Debut: Knock Knock (1940)
A prominent example of the Prankster character, Woody Woodpecker was the star character of the Walter Lantz cartoon studio and is the mascot of Universal Studios note . In the earliest cartoons, he was essentially Lantz's answer to Daffy Duck and Bugs Bunny, being a strange hybrid of the two characters, with the energy, looniness and demented nature of Classic Daffy merged with hints of the wiseacre attitude of Bugs—also enforced by the fact that they even got Bugs' and Daffy's voice actor for the first three cartoons!
After the first batch of cartoons however, the wiseacre bit of Woody was casually dropped in favor of the more Jerkass aspects of his character. But things changed when original director Alex Lovy stepped down and ex-Disney animator Shamus Culhane took over direction of the shorts for a few years, ramping up the direction of the previous cartoons considerably, as well as giving Woody his iconic redesign. His take on Woody was much more fleshed out than the previous incarnation — whereas the original character was just a mindless heckler that went about causing havoc on sheer principle, Shamus supplied Woody with more clearly defined traits so that we could understand why he was going about causing trouble — specifically, by establishing that he is a selfish, ignorant being who only stands for himself and will not stop at nothing to achieve his goals, regardless of whoever gets in his way. He also helped firmly establish Woody's trait of being a Big Eater (which did pop up in early cartoons, but wasn't a central part of the character) which served as the basis for many of his cartoons. However, Culhane's direction, for all of his improvements, made Woody a bit too unlikable, taking him from being a screwy bird to sometimes being flat out malicious in some episodes (i.e. The Barber of Seville).
But this changed yet again when Disney veteran Dick Lundy took the directors chair and toned down Woody considerably, establishing that he cannot go crazy unless given a genuine reason to. During his direction, Lundy essentially turned Woody into an ersatz Donald Duck, mixed in with Woody's typical pranking tendencies. By the 50s, at the behest of Universal, Lantz softened Woody into a much more heroic character, with occasional bouts of his old antics time and time again.
- Alliterative Name: His first and last names both begin with W.
- Animated Actor: As shown by the live-action segments of the original Woody Woodpecker Show.
- Anti-Role Model: In his early days, he was a straight-up lunatic and a reckless troublemaker, and even afterward was often portrayed as being lazy, gluttonous, arrogant, thoughtless, bad tempered, selfish and childish in personality, though these aspects of his personality got sanded down as time went on. At any rate, its safe to say that Woody is absolutely not a paragon of virtue.
- Arch-Nemesis: Wally Walrus, Buzz Buzzard, Dapper Denver Dooley, Gabby Gator and Ms. Meany. It's not the full list of the enemies he got over the series' lifespan, but those are probably his best known ones.
- Art Evolution: Woody's early appearance looked like a bizarre, ghoulish mix of a woodpecker and a ragdoll. He eventually got streamlined into more handsome and cuter designs from the mid 1940's and onward.
- Attractive Bent-Gender: He's done crossdressing on a handful of occasions, and he's just as effective with it as Bugs Bunny.
- Big Eater: Woody's appetite was a frequent source of many plots.
- Breakout Character: Woody originally appeared in an Andy Panda short in an attempt by Lantz to deliberately invoke this trope. It worked.
- Captain Ersatz: Of Daffy Duck and the rabbit from "Porky's Hare Hunt", with some traces of Bugs Bunny in the earliest shorts. These aspects were dropped later on and Woody became more of a playful trickster and foil character in the vein of Donald Duck and Barney Bear.
- The Cameo: Woody made a cameo appearance in the ending of Who Framed Roger Rabbit.
- Catchphrase: "Guess Who? Ha ha ha HA HA, ha ha ha HA HA, ha ha ha HA HA, hehehehehehehe!"
- Characterization Marches On: In the newer cartoons, Woody is much more relaxed than in his early shorts, where he was a manic heckler.
- Composite Character: Originally a hybrid of Daffy Duck and Bugs Bunny in his earliest persona, but became a Screwy Squirrel and Donald Duck hybrid when Dick Lundy took over the shorts.
- The Determinator: Once Woody sets his mind on a goal, no force on Earth will stop him.
- Does Not Like Spam: The 1942 short, "The Loan Stranger", makes it clear that he hates cheesecake.
- Feathered Fiend: At his worst. Woody's a bird who can and will make your life a never-ending living hell if you cross him.
- Flight: Being a avian, Woody is very much capable of flying, although this ability was usually dropped after the early shorts in favor of him using Super Speed. It returns in the live action movie, complete with his wings flapping as he flies.
- Jerkass: Particularly in the shorts directed by Shamus Culhane.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: In later years, they started to make him a more sympathetic character.
- Karma Houdini: Happened very frequently in the early shorts.
- Nominal Hero: In his earliest shorts, he messed with people for no reason and often got away with it.
- Our Gods Are Different: The movie establishes him as the incarnation of anote native american deity, Marconda.
- Paper-Thin Disguise: Makes use of this several times.
- Took a Level in Jerkass: The Culhane shorts.
- Villain Protagonist: While it's a huge stretch to call Woody evil, he was by no means a paragon of virtue in his loonier days and was more often than not a nuisance on his best days. He was often a selfish, self-serving troublemaker who wasn't above harassing or (comically) hurting others to get what he wants. However, whether Woody is an Anti-Hero, a trickster or a villain really depends on the short and the time period in the character's history. However, while many shorts portrayed him as causing trouble for others around him, be it knowingly (stealing gas, heckling Papa Panda by pecking holes in his roof, breaking into a hotel owned by Wally Walrus, etc.) or just out of carelessness or thoughtlessness, he is seldom portrayed as doing it out of maliciousness; its clear he's more mischievous and playful or just irritated by his hapless foes, and its surprisingly uncommon for Woody to instigate the conflicts in the first place. In the 1950's shorts and onward, as well as in The New Woody Woodpecker Show, he was given more overtly sympathetic qualities, though he never completely shedded his manic prankster qualities.
- Wholesome Crossdresser: In "Chew Chew Baby", "Drooler's Delight" and "The Woody Woodpecker Polka".
- Your Size May Vary: How big Woody is varies from cartoon to cartoon, and even medium to medium. Sometimes he's big enough to live in a regular house, sometimes he's small enough to live in a regular-sized birdhouse. In the comics he's pretty consistently the former, while in the live-action movie, he's the latter.
Debut: The Beach Nut (1944)
- Voiced by: Jack Mather (1944-48), Will Wright (The Reckless Driver), Dallas McKennon (What's Sweepin'), Billy West (The New Woody Woodpecker Show)
- Alliterative Name: First and last names both begin with the letter W.
- The Cameo: Wally made a cameo alongside Woody in the ending of Who Framed Roger Rabbit.
- Demoted to Extra: He was brought onto the "underdog" cast section when other characters that can be obviously referred to as bad guys, such as Buzz Buzzard, Dapper Denver Dooley and Dirty McNasty came up. At least not until The New Woody Woodpecker Show.
- Friendly Enemy: Sometimes to Woody in The New Woody Woodpecker Show.
- Funetik Aksent: Has a thick Swedish accent.
- Interspecies Romance: He's willing to date women who are birds.
- Leitmotif: My Bonnie Lies Over The Ocean has became one for Wally whenever he cooks or has dinner. The first instance of it, The Beach Nut, has both Woody singing this song and Wally happily humming it. Well, it could end there, but then he does the same thing in The Dippy Diplomat and Chew-Chew Baby.
- Rogues Gallery Transplant: He antagonized fellow arctic character Chilly Willy in a few of his 60's shorts.
- Wily Walrus: An antagonistic, stuffy walrus who despises Woody.
Debut: Wet Blanket Policy (1948)
- Voiced by: Lionel Stander (1948-49), Dallas McKennon (1950-72), Mark Hamill (The New Woody Woodpecker Show)
Woody's other comic foil, Buzz Buzzard is a sleazy, greedy conman who will stoop to any depths to get what he wants.
- Alliterative Name: B is the first letter of both his given name and his surname.
- Arch-Enemy: To Woody.
- Big Bad: Most of his appearances have him as the main villain.
- Captain Ersatz: Buzz is one of the Donald Duck character Ben Buzzard, a character director Dick Lundy created for the Donald Duck short The Flying Jalopy when he was working at Disney.
- Evil Sounds Raspy: Courtesy of Mark Hamill.
- Feathered Fiend: A villainous avian.
- Hate Sink: He exists to be an antagonist for Woody, and since Woody is not a paragon of good virtue himself, Buzz always has to be worse to balance things out.
- Jerkass: Possibly the only character in the series who is more of this than Woody.
- Perma-Stubble: In the 40s, represented by the bottom part of his beak being darkened, as in the picture.
- Scavengers Are Scum: Woody's greatest adversary is a vulture.
- They Killed Kenny Again: Several of the old cartoons ended up with him dying, but he always comes back.
Debut: Real Gone Woody (1954)
- Voiced by: Grace Stafford (1954), BJ Ward (The New Woody Woodpecker Show)
Woody's girlfriend. While she only appeared in one of the original theatrical cartoons (and in a very one-dimensional role at thatnote ) she became a recurring character in the comics and became much more prominent in the newer show. Similar in personality to Woody, but much more dignified.
- Alliterative Name: Just like her boyfriend, her first and last names both begin with W.
- Art Evolution: Her post-Real Gone Woody design is just a slight tweak of Woody's design.
- Ascended Extra: Began as a one-shot character in the original shorts before being a regular character in The New Woody Woodpecker Show.
- Catchphrase: "When in doubt, improvise!"
- Flat Character: Originally, her only role was for Woody Woodpecker and Buzz Buzzard to fight for her affection and she had very little characterization.
- Genki Girl: In the 1999-2002 series.
- Half-Dressed Cartoon Animal: In the 1999-2002 series, all she wears is a skirt and White Gloves.
- Non-Mammal Mammaries: She has breasts in her debut, but her redesign in The New Woody Woodpecker Show averts this, as by then she's basically Woody in a skirt.
- Tertiary Sexual Characteristics: Aside from wearing a skirt and having her head feathers bent forward, Winnie is nearly identical to Woody (in her post-"Real Gone Woody" appearances, however).
Knothead and Splinter
Debut: Get Lost (1956)note
Woody's Nephew and Niece respectively.
- Canon Immigrant: The characters originally appeared in Lantz's New Funnies comics (1952-), but were later brought into the cartoons.
- Half-Dressed Cartoon Animal: Splinter is a rare female bird example of shirtless cartoon animal.
- Retcon: In the earliest comics, the kids were Nuthead (sic) and Splinter; both were boys; and the pair were Woody's adopted wards, not his relatives. First, Splinter became a girl; then Nuthead became Knothead; then (in the cartoons) the pair became nephew and niece.
An ugly, nasty, and occasionally smart-alecky old lady who often gets the better of Woody if he causes her trouble. First appeared late in the series, but became a regular very fast. Also a frequent player in The New Woody Woodpecker Show, often as Woody's short-tempered landlady.
Debut: Calling Dr. Woodpecker (1963)
- Voiced by: Grace Stafford (1963-72), Andrea Martin (The New Woody Woodpecker Show)
- Grande Dame: Occasionally, depending on the prestige of her job.
- Jerkass: Especially in Bye Bye Blackboard.
- Meaningful Name: "Meany" would be a rather fitting name for a person who isn't nice.
- New Job as the Plot Demands: Sometimes she works for a company or institution (she's a schoolteacher in Bye Bye Blackboard, a sheriff in Janie Get Your Gun); other times, she's just doing something on her own, such as birdwatching or archaeology.
- Old Maid: While the subject doesn't come up very often, an occasional New Woody Woodpecker episode features her looking for a date, sometimes Wally.
- Slapstick Knows No Gender: Not even she is safe from Woody's slapstick antics.
Debut: Life Begins For Andy Panda (1939)
- Voiced by: Bernice Hansen (1939-40), Sara Berner (1941-44), Walter Tetley (1945-49)
Walter Lantz's second star character after the Oswald the Lucky Rabbit series ran out of gas. Started off as an infant, but gradually grew up to become The Everyman. Woody Woodpecker made his debut in his 5th short. Phased out by 1949, but made a cameo in the 50's short The Woody Woodpecker Polka. While he wasn't a recurring character of the series, his shorts were usually shown alongside Woody's in the original Woody Woodpecker show. Appeared in 27 shorts total (28 if you count his cameo in The Woody Woodpecker Polka). He returned to the cast in the 2018 web series.
- Bratty Half-Pint: In his early appearances.
- The Cameo: On a poster in "Wet Blanket Policy" and in the opening of "The Woody Woodpecker Polka."
- Captain Ersatz: Andy's everyman incarnation seems to be one of Mickey Mouse.
- Jerkass: Shamus Culhane's very short lived take on the character in the short "The Painter and the Pointer".
- Ridiculously Cute Critter: In his baby appearances.
- Shared Universe: With Woody Woodpecker. Woody Woodpecker made his debut in one of his early cartoons and both of them co-starred together in the shorts "Musical Moments from Chopin" and "Banquet Busters".
Debut: Chilly Willy (1953)
- Voiced by: Sara Berner (1953), Daws Butler (1954-62, 1969-72), Grace Stafford (1963-68), Frank Welker (The New Woody Woodpecker Show)
A little penguin living in Fairbanks, Alaska who, oddly enough, hates the cold and goes out of his way to find warmth. While not directly connected to Woody Woodpecker, his shorts were aired alongside his on the original Woody Woodpecker show.
- Art Evolution: Initially, Chilly just looked like a Woody Woodpecker clone with flippers and black and white feathers. When he directed the second Chilly Willy short, Tex Avery created the much more distinct design that we know and love.
- Butt-Monkey: Not as much as his enemies though.
- The Generic Guy: He's adorable enough, but doesn't have much in the way of personality — which might be why he tends to be shoved Out of Focus for many of his cartoons, while his antagonists get most of the screen time.
- Better Chilly cartoons make him a mischievous, almost demonic little squirt. Unfortunately, it's not done often enough.
- Misplaced Wildlife: He's a penguin from Alaska.
- Ridiculously Cute Critter: Even more so than Andy Panda. Just look at him!
- The Voiceless: Chilly frequently shifts between this and speaking.
Debut: A Fine Feathered Frenzy (1954)
- Voiced by: Gladys Holland
A single millionaire who falls madly in love with Woody. He doesn't feel the same way about her. At all.
- And Now You Must Marry Me: Gorgeous Gal's reaction to Woody Woodpecker responding to her ad which intensifies after she meets him and even moreso after she kisses him. We never see exactly how she forces Woody Woodpecker to marry her so it's possible that he gives up and agrees to it after he realizes he is never going to get away from Gorgeous Gal.
- Abhorrent Admirer: Obviously, Gorgeous Gal is this for Woody.
- Audio Erotica: Gorgeous Gal's sexy voice on the phone lures Woody Woodpecker to her, performing a siren switch. Her voice remains sexy throughout the film, yet her appearance turns off Woody Woodpecker.
- Awful Wedded Life: To Woody, not to her.
- The Bad Guy Wins: Downplayed; while not exactly antagonistic or evil, the film ends with her successful trapping Woody and marrying him,despite his protests.
- Cloud Cuckoolander: Gorgeous Gal seems to really believe that Woody is in love with her and that his attempts to escape are just shyness or flirting.
- Crazy-Prepared: Gorgeous Gal even had a wedding dress and a priest ready to marry her with Woody.
- The Dreaded: Gorgeous Gal is this for Woody.
- Fat Bastard: Downplayed. Gorgeous Gal isn't exactly cruel or malicious, but she's hopelessly in love with Woody and will do anything to have him in her arms, even if it's against his will. So she is this from Woody's point of view.
- Fan Disservice: Gorgeous Gal shows her legs to try to seduce Woody. The result is the exact opposite.
- Forceful Kiss: Gorgeous Gal does this to Woody Woodpecker with her massive red lips. She grabs him while she is sitting on a couch, holds him down and kisses him on his beak several times against his wishes. When Woody breaks free he is briefly seen smiling so he may have enjoyed the kissing, but once he turns and looks at her he seems horrified at the thought of what more kissing might lead to. Gorgeous Gal on the other hand really enjoyed kissing him and becomes ecstatic. So much so that she fires her entire body towards him with her lips puckered like a large cupid's arrow. She misses and leaves a gigantic lipstick imprint on the wall.
- Kissing Discretion Shot: Whenever she successfully kisses Woody it is out of view from the camera. When she grabs him on the couch she holds him down and turns her back to the camera as she can be heard smothering him in kisses. She also presumably kissed him at the end of the film, once they were out of view in her submarine, to complete their marriage.
- Running Gag: Woody running through the mansion, only to find Gorgeous Gal in every room.
- Stout Strength: Gorgeous Gal is fat and strong, crushing Woody as she collapses on him in a determined moment, and carries him and cuddles him easily in her arms.
- Tiny Guy, Huge Girl: Gorgeous Gal is enormously tall and overweight, compared to the very skinny and short Woody Woodpecker.
- Worthy Opponent: Gorgeous Gal is one of the few people who can defeat Woody Woodpecker. She can outrun him, outsmart him, overpower him and has the finances to chase him around the world. Once Gorgeous Gal decided to marry him his fate was sealed with an inevitable kiss to his bride.