The first episode of the third season of Tiny Toon Adventures, and the seventy-ninth episode overall.
The episode begins in ACME Looniversity, where Wile E. Coyote is teaching Tunnel Painting 101. After Babs tricks him into going into the painted tunnel and getting run over by a train, she writes a note asking Buster if they're still going to watch TV together after school, and sets it to him in the form of a paper airplane. Buster writes Babs a note back telling her that they are, and sends it to her in a paper plane of his own. After Wile E. tries to chase after Road Runner through the painted tunnel (only to slam into the wall), the bell rings and class is dismissed.
As Buster, Babs, Plucky, and Shirley leave ACME Looniversity, Shirley asks Buster, Babs, and Plucky if they're still going to watch TV together. Plucky checks his notebook, saying he could have another date, and Shirley slams the book on his beak. Both Buster and Babs are excited to be watching TV together, until they find out they both want to watch separate programs. Buster wants to watch a football game, Babs wants to watch Thirteensomething, the teen soap opera, and neither one of them wants to watch what the other one wants to watch. Plucky decides to help the two rabbits settle their dispute with a coin toss, with the heads side being for Thirteensomething, and the tails side being for football. The coin lands on the heads side, and Buster is forced to watch Thirteensomething at Babs' burrow, much to his disdain. Plucky then tells Buster that his coin was a double-sided coin, but he forgot which side was doubled. Babs assures Buster and Plucky that she always gets what she wants, as it's a talent she has.
As she watches Thirteensomething, Babs begins to wish she was a star on the show. Shirley then reminds her that the producers of the show only hire humans. Buster and Plucky then mock what Babs said earlier to prove her wrong. Babs decides to prove them wrong, and Buster dares her to go on Thirteensomething. Babs is determined to get on Thirteensomething, and Buster tells the viewers that he might have started something that might take two acts to resolve. Babs packs her suitcase and decides to leave ACME Acres to go to New York City. She assures Buster, Plucky, and Shirley, that she will be a star on Thirteensomething when they next see her. Plucky and Shirley are worried that Babs might actually become Thirteensomething's next big star, but Buster assures them that Babs will be back soon. Plucky decides to use this time so that he and Buster can see the fourth quarter of the football game they wanted to watch. He asks Shirley to get him and Buster some sodas, and as they watch the football game, Shirley comes back with a shaken-up 2-liter bottle of grape soda, which she sprays them with.
That night, Babs is at the bus stop, determined to get on Thirteensomething and prove Buster wrong. The bus to New York arrives, and Babs gets on board. She is soon discouraged that the other passangers are grumpy and boring and not into sing-alongs or bus games. As she leaves ACME Acres, Babs begins to wonder whether going to New York was such a good idea after all.In the second act, Buster awakens the next morning to find a newspaper outside his burrow. He reads that Babs has left ACME Acres to go to New York. He is suddenly discouraged, as without Babs, he doesn't have a co-host for Tiny Toon Adventures. Babs then dares Buster to find a replacement co-host. Buster looks at the viewers, telling them not to worry, and that Babs will be back soon. In the meantime, Buster decides to take Babs' advice and find a new co-host.
Babs arrives at New York City, where she gets kicked off the bus, and every taxi cab is taken by the bus' other passengers. She comes across a person and asks her for directions to the Thirteensomething casting office. Unfortunately for her, the person she asks is Elmyra, who has gone on vacation to New York City. Elmyra chases Babs all throughout the city, looking forward to the fun activities they could do together.
Back at ACME Acres, Buster begins holding auditions for a replacement co-host for Tiny Toon Adventures. His first candidate is Binky Bunny, who despite her outer beauty, does not get the "No Relation" joke that he and Babs have practiced for so long. Much to Buster's regret, he turns Binky down.
Back in New York City, Babs continues to run from Elmyra. She comes to a DON'T WALK sign and waits impatiently for it to change. When it changes to WALK, she runs across the crosswalk, and Elmyra continues chasing after her. Unfortunately for Elmyra, the sign changes back to DON'T WALK when she gets halfway across the crosswalk, and she gets hit by a taxi.After evading Elmyra, Babs begins to lose hope, as she still hasn't found the casting office for Thirteensomething. Fortunately, she ends up just outside 30 Rock, the home of Thirteensomething. When she overhears David Letterman saying he isn't wearing any pants, she says, "I should fit right in!".
Back at ACME Acres, Buster's next co-host candidate is Buttina Bunny, who is ugly and her acting is sub-par. Not even the ability to play the Tiny Toon Adventures theme song on her nose can convince Buster to hire her.
Back in New York City, Babs, who is now disguised as a human, arrives at the Thirteensomething casting office, having a hard time walking in high heels. The two network executives, Fran and Edward, are interviewing potential candidates for the next star of Thirteensomething. When it's Babs' turn to audition, she introduces herself as Babs "Bunawalskioversmith". Fran likes her surname, and tells her to audition with Flint. Babs auditions for the part of Alabaster, and Flint auditions for the part of Theo. After Babs and Flint's performance, Fran is impressed with Babs' acting, and hires her. Babs is now happy that she proved Buster wrong, and wonders what he'd have to say about it.
Back at ACME Acres, Buster's third co-host candidate is a non-anthropomorphic rabbit, and Buster begins to lose hope. Plucky then comes in, with an issue of Varietoon. He explains to Buster that Babs has left Tiny Toons and is now a star on Thirteensomething. Plucky then asks Buster if the non-anthropomorphic rabbit is Buster's new co-host, and Buster tells him, "Hardly". Plucky auditions to be Buster's new co-host, as does Shirley, but as the screen irises out, Buster admits that he misses Babs and wants her to come back to ACME Acres.
In the third act, Babs becomes a worldwide sensation on Thirteensomething, being interviewed by Jeraldo, Mary Hartless, and Johnny Carson (who has temporarily come out of retirement for just such an occasion). Unfortunately for Buster, he has not found a new co-host for Tiny Toons and has gone into a deep depression, wherein he leaves his burrow filled with piles of trash. Plucky and Shirley come to visit him to try to cheer him up, but to no avail. Buster regrets ever having dared Babs to go on Thirteensomething, as without her, he feels like he's nothing. Plucky tries his best to cheer Buster up, again to no avail. This briefly impresses Shirley, who asks Plucky if he really has turned over a new leaf. Plucky then tries to ask Shirley if she'd like to go on a date with him, proving her wrong. Shirley then convinces Buster to move on from Babs and prove that he can still run Tiny Toons without her. Buster is briefly determined, feeling that Tiny Toons is more popular than Thirteensomething, only to be proven wrong again when Plucky and Shirley watch the show.
On the set of Thirteensomething, Babs tries to pitch her own toony ideas to the show, only for the director to turn them down. Babs performs as Alabaster, and the director is impressed with her when she follows his directions. Unfortunately, the feeling isn't mutual for Babs. After filming the show, the cast of Thirteensomething watches a rerun of Tiny Toons and find it funny. They wish they could be on the show, but realize that only toons are allowed to audition. Babs begins to realize that she belongs on Tiny Toons, and misses Buster. She calls Buster, who tries to deny that things haven't been going well for Tiny Toons since she left. Babs tells Buster that her time on Thirteensomething is almost up, and she's ready to go back to ACME Acres, even though she's enjoyed her time on Thirteensomething. As the two rabbits hang up, they worry that they don't miss each other.
Babs decides that she wants to go back to ACME Acres, only to find out that Fran is so impressed with her acting, that she has decided to renew her contract for another five years. Buster finds out about this from Plucky, and thinks up a plan to bring Babs Back to ACME Acres.
As the filming of the latest episode of Thirteensomething begins, Buster gives the cast a surprise visit, disguised as Cleveland, Alabaster's twin brother. Edward loves this plot twist, even going as far as to tell Fran she is lost when she objects. The two rabbits reconcile with each other in front of the unsuspecting cast, even going as far to say they're nothing without each other, and Sasha, one of the cast members, asks them what's going on. Buster reveals to the cast of Thirteensomething that he and Babs aren't human; they're toons, much to the shock of everyone. Babs and Buster then escape using tunnel paint, and the cast of Thirteensomething gets run over by a train.
Buster and Babs return to ACME Acres, and Babs thanks Buster for rescuing her. Buster asks Babs if she really meant everything she said about him being her better half, and she decides to kiss him to prove it. She then informs the viewers that their kiss is private, and pulls down a shade. As the two rabbits kiss, Plucky asks Shirley if this gives her any ideas. Shirley then kicks Plucky through the shade, and Plucky tells the viewers to feel free to change the channel as the episode ends.
This episode provides examples of:
- Affectionate Parody: The title of the episode and the Show Within a Show are a parody of thirtysomething. The show within the show is a parody of all teen soap opera clichés.
- Anvil on Head: Happens to Plucky when he holds up a sign that says, WILL TAKE FALLING ANVILS FOR LAUGHS. When he gets hit by it, he says, "That actually felt good".
- Bad "Bad Acting": Both Butina and Flint's auditions have these.
- Bait-and-Switch: In the second act, Buster reads a newspaper with a headline that says, BABS BUNNY HEADS TO N.Y., and says, "I can't believe it!". He then points out that he was actually referring to an ad for a carrot sale.
- Beggar with a Signboard: When Babs leaving ACME Acres leads to Buster unable to find a replacement co-host and the downfall of Tiny Toons, Plucky holds up a sign that says, WILL TAKE FALLING ANVILS FOR LAUGHS.
- Brainless Beauty: Binky Bunny. She may be beautiful on the outside, but she doesn't understand the "No Relation" joke that Buster and Babs perform regularly.
- Chekhov's Classroom: At the beginning of the episode, Wile E. Coyote teaches his students how to escape by painting a tunnel on the wall. This comes in handy near the end, when Buster and Babs escape from the set of Thirteensomething.
- Compressed Vice: Babs asks how humans can stand walking in high heels, suggesting she can barely walk in them. However, in a previous short, "The Amazing Three" (part of "Love Disconnection"), she has no problem walking in high heels.
- Credits Gag: The character of "Flint" is in no way based on Flint Dille. - Honest, Flint. No, really.
- Furry Confusion: A non-anthropomorphic rabbit is one of the candidates Buster interviews.
- Heads or Tails?: Plucky uses a coin toss to decide whether they will be watching Football or Thirteensomething. The coin lands on the heads side, much to Buster's disdain. Plucky then reveals he had a double-sided coin, but he forgot which side was doubled.
- Heroic BSoD: Buster goes through one when Babs aces her audition for Thirteensomething.
- Historical In-Joke:
- When Mary Hartless interviews Babs, at one point, she mentions that her voice causes seizures, a reference to when Mary Hart's voice caused an epileptic woman to go into a seizure in 1991. This was also parodied in the Seinfeld episode, "The Good Samaritan".
- When Buster says, "I'm like Sonny without Cher! I'll probably become the Mayor of Palm Springs", that is indeed what Sonny Bono of Sonny and Cher fame was doing at the time this episode first aired. He then became a Congressman until his death on January 5, 1998.
- Believe it or not, before he had that crazy blonde hair, Trump used to be a brunette.
- Hotter and Sexier: As noted in the TTA Reference Guide:"For the new season, we see B&B sharing a smooch, Babs with cleavage, Plucky hitting on Shirley ... did the toons complete puberty during reruns? :-"
- It Is Pronounced "Tro-PAY": in her first interview with Jeraldo, Babs is introduced as Babs Bunawalskioversmith. She then corrects Jeraldo on the pronunciation of her name. "It's Baaabs!"
- Kissing Discretion Shot: Just before kissing Bugs, Babs invoked Fade to Black, stating it was private.
- Masculine Girl, Feminine Boy: Fran and Edward, the two respective network executives. Edward is regularly impressed with little things Fran disagrees on, with Fran regularly telling him, "You are so lost.", and the few times he isn't impressed, his opinion is pushed aside by Fran's. That being said, he isn't afraid to stand up to Fran when she disagrees on his opinion of the plot twist Buster adds to Thirteensomething by posing as Cleveland, Alabaster's twin brother.
- No Celebrities Were Harmed:
- The bus driver is a caricature of Ralph Kramden.
- Jeraldo is a parody of Geraldo Rivera, who, before he was a mindless drone for Fox News, hosted a popular daytime talk show.
- Mary Hartless is a parody of Mary Hart.
- The Credits Gag denies the fact that Flint is a parody of Flint Dille.
- Donald Trump scrapes Elmyra off the bus that hit her.
- When Elmyra hugs him, she slyly says, "Eat your heart out, Marla." Believe it or not, the future President of the United States had another wife before he married Melania, that was Marla Maples.
- "Uh, this is David Letterman, and I'm not wearing any pants!"
- Johnny Carson comes out of retirement, and, apparently, holds Jay Leno hostage.
- Steven Spielberg acts as the director for thirteensomething.
- Overly Long Name: Babs Bunawalskioversmith.
- Painted Tunnel, Real Train: Wile E. Coyote teaches Tunnel Painting 101 at the beginning of this episode. This comes in handy near the end, when Buster and Babs escape from the set of Thirteensomething.
- Rule of Three: Buster interviews three potential rabbit co-host candidates, Binky Bunny, Buttina Bunny, and the non-anthropomorphic rabbit.
- Running Gag: Shirley punching the crap out of Plucky whenever he attempts to come on to her.
- Ship Tease:
- One of the most blatant to date for Buster and Babs, with both expressing just how much they mean to each other not just as co-hosts, but in their entire relationship without actually dropping the dreaded "L" Word, and ending with them sharing a (for this series, at least) passionate kiss. In a more arc-driven show it would have almost certainly been the beginning of a full Relationship Upgrade.
- Defied by Shirley, who rejects all of Plucky's attempts to come on to her. Violently.
- Shout-Out: Babs does imitations of Jessica Rabbit, Madonna, sportscaster Howard Cosell, Muhammad Ali, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Ed Grimley and Katharine Hepburn.
- Show Within a Show: Thirteensomething, which Babs eventually joins.
- Soda Can Shakeup: After Babs leaves, with Buster and Plucky mocking the idea that she could get on Thirteensomething, Shirley retaliates by spraying them with a two liter bottle of grape soda.
- Suspiciously Similar Song:
- Babs attempts to lead her bus in a sing-along with a royalty-free version of "Theme from New York, New York".
- The theme music for New York, composed by Richard Stone, is a take-off on Gershwin's "Rhapsody in Blue". Little trivia, he would later use it occasionally for the Animaniacs "Goodfeathers" sequences.
- Terrible Interviewees Montage: When Babs leaves to audition for Thirteensomething, Buster holds auditions for a replacement co-host, all of which were met with dead ends. His first candidate was a Brainless Beauty, his second was ugly and annoying, and his third was a non-anthropomorphic rabbit. Even Plucky and Shirley offer their services as Buster's replacement co-host, but to no avail.
- Theme Tune Cameo: Babs sings, "I'm tiny, not toony. I am a human gooney." Also when Buttina does some Hawaiian nose humming to this song.
- Trash of the Titans: After Babs aces her audition for the titular show within a show and Buster is unable to find a replacement co-host for Tiny Toon Adventures, he goes into a deep depression and leaves his burrow filled with piles of trash. When Plucky and Shirley come over to visit him, they are quick to take notice.Plucky: Yuck! Smells like something died down here!
Buster: Yeah, my career.
- Tropey, Come Home: At the end of act two, after Plucky and Shirley imitate Babs, Buster weakly says, "Babsy, come home."
- Two-Headed Coin: Plucky is revealed to have one, which leads to him, Buster, Babs, and Shirley watching Thirteensomething, much to Buster's disdain. Plucky then tells him that he forgot which side of the coin was doubled.