whole army of Scrappies in the late 1960s, when the original creative staff was dumped and Alex Lovy took over the studio. In a desperate attempt to stay in the game, Lovy created some new characters to supplant the classic line-up, and we were treated to such memorable characters as Cool Cat, Merlin the Magic Mouse, and Bunny & Claude. The new characters proved unimaginative, unfunny and unmemorable, and it was soon game over for the original Looney Tunes series. One "Cool Cat" cartoon even went to the trouble to introduce "Spooky", a seriously dull ghost character, with a mention in the opening titles. A case of hitching your wagon to a sinking ship there. By this point the few original characters still present in the shorts were considered Scrappies as well. Daffy and Speedy in particular due to personality changes and a questionable teamup of the two, though granted outside this era they are Ensemble Darkhorses more than anything else.
Seasonal Rot: The period in which the quality of the shorts goes downhill varies for everyone, but it's generally agreed that when duties moved to DePatie-Freleng in 1963, things took a turn for the worse and, outside of a few exceptions, never really recovered.
There are some who argue that while DePatie-Freleng's cartoons were a big step down from the studio's heyday, they were still better than 95% of what the other animation studios at the time were producing. However, even DePatie-Freleng fans generally admit that the quality of the cartoons totally bottomed out when the Warner Bros.-Seven Arts era began in 1967, and that while things did improve when Robert McKimson returned for one last spell during the studi's final year, it was too little too late.
Seinfeld Is Unfunny: Given these are some of the popular, influential cartoons in the history of animation, it's very easy to take for granted just how groundbreaking and unique these shorts were for their time.
The theme songs for the Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies were actually not made for them, but were originally standalone songs, The Merry Go Round Broke Down and Merrily We Roll Along, but because of them being the themes of both series for decades and heard virtually nowhere else, they will always be associated with the Looney Tunes franchise.
Likewise, Raymond Scott's "Powerhouse", a music track originally made in 1937, is a music cue that is often known because of its recurring use in Looney Tunes shorts.
Suspiciously Similar Song: At the very end of "Hare Brush", Elmer does a victory dance to a tune that is very similar to the (then) recently-created "bunny hop" dance.
The beginning and end of "The Last Hungry Cat" feature a melodic parody of the theme to "Alfred Hitchcock Presents", aka "Funeral March of a Marionette" by Charles Gounod.
Bugs Bunny's cameo in the Paramount George Pal Puppetoon Jasper Goes Hunting is introduced with an ersatz rendition of the Merrie Melodies theme.
Tear Jerker: You'd never expect it from these cartoons, but the ending to "What's Opera, Doc?" defiantly invokes this. But then again, who expects a happy ending from an Opera anyway?
"Feed the Kitty" also unintentionally is a tear jerker for some. Chuck Jones said it was meant to be funny, but something about how heartbroken Marc Anthony the bulldog gets when he thinks his pet kitten is being baked into a batch of cookies (when the audience is shown that this is not the case) just kind of tugs at the heartstrings, as silly as the situation is.
"Feed the Kitty" was an exercise in personality animation and how Chuck Jones could elicit emotions from audiences by using the characters' expressions. That, coupled with the music by Carl Stalling, was why that scene with Marc Anthony crying over his baked kitten was so heart-wrenching.
"Porky's Romance" probably deserves mention, after a love struck Porky gets rejected by Petunia, he becomes heartbroken to the point of suicide.
They Changed It, Now It Sucks: The Warner Bros.-Seven Arts regime in the late 60s axed all the original Looney Tunes characters — save for Daffy and Speedy — and introduced a bunch of new forgettable ones such as Rapid Rabbit, Merlin Mouse and Cool Cat. Needless to say, the new characters only lasted three years.
Beans was the first real example of a Screwy Squirrel in the series, and a refreshing change from the characters who had gone before him. After his first few cartoons however, the animators started depicting him in much the same way as Buddy, meaning that while he at least outlasted some of the other characters from that period, in the long term he was completely eclipsed by Porky.
Gabby Goat from the '30s, who was basically a Captain Ersatz of Donald Duck, could have been a great star if they had bothered to have any chemistry between him and Porky.
The series actually ran on this. The studio was constantly attempting to find new stars that the audience would take to, with many previous bit players or one shots given a test in center spotlight. Porky, Daffy and Bugs were among those that took on and became the series' Breakout Characters. The likes of Beaky Buzzard, Charlie Dog and The Three Bears however ran only a brief stint of shorts before beoming mostly forgotten extras.
What an Idiot: It's a wonder Private Snafu wasn't declared 4F due to mental incompetence.
A lot of Looney Tunes characters' behavior comes off as this, but only because the story wouldn't be funny or have much in the way of plot without the characters acting or doing something stupid (the Road Runner and Wile E. Coyote cartoons, the 1953 Pepe Le Pew cartoon "Wild Over You," and any cartoon where Bugs Bunny is hunted by Elmer Fudd or Yosemite Sam would definitely suffer if not for this trope and the Idiot Ball)
What Do You Mean, It's Not for Kids?: A lot of people (particularly the ones who grew up seeing the Edited for Syndication broadcasts of the Looney Tunes on Saturday morning TV, after school on weekday afternoons [or weekday mornings before school, depending on local station scheduling], or on Cartoon Network and have never seen the cartoons made before 1948, including the World War II-era shorts and the Private Snafu cartoons) will be surprised to discover that the Looney Tunes has a lot of humor that is either not appropriate for children or will fly over the heads of children and those who know nothing of the pop culture or history at the time. In that regard, the Looney Tunes can be seen as The Simpsons or Family Guy if either show was a 5-7 minute short shown exclusively in theaters before a feature film, right down to the fact that all three are or have been shown on TV with jokes and scenes cut for time and/or content and are readily available on DVD or online with these "offending" scenes intact.
In interviews with each of the main directors when asked this question they reply that they never had kids in mind when making their cartoons.
The shorts originally played before anything in the WB library (which could include gritty crime dramas aimed at older audiences), so yeah, they weren't for kids. It's just that due to edgier material that has come out since its heydey (as well as the aforementioned airings on Saturday mornings), a lot of the content seems tame today.
The Woobie: The alien in "Martian Through Georgia".
Penelope Pussycat, especially if you consider the hints that she actually does like Pepe.
Porky Pig, while his abuse is usually Played for Laughs, there are sometimes you really have to feel sorry for him, especially considering, unlike most other Butt Monkeys in the series, he rarely brings it on himself. Taken to poignant levels in "Porky's Romance".
Beaky Buzzard tries to live up to his "Killer" moniker, however in reality he's a shy, clumsy imbecile, making him one of the most wrathless antagonists in the series.