The twentienth episode of the third season of Tiny Toon Adventures, the ninety-eighth overall, and the series finale.
It's Christmas Eve in ACME Acres, and Babs, Sneezer, and Hamton are all praying for God to help Buster. Plucky seems to be the one exception, but then he prays for God to help Buster, because without him, Tiny Toons will be cancelled and he will have to seek employment on a show about chipmunks. God is talking to Harvey, a white rabbit, telling him about Buster, who is considering quitting his job, and shows him a flashback from earlier that day.
Buster and Babs were in the Acme Looniversity rehearsal hall, rehearsing the opening number for the Tiny Toons prime-time holiday spectacular for Fran and Edward, the two network executives who greenlit the idea. Their rehearsal was interrupted by Montana Max, who had broken his leg skiing in Aspen with Morgan Fairchild, and was bound to a wheelchair. Due to Monty being late for rehearsals, Buster didn't think he was going to show up, and had to cut him out of the special. As retribution, Monty vowed to sabotage the special.
Plucky was about to begin his sketch, "Plucky the Red-Beaked Reinduck", only for Buster to cut it and tell him he was reading an old script. The new script, "Urkel the Red-Nosed Reindude", was written on yellow pages, and Plucky's part would come later. Buster then prepared for the "Ebenezer Sneezer" sketch, with Bob Hope as the Ghost of Christmas Past. As Bob Hope and Sneezer rehearsed their lines, Monty snuck upstage and poured pepper all over Sneezer, causing him to sneeze and destroy the set.
After Buster cut the sketch, Fran ordered him to get things together. Plucky then appeared in a fruitcake costume, ready to begin his sketch, "Plucky the Lonely Fruitcake Nobody Wanted for Christmas". An upset Buster then informed him that the new script, "Urkel the Lonely Fruitcake", has been written on pink pages. Plucky was upset, and as a result, unprepared for any future rewrites.
As Babs and Cher prepared for the "Cher and Cher Alike" sketch, Buster sent Babs on the ice so he could talk to Cher privately. Monty then tried to convince Babs that Buster is flirting with Cher. Babs didn't want to believe Monty, but she wasn't so sure. As Babs and Cher sang their song, Babs sang altered lyrics describing her feelings toward Cher about Buster. Monty then cut a hole in the ice, leading to a tank of piranhas, forcing Buster to cut the sketch.
Buster was then more upset than before, and asked if anybody wanted to move on. Plucky, who was then dressed as the Little Drummer Boy, asked Buster if there were any new rewrites he should know about, and Buster, knowing how much Plucky wanted a part in the special, allowed him to do his "Little Drummer Duck" sketch, much to Plucky's relief. Monty then sabotaged the microphones by putting sticks of dynamite in their places. As William Shatner sang, the dynamite exploded, forcing Buster to cut the sketch. All of Buster's friends pinned the blame on him, as did the celebrity guest stars. Fran, who was then surrounded by piles of Montana Max's money, announced that Monty would be the new director of the Tiny Toons prime-time holiday spectacular. Buster apologized to his friends for letting them down, and left sadly. Buster's friends then realized that maybe they were too hard on him, and under the advice of Shirley the Loon, they decided to pray for him. As the flashback ends, Buster reaches a sign that says, DANGER! ONE MORE STEP AND YOU ARE OUT OF THE PICTURE, and God, realizing that Buster is literally about to throw himself out of the picture, sends Harvey to set things right.
In the second act, Harvey lands near Buster and tells him that he's his guardian toon angel. Buster tells Harvey that he wishes he was never born, and Harvey grants him his wish. He then shows Buster what ACME Acres would be like if he had never been born. In this alternate timeline, Montana Max had bought out ACME Acres and renamed it Montyville. Harvey then shows Buster that without him, Plucky became the star of Tiny Toon Adventures and Babs became his helpless patsy, forced to endure many anvils falling on her head while Plucky played the major parts. This outrages Buster, who storms the set and tells Plucky off. Plucky doesn't remember Buster in this timeline, and mistakes him for a riffraff fanboy. He then sends Arnold and Sneezer (the latter of whom is renamed Sleazer) to evict Buster from the studio.
Buster comes to ACME Looniversity, and hopes that somebody will remember him in the timeline. Unfortunately, without him, Montana Max bought out ACME Looniversity and renamed it Montana Max's Business Looniversity. Inside, Monty announced to his students that they will be working shorter days on Christmas, eighteen hours, to be precise, while he goes skiing in Aspen with Morgan Fairchild. Inside Buster's homeroom, none of the Looney Tunes were present, and instead, the Tiny Toons were being taught to be sexy rather than funny.
Buster is still puzzled as to all these changes, so Harvey tells him that he doesn't exist anymore, since he was never born to alter the timeline. Buster, having caught on now, asks to see what Babs is like if he were never born. Harvey tells him Babs is in the viewing library, so he goes there. Inside, Babs is watching Looney Tunes cartoons, but not finding them funny. She is sad, because she doesn't have a best friend, specifically a co-star who cares about her. Buster meets Babs for the first time (in this alternate timeline, at least), and their catchphrase, "No relation!" suddenly makes sense. Buster finally thinks that someone remembers him in this timeline, only for Babs to tell him that Plucky is the star of Tiny Toons, not him. She thinks he is a stalker, and runs away. Buster decides to take back his wish, as he wants to be on Tiny Toons after all. Harvey grants his wish, but tells him he'll have to wait a few minutes for it to work, because of the commercial break.
In the third act, Buster's wish is granted and everything is back to normal. Buster eagerly greets everyone and everything he meets, until Babs stops him and takes him back to ACME Looniversity, where the Tiny Toons prime-time holiday spectacular is a disaster thanks to Monty's new sketches, including one where Elmyra is dressed like Leona Helmsley. Everyone, including Fran and Edward, agree that Montana Max is a terrible director and they want Buster back. They cheer when Buster returns, and Fran fires Monty and re-hires Buster. Even after all the trouble Monty put him through, Buster decides to put him in the special after all, as the star. Buster is ready to perform the closing number, when Babs interrupts to ask him why he was whispering to Cher. Cher tells Babs that Buster wanted to know what to get her for Christmas, and to prove it, Buster gives Babs a kiss that causes her to melt into a puddle.The toons perform the closing number and it is a success, but Monty is now the star on top of the Christmas tree. He doesn't want to be the star anymore, as he is unable to escape form Elmyra. Babs tells Buster that if he ever feels like a loser again, he should remember that, "No Toon is a Failure Who Has Friends." Harvey then reveals himself as Bugs Bunny in disguise, having taught Buster a lesson, and leaves the studio.
This episode provides examples of:
- Alternate Universe Reed Richards Is Awesome: In the alternate timeline, Sneezer's counterpart is named "Sleazer" and is an aggressive security guard.
- Anvil on Head: Babs suffers many anvils getting dropped on her head in the alternate timeline. Plucky also suffers one himself in the closing number, and then there's this gem from the opening credits:"Deck the halls and guess what falls? An anvil, naturally!"
- Balloon Belly: Byron Basset suffers this in the closing song when he eats Elmyra's turkey whole.
- Born in the Theatre: At the end of the first act, Buster reaches the end of the film reel, contemplating suicide a la George Bailey. He later does jump out... in joy, and lands right back in the film after being granted a second chance at life.
- Cast as a Mask: Harvey is voiced by Dan Castellaneta (doing an imitation of Jimmy Stewart), but at the end of the episode he unmasks to reveal he's actually Bugs Bunny in disguise, voiced by Noel Blanc (the son of Mel Blanc, no less!).
- Christmas Episode
- Corrupt Corporate Executive: Subverted with Fran and Edward. Monty bribes them with money so they will hire him as the new director, but they fire him and re-hire Buster when they see just how awful his ideas are. Edward even takes the money Monty paid him and donates it to charity.
- Credits Gag: Stop watching these credits - And go buy us a really nice gift!
- Driven to Suicide: Buster, in keeping with the It's a Wonderful Life plot. Instead of a bridge, however, he tries to jump from the filmstrip the show is filmed on.Buster: Goodbye, cruel series.
- Everyone Has Standards: Monty had originally bribed Fran and Edward with money so they could hire him as the new director of the Christmas special. Once they saw how awful Monty's ideas were, there was no amount of money he could bribe them with to make them think otherwise.
- Everyone Hates Fruitcakes: One of Plucky's proposed sketches is "Plucky the Lonely Fruitcake Nobody Wanted For Christmas". Buster ends up cutting the sketch and having it rewritten as "Urkel the Lonely Fruitcake".
- Full-Body Disguise / Latex Perfection: At the end of the episode after the Tiny Toons leave the auditorium, Harvey tugs off his rubber mask and unzips his body to reveal he was actually Bugs Bunny in disguise all along.
- Green-Eyed Monster: Babs gets jealous when she sees Buster whispering to Cher. At the end, she learns that Buster just wanted to ask Cher what he should get Babs for Christmas.
- Informed Judaism: In Hamton's house, a menorah can be seen in his window, implying that his family is Jewish.
- Injured Limb Episode: Montana Max injures his leg skiing in Aspen with Morgan Fairchild, and spends the entirety of the episode in a wheelchair. As a result of his injury, he was late to attend rehearsals for the special, and Buster had to cut him from it.
- It's a Wonderful Plot: The general plot involves a bad day rehearsing for a Christmas special getting Buster depressed and wishing that he was never on Tiny Toon Adventures. Buster is then shown that, among other things, without him...:
- Montana Max would have taken over ACME Acres and renamed it Montyville, including turning the beloved ACME Looniversity into Montana Max's Business Looniversity where the other toons are being taught to be suck-up actors/actresses...
- Tiny Toon Adventures itself would be nothing more than a vanity project for a primma-dona Plucky who mistreats his co-stars...
- And poor Babs would be a lonely depressed wreck who serves as Plucky's personal Chew Toy on this world's version of Tiny Toons.
- Jerk with a Heart of Jerk: Plucky. Early in the episode, he prays for God to help Buster after claiming not to care about him, but it's only because he doesn't want Buster's departure to end the show and leave him having to find work elsewhere.
- Karma Houdini: Downplayed: Although he doesn't get out of the episode without a comeuppance, it's never revealed that everything that went wrong during the first act was because Montana Max was deliberately sabotaging Buster's show. Getting out of the show with only mild humiliation was frankly a slap on the wrist compared to what he put Buster through.
- Leaning on the Fourth Wall: The final line of the last episode is "Not bad for amateurs."
- No Celebrities Were Harmed: Caricatures of many popular current actors (including folks like Cher, William Shatner, Whoopi Goldberg, and others) run rampant in this episode.
- Off-Model: As admitted by Jon McClenahan:Jon: I'd have to look at that one again, but I will say I wasn't particularly thrilled with the work we did on that show. We had a pretty tight deadline: I think we had to turn it around in about 12 weeks, whereas our normal production cycle was 16 weeks. So I had to press into service some animators I would not have normally used on Tiny Toons. I would hazard to say our animation for that show was among the least consistent. Spike Brandt did a lot of it, which I think made it watchable. The only part I remember doing myself was the Shatner cameo. I probably did some other parts.
- The Other Darrin: This is the first episode where John Kassir voices Buster.
- Pepper Sneeze: Invoked; Monty sneaks upstage and sabotages the "Ebenezer Sneezer" sketch by pouring pepper all over Sneezer, causing him to sneeze and destroy the set.
- Piranha Problem: As part of his plan to sabotage the "Cher and Cher Alike" sketch, Monty cuts a hole in the ice, leading to a tank of piranhas.
- The Reveal: It turns out that Buster's guardian angel Harvey was, in fact, Bugs Bunny all along and helping Buster while in disguise.
- Rule of Three: Monty sabotages three sketches. He sabotages the "Ebenezer Sneezer" sketch by pouring pepper all over Sneezer, causing him to sneeze and destroy the set, then he sabotages the "Cher and Cher Alike" sketch by convincing Babs that Buster is flirting with Cher, and cutting a hole in the ice, causing Cher to land in a tank of piranhas. Finally, he sabotages the "Little Drummer Duck" sketch by replacing Plucky and William Shatner's microphones with sticks of dynamite.
- Self-Deprecation: In the opening credits, the characters make fun of the writers."Our writers aren't gifted, the story has been lifted."
- Sexy Santa Dress: Babs and Cher wear skimpy dresses while rehearsing for the "Cher and Cher" alike sketch. Babs even wears a wig matching Cher's hair.
- Ship Tease: Once again for Buster and Babs. Babs explicitly calls Buster her boyfriend during the "Cher and Cher Alike" sketch, when she's jealous over Buster seemingly flirting with her. And at the end of the episode Buster reveals he was only asking Cher what to get Babs for Christmas: A kiss that makes Babs literally melt.
- Not only is the whole plot a reference to "It's a Wonderful Life", Buster's guardian angel is named Harvey.
- The episode also takes pot shots at famous Christmas specials, like How the Grinch Stole Christmas! and A Charlie Brown Christmas.
- In the beginning, Babs and Buster are riding a Rosebud sled.
- As he gets kicked around in the alternate world, Buster remarks that he feels like he's in "a bad episode of Quantum Leap."
- Take That!: In the beginning of the episode, Plucky fears that he'll have to go work on "some Chipmunk show" if something winds up happening to Buster.
- Later on when Buster is shown a world without him, Plucky accuses Buster of being a "spy from Disney."
- 10-Minute Retirement: Buster, in a state of self-loathing, decided that perhaps the series would be better off without him. He's stopped by Harvey, who shows him exactly what the series would've been like if he were never born, and it wasn't pretty.
- Variations on a Theme Song: In this episode, the characters sing a Christmas-themed version of the show's theme song. Also, in the alternate timeline, Plucky is the star of Tiny Toon Adventures and sings his own lyrics describing him as the star.
- Visual Pun: At the end of the episode, Buster decides to include Monty in the Christmas special after all, as the star. Too bad Monty didn't count on being cast as the star on the top of the Christmas Tree.
- Vocal Dissonance: Besides Buster's voice being recast, Monty's voice is noticeably digitally pitched up, since Danny Cooksey by this point no longer sounded as youthful as he did in the beginning.
- Was Too Hard on Him: Buster's friends angrily snap at him when rehearsals for the Christmas special go wrong, only to immediately regret doing so when he sadly leaves.
- Yet Another Christmas Carol: One of the sketches that Monty sabotages is the "Ebenezer Sneezer" sketch, with Sneezer as Ebenezer Sneezer, and Bob Hope as the Ghost of Christmas Past.