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Recap / Tiny Toon Adventures S 1 E 21 Gang Busters

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The twenty-first episode of Tiny Toon Adventures, but the twelfth in production order.

The episode begins in ACME Acres, where Buster and Babs, both of whom are dressed as Joe Friday, tell the viewers that it's Justice Day, and they're about to tell the story of how Buster was framed for theft.

All seemed peaceful in ACME Acres, until Montana Max, who is dressed as a rapper, appears with three gang members, frightening the innocent citizens. Monty tells his gang that they can take whatever they want. They come to the ACME Buy N' Buy mini-mart, where they spy a slushie machine. When they go inside, Remi, the manager, asks them if there's anything they'd like to buy. Monty tells him that he and his gang are just looking, and while Remi is distracted with reading a magazine, Monty and his homies carry the slushie machine away.

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Buster is on his way to ACME Buy N' Buy to buy a carrot slushie, when he comes across Monty and his gang. He tries to order a carrot slushie, but they pass right by him. He then overhears Remi calling for help, as his slushie machine has been stolen. Buster catches up to Monty and his gang in an alley. Monty tells Buster to get out of his way, but Buster refuses until Monty and his gang give back the slushie machine they stole. Monty tells his gang to give Buster the slushie machine, and they do so by tossing it on top of him. Monty then overhears the police, and he and his gang run away. After Buster recovers himself from the slushie machine, Remi catches up to him and thinks that Buster is one of the thieves responsible for stealing it. He tells the police, who take Buster to court.

At the courthouse, Judge Whopper charges Buster with slushie theft. After Babs introduces the trial, Buster comes in, tied to the front of a train. Judge Whopper asks Buster how he pleads, when Plucky comes in, acting as Buster's lawyer. Buster asks him what he's doing, and Plucky tells him to trust him, as he's defending him. Plucky then walks up to Judge Whopper and hands him some photos. Unfortunately, the photos aren't evidence of the crime scene, but rather, they're photos of female ducks. Plucky then takes a picture of Judge Whopper and calls Babs as a character witness to the stand. Babs then tells him that she can do all kinds of characters, and imitates Bugs Bunny, Yosemite Sam, Sylvester, Tweety, and Porky Pig. Judge Whopper has had enough, and Plucky tells him that the only crime being committed is him accusing Buster of a crime he did not commit, and asks the jury who could find Buster guilty of anything. Judge Whopper then asks the jury what their verdict is, and the jury (which consists entirely of clones of Yosemite Sam) find Buster guilty. Judge Whopper then finds Buster guilty of slushie theft and Plucky guilty of extreme obnoxiousness, sentencing them both to six months of reform school. Plucky objects, but Judge Whopper tells him, "Cased closed!" and whacks him with his mallet.

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As the ACME Acres Juvenile Hall bus takes Buster and Plucky to Juvenile Hall, Plucky complains that he's been framed, then Buster reveals that he took Judge Whopper's gavel, and hits Plucky with it as retribution for getting him arrested.In the second act, Monty reads a newspaper informing him that Buster and Plucky have been arrested, and thanks Buster for taking the blame for the actions of him and his gang.

At Juvenile Hall, Plucky begs to be let out, and acts like the walls are closing in as Buster plays a harmonica. Plucky then asks Buster how long they've been imprisoned, and Buster tells him, "Five minutes". The guard walks in and asks Buster and Plucky how they're doing, and Plucky tells him their cell is too small. Buster asks him if they have something with an ocean view, and the Guard asks them if they'd prefer something near the garden. Plucky tells the Guard that that would be fine, and tips him by tossing a coin into his hand, which he crushes. The Guard then takes Buster and Plucky away, telling them they need some exercise.

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In the garden, the Guard tells Buster and Plucky to weed and water the garden before lunch, handing Buster a hose and Plucky a rake. He then tells them if they give him any trouble, he will put them in the hole. After he leaves, Plucky tells Buster that now's their chance to escape. As Buster tries to talk Plucky out of it, Plucky ties the hose to the rake and tosses it over the wall. Plucky tells Buster to follow him, but Buster tells the viewers that what Pluckys doing is a big mistake. Plucky tries to climb up the hose, but instead, pulls it down, and the Guard is revealed to have been holding the rake on the other end. The Guard growls angrily at Buster, who asks him if he'd like to hear some harmonica music.

In the next scene, Buster has his harmonica lodged in his throat as the Guard takes him and Plucky to the hole as punishment for disobeying his orders. Plucky then tells the Guard that he can take the hole, and the Guard takes him and Buster to a tiny hole that he shoves them through with a pole.

Inside the hole, it is so dark, that all Buster and Plucky can see are their eyes. To pass the time, the two play Pong and Pac-Man with them, then Plucky suggests lighting a match. Buster does so, but all that appears are his and Plucky's eyes, much to their shock. Buster then suggests that they burrow their way out. They make several attempts, first winding up in the Pirates of the Caribbean ride at Disneyland, then winding up at the Temple of Doom (complete with a cameo by Indiana Jones), then winding up in the Bat Cave (complete with a cameo by Batman). Eventually, Buster and Plucky come to the Juvenile Hall storage room, where they meet up with Rocky and Mugsy, who are also trying to dig their way out. Rocky tells Buster and Plucky that they're going to help them escape. At first, Buster refuses, as he and Plucky are in enough trouble as it is, but Mugsy grabs them, convincing them to help him and Rocky after all.

Meanwhile, in the Warden's office, Gogo, Babs, and Hamton beg the warden to release Buster and Plucky. Babs tells him that she, Hamton, and Gogo are Buster's friends, and have signed petitions to release him and Plucky. Below, Rocky orders Buster and Plucky to keep digging, and Plucky becomes confused when Buster digs in a separate direction. Buster tells Plucky that he has an idea. Above, the Guard tells the Warden that several inmates have escaped through a tunnel in the tool shed. Buster digs his way up and leads Rocky and Mugsy to the Warden, telling him that he brought Rocky and Mugsy to him. The Warden orders the guard to re-arrest Rocky and Mugsy and thanks Buster and Plucky, asking him if he can do anything to repay them. Buster tells the Warden that he wants a chance to prove he was framed for slushie theft by catching Montana Max and his gang. The Warden agrees to it, and Babs, Hamton, and Gogo all cheer. Buster is ready to put his plan into action.

In the third act, Monty and have gang have spray-painted dollar signs all over ACME Acres, when Babs gets their attention by shining a spotlight on Buster, who is dressing as a rapper. Buster, Babs, Plucky, and Gogo start rapping, with Plucky as the DJ, to get Monty to confess that he framed Buster, but Monty refuses. Among the gags they use is the prison bus, which they retool as a boom box to use against Monty and his gang. Hamton tries to think rap and fails. He plays a banjo while singing "Charleston," and then does a disco dance, neither of which impresses the others.

Despite Hamton's mishaps, the Toons continue to chase Monty and his gang, using hip hop and other pressure tactics against him. Eventually, their strategy pays off and Monty confesses to the warden that he stole the slushie machine and framed Buster just so he doesn't have to hear the rapping sound. Monty then runs into a cell, where Rocky and Mugsy are. Rocky hands Monty a spoon and tells him, "Start diggin, chump!". The Warden gives Buster a full pardon as thanks for finding and arresting the real criminal. Monty then says that he wants a lawyer, only to regret it when Plucky shows up as his lawyer.

Buster concludes the story by telling the viewers that Monty was found guilty on charges of gansterism, vandalism, and slushie theft. He served three months at the ACME Acres reform school and another four on community service, having to pick up trash on the highway, specifically from people who toss their trash on top of him. The only crime Buster was guilty of that day was being a fantastic street dancer. Hamton ends the episode by telling Buster that he finally learned how to rap. He wraps a gift box, and Buster tells him not to quit his day job.

This episode provides examples of:

  • Animation Bump: Jon Mcclenahan's animation of Buster and Plucky in the snake pit and the Bat Cave during the second act, and much of Glen Kennedy's animation in the third act.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: When Monty gets arrested, he shouts, "I want a lawyer!", only to regret it when Plucky shows up as his lawyer.
  • By the Lights of Their Eyes: Buster and Plucky get put in "The Hole" while in prison. They pass the time by using their illuminated eyeballs to play Pong and Pac-Man. Then one of them lights a match, and when the room was lit, all that remained were their eyeballs, prompting them to escape before they get any more stir-crazy.
  • Captivity Harmonica: Buster plays one when he gets arrested after being framed for theft. After the Guard catches Plucky trying to escape, Buster tries to calm him down with some harmonica music. The Guard then stuffs the harmonica down Buster's throat (and Buster spends the next scene with a harmonica-shaped bulge in his neck).
  • Clear My Name: After Buster brings Rocky and Mugsy to the Warden, the Warden gives him a chance to find and arrest the real criminals who stole the slushie machine and framed him.
  • Credits Gag: Free T.V. - You get what you pay for.
  • Cutlery Escape Aid: Rocky and Mugsy use spoons to dig their way out of prison. Near the end of the episode, when Monty gets arrested, he is put in the same cell as Rocky and Mugsy. Rocky hands him a spoon and says, "Start diggin', chump!".
  • Duck Season, Rabbit Season: This exchange between Buster and Plucky occurs when the former beats the latter at a game of Pong. Given the characters on whom they're based, it should come as no surprise:
    Plucky: Hey, you cheated!
    Buster: I did not!
    Plucky: Did too!
    Buster: Did not!
    Plucky: Did too!
    Buster: Did too!
    Plucky: Did not!
    Buster: Right!
  • Kangaroo Court: Buster is found guilty of slushie theft by the jury, which is made entirely of clones of Yosemite Sam.
  • Mugshot Montage: Near the end of this episode, Montana Max gets a series of photos taken at various angles until he is somehow standing upside down, after which he falls down.
  • Off-Model: Mugsy isn't drawn like he usually is, and Montana Max is drawn rather strangely at times in the third act as well (often unintentionally resembling young Shaggy in A Pup Named Scooby-Doo, due to animator Glen Kennedy working on both.)
  • The Other Darrin: Shirley, Elmyra and Fifi are clearly voiced by other people during Hamton's disco dance.
  • Porky Pig Pronunciation: This exchange from Rocky and Mugsy
    Rocky: Keep diggin', rabbit.
    Mugsy: Yeah, keep rabbit, diggin', I mean, keep dabbit riggin', I mean, just... keep going.
  • Prison Episode: Buster and Plucky get sent to juvenile hall when Buster gets framed for slushie theft, and Plucky tries to break them out.
  • Shout-Out:
    • The beginning and ending of this episode is a parody of the TV series, Dragnet. Above the WB shield in the beginning is "Dum Dee Dum Dum", which is a vocalization of the Dragnet fanfare. Buster and Babs also both impersonate the Dragnet protagonist, Joe Friday.
    • The license plate of the police car that takes Buster away says "LWOOD", a reference to the character of Elwood Blues from The Blues Brothers.
    • When Judge Whopper sentences Buster and Plucky while grinning wickedly, the way he's animated is very similar to the scene in Pinocchio when the evil Coachman smiles after telling his cronies what he plans to do to the boys on Pleasure Island.
    • When Buster and Plucky are in jail in a dark cell, they get bored and start playing Pong with each other's eyes. Plucky also plays Pac-Man for a few seconds mimicking the sound effects.
    • When Buster and Plucky try to escape, their side-stops include the Pirates of the Caribbean ride from Disneyland, a temple filled with snakes from Indiana Jones, (complete with a cameo by Indiana Jones himself) and Batman's Bat Cave.
    • Buster, Plucky and Gogo dress as the Fat Guys, spoofing the Fat Boys.
  • Two Decades Behind: Hamton during the third act. During the good guys' rap number, Buster gives Hamton a turn to rap, but he just sings and dances "Charleston," a popular tune from the 1920s (and was used in a few classic Looney Tunes cartoons). Then a little while later, Buster sings "If he can't do the rappin', maybe he can dance!" to which Hamton begins dancing disco. (Babs tells Hamton, "Disco is dead. Join The '90s.") Then at the end, Hamton tells Buster he's finally learned how to rap, but just wraps a present.)
  • Visual Pun:
    • When Buster is sent to court, he is tied to the front of a train, and says, "Just between you and me, folks, I'm being railroaded.
    • At the end of the episode, Hamton tells Buster he finally learned how to rap, and he wraps a present.
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