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Recap / Tiny Toon Adventures S 1 E 11 Starting From Scratch

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The eleventh episode of Tiny Toon Adventures.

The episode begins with Buster and Babs running from Elmyra, which Buster jokes should be an olympic sport. Just then, Furrball is running from a nemesis of his own; a large Pit Bull (not to be confused with Arnold), and hides from him in the tree behind Buster. The Pit Bull finds him, but Furrball aims a squirrel armed with acorns at him. After the Pit Bull chases Furrball away, Elmyra catches up to Buster and Babs and chases them. The two rabbits hide from Elmyra inside the mailbox of her house, and Elmyra gives up trying to catch them.


Elmyra sadly wishes she had a rabbit to play with, but cheers up when she remembers she has other pets. As she hugs a hamster too tight, one of her pet dogs is asleep. On the Dog is a family of Italian fleas; Mama, Papa, Itchiano, and Fliorello. They dance, and their dancing awakens the Dog, who scratches at them, but they dodge his paw. The Flea Family then stop to eat lunch, which consists of the Dog's skin. This causes the Dog to itch like crazy, and his scratching catches the attention of Elmyra, who is playing with an armadillo like a ball. Elmyra comes up to the Dog with a can of ACME Flea Dead spray, and sprays him with it. The Flea Family run away, but stop when they reach the dog's flea collar. As Elmyra continues spraying her Dog with flea spray, the Dog looks out an open window. Furrball hides from the Pit Bull in the trash can below him, but the Pit Bull finds him and holds him back by his tail. The Flea family jumps onto the Pit Bull, but Flio jumps too far and lands on Furrball. Flio and the rest of the family call for each other as they cause both Furrball and the Pit Bull to scratch, and the Pit Bull releases Furrball from his grip. The rest of the Flea Family continue calling for Flio as the Pit Bull continues scratching himself.


As Furrball goes home to his cardboard box, Flio is sad because he's all alone, but he still causes Furrball to itch. As Flio sings a song about how lonely he is now, Furrball looks over him and his song has touched his heart. Even though Flio causes Furrball to itch, Furrball agrees to let Flio stay on him until they can reunite him with the rest of his family. He even provides shelter for Flio in his cardboard box as it rains. As Furrball falls asleep, Flio tells him, "Good night, sleep tight, don't let the bedbugs bite!". Sure enough, a Bedbug appears, looking for a flea to eat.

In the second act, Flio is now asleep, when the Bedbug finds him. Flio awakens and runs from him, which causes Furrball to itch. Furrball comes across a pet shop and finds out it has a porcupine sale. Furrball scares a porcupine and scratches himself with it, only to get kicked out by the shopkeeper. He then goes to the ACME Lumber Mill, where he tries to get a workman to scratch his back with his sander. The workman tosses him onto a conveyor belt leading to a saw. Ordinarily, Furrball would be concerned, but today, he is too itchy to care. Just before he can reach the saw, the Workman shuts off the conveyor belt and kicks Furrball out just as the Pit Bull passes by him.


On the Pit Bull, Papa calls out for Flio, and comes across a Scottish Terrier. Papa asks the Scottish Flea, who is playing golf, if he's seen Flio or Furrball, and the Scottish Flea tells him he hasn't, but will keep his eye out for him. After he gets a hole-in-one in the Scottish Terrier's ear, the Pit Bull comes across a Green Dog and a Purple Dog. As the Pit Bull fights the Green Dog, Mama and Papa ask the British Flea on the Purple Dog if he's seen Flio or Furrball. The British Flea tells them he hasn't. Mama begins to lose hope, but Papa assures her they'll find Flio.

Meanwhile, Elmyra chases Buster and Babs into ACME Looniversity, where the two rabbits disguise themselves as an elderly couple. Elmyra asks them if they've seen Buster and Babs, they confuse Elmyra by pointing in separate directions. Buster kicks Elmyra away, and he and Babs remove their disguises. After Buster jokes about Elmyra, an itchy Furrball runs in. Babs tells Buster that Furrball is itching, so Buster decides to use a can of ACME Flea Dead spray on him. Furrball swats the can away and tells the rabbits that the flea is his friend, which they find strange. Furrball then shows them that Flio is being chased by the Bedbug, and Buster and Babs decide to help him. Babs asks Buster what they should do, and Buster tells them there's only one way to save Flio.

Buster consults the ACME Cartoon Cliché computer for a solution, which brings up Cartoon Cliché #1: Shrink Your Heroes. Babs tells Buster, "It's so crazy, it might just work!", which Buster points out is Cartoon Cliché #2. Buster then goes to the ACME Student Lab, where Calamity Coyote has built a shrink ray. Flio calls for help, and Buster tells Calamity to shrink him and Babs, when Plucky butts in, telling Calamity to stop, as he is meddling in things man was meant to leave alone, to which Hamton holds up a sign that says, "Cliché #3". Buster then tells Plucky that if the plan works, they'll be heroes. This convinces Plucky to join Buster and Babs on their adventure, and Calamity turns on the shrink ray, shrinking them and depositing them onto Furrball's body. As Buster searches for Flio, Babs goofs around by swinging on Furrball's fur and doing a Tarzan yell, to which Plucky tells her, "That was unnecessary." Just then, Flio runs up to them and introduces himself to them. Plucky introduces himself, Buster, and Babs, and Flio tells him that the rest of his family is on the Pit Bull. Just then, the Bedbug catches up to them. Babs stands up to the Bedbug and pokes his eyes with her ears, then pulls Flio away.

As Furrball continues itching, he walks into the Pit Bull, and runs away, with the Pit Bull chasing him. As the Pit Bull chases Furrball, Flio tells Buster, Babs and Plucky that the Pit Bull is the same one his family is on. Furrball makes it to Elmyra's house, and Elmyra takes him in just in time, as she closes the door, causing the Pit Bull to hit his head on it. Flio is upset, as is Plucky, as he, Buster, and Babs were so close to becoming heroes. Elmyra notices Furrball itching, and pulls out a can of ACME Flea Dead spray. Fortunately for Furrball and his friends, it is empty. Unfortunately, Elmyra decides to give Furrball a bath instead. Plucky asks Buster, Babs, and Flio what they should do now, and Buster tells him to run. Plucky asks his friends, "Why don't we aerobicize while we're at it?", and Babs tells him that that won't get them away from the Bedbug. The Bedbug chases Buster, Babs, Plucky, and Flio, but Buster decides to fight back, using Bugs' Mexican Hat Dance from "Bully For Bugs" (albiet with less success). Elmyra puts Furrball in the sink and turns the water on. The water soon gets Furrball wet, and traps Buster, Babs, Plucky, and Flio between it and the Bedbug.

In the third act, Plucky realizes that as a duck, he can swim, and jumps into the water. The Bedbug jumps in after him, but gets washed away. As the water rises, Buster tells Babs, Plucky, and Flio to take shelter in Furrball's ear. They all do, and Plucky plays with Furrball's ear drum until Buster tells him to stop. Elmyra is almost finished with Furrball's bath, and all that's left is to clean his head. Buster, Babs, Plucky, and Flio are now inside Furrball's brain, where they find Furrball's pleasure center, which is shaped like a ball of yarn. Buster pulls it, and Furrball sinks lovingly into the water. Babs then opens a locker and finds Furrball's greatest fear in it, which is revealed to be the Pit Bull. This causes Furrball to jump out of the sink in fear. Elmyra is confused as to why Furrball is acting so strange.

As Buster, Babs, Plucky, and Flio exit Furrball's ear, Plucky plugs his beak over the smell of Furrball's wet fur. Furrball hides under the couch cushion, and Elmyra tells him that she's going to take him to meet the Pit Bull. Furrball is scared when he hears this, but Buster convinces him to pluck up courage if he wants to reunite Flio with the rest of his family, as does Flio. Furrball walks up to the Pit Bull, where Mama, Papa, and Itchy are. They all call for Flio, who tells them to join him on Furrball. They all do so, and are happy to be reunited. Furrball tries to run away, but the Pit Bull holds him back by his tail, and pulls him back. The Pit Bull is about to punch Furrball, but Furrball swats the air and accidentally scratches the Pit Bull's nose. The Pit Bull runs away, yelping in pain, and Furrball is proud of himself for saving his friends, until he hears the Pit Bull continue to yelp in pain. Furrball walks up to the Pit Bull, who doesn't want him to hurt him again. Furrball then holds out his hand to show the Pit Bull he means no harm. The Pit Bull shakes his hand back, and everyone cheers.

Furrball returns to ACME Looniversity, where Buster, Babs, and Plucky are about to be returned to their normal sizes. Papa thanks them for helping them find Flio, and Babs asks the Flea Family where they'll live now, and Mama tells them that they'll be living on Furrball from now on. The Flea Family waves goodbye to Buster, Babs, and Plucky as they are returned to their normal sizes. Plucky is disappointed to find out that he didn't get the attention he thought he would, but Buster tells him that thanks to them, Furrball became braver. Furrball waves goodbye to Buster and Babs as he walks back home itchy, and Flio sings about how he is reunited with his family as the episode ends.

This episode provides examples of:

  • Be the Ball: Elmyra plays with an armadillo like a ball before she finds her dog itching.
  • The Cameo: Hamton makes a very brief appearance in this episode, and all he does is identify the third Cartoon Cliché (with a sign, no less).
  • Circling Birdies: Elmyra has rabbits hop around her head after she runs into the camera.
  • Conveyor Belt of Doom: Furrball gets on one in the sawmill to try to relieve his itch. Fortunately, a Workman shuts it off before the saw can split him in half.
  • Crazy Enough to Work: "That's Cliché #2!"
  • Credits Gag: Cartoon Cliches of - Alan Burnett.
  • Dude, Where's My Respect?: After being returned to normal size, Plucky is a bit put off to not find any press coverage waiting.
  • "Fantastic Voyage" Plot: Buster, Babs and Plucky are shrunk down and placed on Furrball to find Flio. The ACME Cartoon Cliché Computer identifies this as "Cartoon Cliché #1".
  • Flea Episode: Furball gets a flea, and although he finds the itching inconvenient, he actually befriends it.
  • Four-Legged Insect: The Flea Family.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: At the lumber mill, the license plate on the back of a logging truck says, KISSMYAX.
  • Homage: To the movie, An American Tail, only done with fleas instead of mice. Steven Spielberg also produced An American Tail, which may explain the similarities between it and this episode.
  • I Choose to Stay: At the end of the episode, the Flea Family decides to stay on Furrball for their new home.
  • "I Want" Song: "Fur Fur Away" sung by Flio, which bears a striking, deliberate similarity to "Somewhere Out There" from An American Tail. It gets a Triumphant Reprise at the end of the episode when Flio is reunited with his family.
  • Lumber Mill Mayhem: Furrball visits the Lumber Mill to try to relieve his itch by having a Workman's sander and a saw scratch his back.
  • Off-Model: As the Flea Family runs from the cloud of flea spray Elmyra sprays onto her dog, a flea in an orange sweater runs out of their house with them.
  • Rule of Three: There are three Cartoon Clichés identified in this episode.
  • Skewed Priorities: While Buster and Babs' goal is to save Flio and reunite him with his family, Plucky's motivation is for the glory of being a hero.
  • Shout-Out: Buster performs the Mexican Hat Dance slapping routine from Bully for Bugs. When it fails to subdue the Bedbug, he comments "That's funny. It worked for Bugs Bunny".
  • Shrink Ray: Calamity uses one to shrink Buster, Babs, and Plucky.
  • Something Completely Different: While this episode does feature regular characters (prominently Furrball), the focus is mainly on The Flea Family.
  • Talking with Signs: When Plucky begs Calamity not to shrink Buster and Babs because These Are Things Man Was Not Meant to Know, Hampton pulls out a sign reading "Cliché #3".
  • Tempting Fate: Upon going to bed, Flio says "Don't let the bedbugs bite". A few seconds later, a Bedbug appears and starts hunting him.
  • Unnamed Parent: The parents are only known as Mama and Papa.

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