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Headscratchers / Tom and Jerry

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  • Why is Jerry only taking care of Nibbles part of the time? I've always wondered that.
    • This is a Wild Mass Guess, but I think some orphanages and foster homes have programs where a child will stay with a volunteer surrogate dad for a weekend or something, I always figured Jerry was kind enough to volunteer to care for the child that was left on his doorstep part-time, but was prevented from adopting him full-time by the dangers posed by Tom. And Jerry is his Honorary Uncle, not his biological one.
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    • This is supported by "The Little Orphan", actually, where Nibbles is an orphan from the "Bide a Wee Mouse Home" that Jerry agreed to have over for Thanksgiving dinner.
    • The shorts dont have any canon, each of them are self contained, with only certain aspects transfering from one to another. Thats why Nibbler is an orphan in some shorts, or Jerrys nephew in others.
    • More than likely faulty time stream hypothothis stands true even as far back here. What you see was true of their timeline at the moment, but not guaranteed to carry over to the next episode. It's practically the Bible for anything Hanna and Barbera ever touched.
  • How racist is Mammy Two-Shoes, really? I mean I'll admit her name (which is never really spoken in the shorts) is in somewhat poor taste, but because she's often the only human in the shorts it's not like we ever see her taking orders from any white person or anything like that. As far as we know she owns the house, pretty progressive for its time I'd say. And since she's The Faceless we aren't treated to any offensive exaggerations of her facial features either.
    • Apparently the name was taken off reused Disney model sheets used for ones of the Tom & Jerry cartoons. I guess the name just stuck.
    • Actually Mammy Two-Shoes face is seen in one scene from an an episode I can't remember. "Mammy Two-Shoes"
      • That would be the uncensored version of Saturday Evening Puss.
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    • It's probably her stereotypical voice and those light-skinned palms, which is still pretty racist by today's standards.
      • Her original voice may be offensive to some, but it's not as though they aren't people in reality who speak as she does.
      • But the skin on the palms of our hands and soles of our feet is supposed to be lighter in color than the average skin color of our bodies, regardless of skin color, race, and ethnic group. Lighter colored palms and soles is a general characteristic of the human species.
      • She was in fact portrayed as a house maid in some early shorts. Her original voice over was also dubbed over in many modern airings due to her broken speech pattern which is indeed considered offensive to many these days. Admittedly those exposed to only the dubbed versions of the later shorts may be oblivious to her being anything more than a comically obese Sassy Black Woman which is standard in even modern cartoons.
      • It is important here to separate the mature vs immature side of the conversation. Of course there are real people that act like the "stereotype" that is how any stereotype came to be exaggerated upon. But the real issue here is that for a while this was the ONLY representation some of these people had. Regardless of how many people are clearly not the stereotype. The mature vs immature side comes between the "I don't like this type of character and i'd like to see more variety but respect it existed" versus the "I don't like this type of character it shouldn't exist" crowds. Most of the world are more than likely the former, but the vocal minority of the latter could be easier to spot on the internet.
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    • While we're on the subject, when were the episodes with her overdubbed shown? I only remember ever seeing the original versions.
  • In light of the above point, does Mammy Two-Shoes own the house herself in any of the shorts? I remember one episode where she was trying to sleep, the plot being Tom had to make sure her sleep wasn't disturbed or he'd be thrown out of the house. She's then shown wearing pyjamas and heading to the master bedroom to sleep: an act that would be unlikely tolerated by the homeowners unless she was the homeowner.
  • Another question on Mammy. Why did she cease to appear in the shorts after 1952? Were people starting to vocally take issue with how stereotypical she was, or was it merely decided that new characters needed to be introduced?
  • So is it Nibbles, or Tuffy? Does that little gray mouse have two different names, or are they two different mice altogether?
    • In "Two Little Indians" there actually are two little gray mice, so it's not impossible for both to exist. I've noticed that Tuffy speaks more, while Nibbles usually prefers to eat.
  • In the Ugly Duckling short, why didn't Jerry point out to Quackers that the "duckling" in the story was an infant swan, not a duck? It would have saved both of them a lot of grief.
    • He actually did point out the ending to the story via the book they were reading, but Quacker, being Quacker, refuses to listen and continues moping.
  • In "Blue Cat Blues" final scene, woulnd't Jerry have actually survived to his suicide attempt along with Tom? Since he's not tall enough to be hitten by the train's axles.
  • In the episode "Flirty birdy" at the end of the episode Tom is in his bird disguise and is sitting on a nest with eggs, how can they be his? The fact Tom is a male and isn't a bird makes the ending a mystery.


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