The 46th episode of the first season of Tiny Toon Adventures (and 46th overall).
"Ask Mr. Popular" features Buster as the host of the eponymous talk show, ready to answer the popularity-related questions of his studio audience.
First Short: "Dapper Dizzy"
The first question is from Mary Melody, who asks Mr. Popular if you should try to change your friend in order to make them more popular. In response, Mr. Popular tells the story of how Plucky and Hamton tried to do this with Dizzy Devil with Mr. Popular's assistance.
Plucky and Hamton are visiting Dizzy's house for a party he is throwing, and their tolerance for Dizzy's rowdiness and untidiness is starting to wear thin on them. Dizzy insists that he's fine the way he is; he even has a few girlfriends who like him for who he is. ("This guy's livin' in a dream world!" says Plucky.) Then Mr. Popular steps in, and he, Plucky, and Hamton prepare to improve Dizzy for the better via Mr. Popular's personality-changing machine at the lab in ACME Looniversity. With Buster, Plucky, and Hamton channeling all of their positive traits into the machine, Dizzy transforms into a neatly dressed and tidy Tasmanian devil with a British accent. The mission to make Dizzy more presentable a success, the new-and-improved Dizzy is unleashed upon ACME Loo.
However, things begin falling apart for the new Dizzy. He can't have lunch without making sure his table is squeaky clean, frustrates his teacher, Taz, because Dizzy refuses to spin through the training dummies set up and expresses a desire to transfer to a neater music class, and Dizzy's girlfriends, (who, to Plucky and Hamton's shock, were Real After All) want nothing to do with the new Dizzy and want the old Dizzy back. Dizzy breaks down and confesses that he wants his old personality back. Fortunately, Plucky, Hamton, and Mr. Popular are able to bring the old Dizzy back by reminding Dizzy of what he used to do (plus a jolt from Dizzy's old electric guitar), and Dizzy is happy.
Back at the show, Mr. Popular tells Mary Melody that Plucky and Hamton trying to change Dizzy was ultimately a good thing. Mary expresses disbelief that he would see it that way since Dizzy was clearly miserable throughout the whole thing, however it turns out that Mr. Popular believes that it was a good thing because Dizzy's girlfriends went out with him instead of Dizzy when they rejected the new Dizzy. Overhearing this, Dizzy gets enraged and begins chasing Buster around the set.
Second Short: "A Pigment of His Imagination"
The second question comes from Hamton. Hamton has a friend who has trouble making new friends and doesn't know what to do. The response given takes place in another short:
The students of ACME Loo are having a friendly soccer game after school, and Plucky and Babs are the captains. Hamton winds up being picked last, and Babs and Plucky begin fighting over who will have to take Hamton. His feelings hurt over the others seemingly not wanting him on their respective teams, Hamton goes home, believing that he has no real friends. At home, Hamton sits despondently in his room wishing he had a "special best friend" who genuinely liked him. At this point, Hamton is visited by Mr. Popular, who tells Hamton that there isn't anything stopping Hamton from making up a friend himself. In a short time, Hamton has dreamed up a tall, muscular, and good-looking pig character who goes by Tad. Elated, Hamton goes out to play sports with Tad.
However, it soon becomes clear that Tad is not the great guy Hamton thought he would be. When Hamton takes Tad to introduce him to Babs and the other toons, Tad abandons Hamton to play soccer with them. When Tad returns to Hamton's house, Hamton calls him out on this, only for Tad to reveal that he is going to host a party at Hamton's house with Hamton's friends and Hamton himself, an utter loser in Tad's eyes, is not invited. Tad sends Hamton away on a taxi to Des Moines, Iowa and starts the party. Hamton soon returns and tries to break back into his house get the attention of his friends, only for his attempts to be thwarted by Tad at almost every turn. Eventually, Hamton gets in anyway and calls everybody out for being terrible friends. When Babs and the others realize that they were unintentionally making Hamton feel unwanted, they apologize to Hamton and tell him that even if he gets picked last for sports teams, they are still his friends. Hamton realizes that he does have real friends after all and doesn't need made-up friends, especially ones who are narcissistic blow-hards like Tad. Tad shrinks to the size of a bug and is eaten by Sweetie Bird. With Tad out of the picture, the party resumes, this time in Hamton's honor.
Tropes found in this episode include:
- Credits Gag: Brooklyn Dodgers Fan: Mike Fontanelli
- Show Within a Show: "Ask Mr. Popular" is presented as such.
- Two Shorts: The second of eight episodes to use this format.
- Be Yourself: When Dizzy becomes his uppity alternate self, he quickly becomes miserable and is brought back to his normal self with help from Buster, Plucky, and Hamton.
- British Stuffiness: After the personality machine, Dizzy talks and acts this way.
- Comedic Underwear Exposure: At one point Dizzy inadvertently rips the front of Hamton's overalls off, revealing Hamton's boxers.
- Head-Turning Beauty: Plucky and Hamton upon meeting three of Dizzy's girlfriends.
- How Did That Get in There?: Dizzy has this reaction when he finds a picture of Elmyra among his pictures of Mitzi, Jessie, Taffy, and Sherri.
- "I Am" Song: Dizzy's song that he wrote about himself.When me got lots food to munch
Some pizza rolls, a cup of punch
And tunes jammed out at ear-split level
Then me a happy little devil!
- Neat Freak: Dapper!Dizzy becomes this to quite an extreme; vigorously cleaning his suit after Hamton touches it and hosing down and mopping a picnic table before he can eat lunch there.
- Off-Model: Mary Melody's shirt starts off pink, but then turns purple and remains that way for the rest of her screentime.
- Real After All: It's pretty clear that Plucky and Hamton did not actually believe the pictures Dizzy had were of girls he knew in real life, adding to the surprise when they bump into three of them later.
- Spoof Aesop: Buster claims that Plucky and Hamton trying to change Dizzy was ultimately a good thing (despite Dizzy's clear misery) because Dizzy's girlfriends went out with himself instead.
- Take That!:Hamton: Whose idea was it to come to Dizzy's party again?
Plucky: Hey, it was either this or another night of the Disney Channel.
- Trademark Favorite Food: Dizzy is revealed to like pizza rolls in this short, and Buster uses them to lead him into the personality machine.
- We Want Our Jerk Back: Dizzy's alternate self turns out to be less popular than his usual self, and soon Dizzy himself longs to return to being the untidy and rambunctious Tasmanian devil he once was.
A Pigment of His Imagination:
- Eaten Alive: Tad's demise, courtesy of Sweetie Bird.
- I Have This Friend...: Hamton when talking out his difficulty in making new friends in the wraparound segment introducing this short.
- Impact Silhouette: Hamton leaves one when he plows through a wall in an effort to get back into his house.
- Jerkass: Tad eventually turns out to be this, quickly leaving Hamton for the other toons, calling Hamton a loser to his face, and hosting a party in Hamton's house against Hamton's wishes. He eventually even brushes off Babs when she points out that they're making Hamton's house a mess when Tad starts a food fight later.
- Just Desserts: Tad's Jerkass behavior earns him a spot in Sweetie Bird's stomach.
- The Narcissist: Tad. The first thing he does after coming into being is admire himself in a mirror.
- Not-So-Imaginary Friend: Tad comes into being when Hamton imagines him, but afterwards, everyone Hamton knows can perceive him and play sports games with him.
- Picked Last: Hamton's scorn at being picked last when the toons are picking teams for a soccer game is what kick-starts the plot.
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Once Hamton finally gets back in his house after Tad kicks him out, he is quite angry and calls everybody (particularly Tad) out.Hamton: "OUT! OUT! EVERYBODY OUT! To think that I imagined my own imaginary best friend, and he turned out to hate me even more than you [the other toons] do!"
- Shameful Shrinking: When Tad is called out for being a Jerkass, he starts shrinks to bug-size.
- Surfer Dude: Tad's general appearance and mannerisms.
- Theme Tune Cameo: A jazzy version of the theme tune plays at the party at Hamton's house.