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"Don't worry. You can always count on me!"
Putt-Putt, Saves the Zoo

Putt-Putt is a series of point-and-click children's games developed by Humongous Entertainment. The series spans seven Adventure Games and five Spin-Off Games.

Putt-Putt is a talking purple car, in a universe with other talking cars, talking animals, and talking objects. The series follows the adventures of Putt-Putt and his brown dog Pep, who can't talk for some reason. Putt-Putt is a Nice Guy who'll help anyone in need with a smile on his face, no matter the current wacky situation he's gotten himself into (willingly or unwillingly). In fact, each game title tells you exactly what said wacky situation will be.

The Adventure Games, in order, are:

  • Putt-Putt Joins the Parade (1992)
  • Putt-Putt Goes to the Moon (1993)
  • Putt-Putt Saves the Zoo (1995)
  • Putt-Putt Travels Through Time (1997)
  • Putt-Putt Enters the Race (1998)
  • Putt-Putt Joins the Circus (2000)
  • Putt-Putt: Pep's Birthday Surprise (2003)

The Spin-Off Games, in order, are:

  • Putt-Putt's Fun Pack (1993)
  • Putt-Putt & Fatty Bear's Activity Pack (1994)
  • Putt-Putt and Pep's Balloon-o-Rama (1996)
  • Putt-Putt and Pep's Dog on a Stick (1996)
  • Putt-Putt's One-Stop Fun Shop

The series also spawned multiple children's books (some unpublished), including Go, Go, Putt-Putt Go!, On the Road With Putt-Putt, Putt-Putt and Pep, Putt-Putt Notebook, Putt-Putt: Color and Activity Book, Putt-Putt: Lost In Time, Putt-Putt: Race Against the Clock, Putt-Putt: The Great Pet Chase, and Putt-Putt's Night Before Christmas (doubling as an Audio Adaptation). Additionally, the album Flabby Rode features an alternate version of the song "Welcome to the Zoo" from Putt-Putt Saves the Zoo.

A demo version of every Putt-Putt adventure game can be downloaded from the ScummVM site. Full-length versions can be purchased on Steam, iTunes or Google Play.

Not to Be Confused with the famous miniature golf chain.

Tropes in the Putt-Putt series:

  • 2D Visuals, 3D Effects: Putt-Putt Enters the Race features a completely CG-produced race track, with the racers, the birds, and Redline Rick being the only non-CG produced things. Even the crowd is CG-produced.
  • Accidental Pun: Putt-Putt: Pep's Birthday Surprise has an autosave feature.
  • The Ahnold: Ivan the Semi-Strong Van in Joins the Circus sounds like Arnold Schwarzenegger.
  • All Animals Are Dogs: In Putt-Putt and Pep's Dog on a Stick, tigers grab Pep and endlessly lick his face until Putt-Putt rescues him. If you wait long enough on the title screen, he does it even longer.
  • All Deserts Have Cacti: The Wild West in Putt-Putt Travels Through Time and the Tie-In Novel Putt-Putt: Lost In Time are examples of this.
  • All Flyers Are Birds: Played literally in Travels Through Time, where the Pteranodon is perched on two legs, nesting in a tree, watching over its hatchlings (which have stubby wings), and feeding them worms.
  • Alternate Continuity: The Tie-In Novel Putt-Putt: Lost In Time, a Compressed Adaptation of the game Putt-Putt Travels Through Time.
  • Amazing Technicolor Population: They are cars, after all, and many come in brighter colors than your standard factory paint. Made better by the fact you can change Putt-Putt's color in all of the adventure games and in Balloon-o-Rama.
  • Anachronism Stew: Travels Through Time shows Jurassic animals (Apatosaurus, Brachiosaurus, and Compsognathus) living alongside Cretaceous ones (Tyrannosaurus, Triceratops and Pteranodon) in the Mesozoic era, plus a tar pit and a sentient stone wheel.
  • Animal Gender-Bender: Averted in Saves the Zoo with the peahen that is dully-colored and lacks a train.
  • Animate Inanimate Object: Besides the cars themselves, Travels Through Time's intro cutscene has a group of singing clocks named The Continuums who tell Putt-Putt not to be scared of Time Travel.
  • Anti-Frustration Features: The Junior Arcade titles have a feature called the Junior Helper that serves to make the games easier for players who find themselves having trouble. The Junior Helper grants access to features such as unlimited tries, and an "easy catch" feature in the case of Balloon-O-Rama.
  • Anti-Sneeze Finger: In Saves the Zoo, Putt-Putt covers Pep's nose with his tendril in the middle of an avalanche zone. Followed by Putt-Putt sneezing.
  • Aquatic Sauropods: Downplayed in Travels Through Time; the Apatosaurus is shown standing in a lake. Averted with the Brachiosaurus as she is resting on dry land.
  • Art Evolution: Putt-Putt Saves the Zoo completely changed from having pixelated DOS graphics to the type that resembles a cartoon, and all future games kept this style.
  • Audio Adaptation: The Tie-In Novel Putt-Putt's Night Before Christmas came with a cassette tape of the same name.
  • Auto-Scrolling Level: The entirety of "Bear Stormin'" in Putt-Putt Goes to the Moon and "Circus Stormin'" in Putt-Putt & Fatty Bear's Activity Pack, where the flying character must move vertically to avoid obstacles.
  • Batman Can Breathe in Space: Putt-Putt (who admittedly is a sentient car who may not need oxygen) and Pep are somehow able to breathe on the moon. Pep is wearing a space helmet in space, but loses it on the moon.
  • Big Eater: The Triceratops in Travels Through Time does nothing but eat.
  • Big "NO!":
    • In Goes to the Moon, Mr. Firebird does one of these upon Pep leaping onto the "DO NOT TOUCH!" lever.
    • In Travels Through Time, Putt-Putt does one of these upon Pep getting sucked into the time machine.
  • Big Red Button: Putt-Putt Goes to the Moon features a big red lever, which is how he winds up on the moon.
  • Birthday Episode: Putt-Putt: Pep's Birthday Surprise is all about Putt-Putt preparing for Pep's birthday.
  • Biting-the-Hand Humor: A billboard in Putt-Putt Saves the Zoo has a slide that reads "Shameless Humongous Entertainment self promotion to be placed here."
  • The Big Race: Putt-Putt Enters the Race, as advertised, involves Putt-Putt collecting a series of items he needs to take part in the Cartown 500. Once all the items are collected, the player gets to play the race.
  • Bland-Name Product: Carbucks Coffee in Pep's Birthday Surprise. The employees are caristas.
  • Blob Monster: Dog On a Stick features a green Goo Monster as an enemy in certain levels. Their slimy body prevents them from being affected by environmental hazards such as oil or sticky green slime, and they cover Pep in slime if they catch him.
  • Brand X:
    • Tire-O's cereal in Putt-Putt Joins the Parade.
    • Cheese Squigglies in Putt-Putt Saves the Zoo.
      Putt-Putt: "I love Cheese Squigglies!"
  • Breaking Out: Spin-Off Putt-Putt and Pep's Balloon-o-Rama is a block-breaking game. Or rather, balloon-popping.
  • Call-Back: In Putt-Putt Enters the Race, both Rover from Putt-Putt Goes to the Moon, and Outback Al from Putt-Putt Saves the Zoo return. Rover himself is the one who provides the Milk Shakes, which Putt-Putt needs to fetch, and lets Putt-Putt have them on the house, as thanks for bringing him back from the Moon.
  • Canine Companion: Putt-Putt's dog Pep.
  • Canon Discontinuity: Putt-Putt creates the stories in One-Stop Fun Shop's storytime coloring book, so the five stories are most likely not canon.
  • Canon Foreigner: These characters weren't in the games:
    • From the Tie-In Novel Putt-Putt: The Great Pet Chase, Smokey's pet Dalmatian puppy Sparky, Putt-Putt's friend Ruby, Ruby's pet kitten Fuzzy, and some of the wildlife near Putt-Putt's house.
    • From the Tie-In Novel Putt-Putt: Lost In Time, robotic dog Winks and the mountain lion.
  • Catchphrase: Putt-Putt's "Wowie zowie!" and "Hot ziggity!"
  • Character Customization: In every game, Putt-Putt can change his paint color, sometimes free of charge. No one ever notices except for Smokey in the first game Putt-Putt Joins the Parade, not even to pay him a compliment.
  • Christmas Episode: The Tie-In Novel / Audio Adaptation Putt-Putt's Night Before Christmas, in which Putt-Putt and Pep save Christmas.
  • Chronic Hero Syndrome: In Putt-Putt Enters the Race, Putt-Putt needs a flag, which he is able to get from Outback Al, who is currently trying to feed one of his Animals. Outback Al says that he's more than happy for Putt-Putt to have the flag, but Putt-Putt feels he should help feed the animal first, before taking the flag.
  • Circus Episode: In Putt-Putt Joins the Circus, Putt-Putt goes to watch a circus show but ends up having to help the problem-ridden performers instead. Putt-Putt joins the circus act at the end, believe it or not.
  • Company Cross References: In Saves the Zoo, clicking on the radio enough times allows you to hear a show talking about the opening of the zoo. One of the call-in guests is Buzzy the Knowledge Bug, asking if it would be a good idea to take a Junior Field Trip to the zoo.
  • Compressed Adaptation: The Alternate Continuity Tie-In Novel Putt-Putt: Lost In Time, based on the game Putt-Putt Travels Through Time.
  • Continuity Nod: In Putt-Putt Travels Through Time, there is a crossed-out sign at the beginning of the game that says Fireworks Factory on the way to Firebird's lab, referencing his fireworks mishap in Goes to the Moon.
  • Covered in Gunge: In Dog on a Stick, if Pep gets caught by the Goo Monster enemy, they will tackle him, covering him in green slime.
  • Crate Expectations: Levels 51-60 of Dog on a Stick are set in a crate factory. This is also one of the themes that can be used in the game's level creator.
  • Crossover: Minigame Game Putt-Putt & Fatty Bear's Activity Pack is the only Humongous game to go further than simple cameos.
  • Cue the Sun: Every game except for Goes to the Moon and Saves the Zoo starts off with a smiling sun, rising for Putt-Putt's great morning. That is, great unless he's headed to Firebird's.
  • Cutesy Name Town: Putt-Putt hails from Cartown, whose residents are all Sentient Vehicles.
  • Damn You, Muscle Memory!: Pep's Birthday Surprise changed the "skip cutscenes" key from Escape to Enter (with Escape now functioning as an additional way to show or hide the Main Menu Bar), making the possibility to skip cutscenes not obvious.
  • A Day in the Limelight: In Dog on a Stick, Pep, not Putt-Putt, is the sole playable character.
  • Delicious Distraction: In one path for Travels Through Time, Putt-Putt's history report ends up under a foot of the Triceratops. Since the ceratopsian is too preoccupied with eating, Putt-Putt has to lure him with hay so he can step off of the history report.
  • Depending on the Artist:
    • Mr. Fenderbender got a minor redesign and a new paint job in Enters the Race.
    • Marvin the Marvelous and Chuck Wagon were redesigned in Pep's Birthday Surprise.
  • Developer's Foresight:
    • In Joins the Parade, you don't have to get a carwash if you get a new paint job.
    • In Enters the Race, there is a chance that a small shed will be on fire, with a pay phone conveniently right next to it. The idea was a subtle Aesop about how dialing 911 is the first thing you should do in such a situation, but a player might easily think to just go and talk to Smokey about it. If you do, he'll turn out to be out to lunch, with a note on his door essentially telling the player exactly what to do "in case of fire."
    • In Saves the Zoo, some of Putt-Putt's dialogue with the baby animals is changed depending on whether he has previously talked to their parents.
  • Disembodied Eyebrows: Putt-Putt's eyebrows always float.
  • Downloadable Content: Putt-Putt's One-Stop Fun Shop had additional art that could be downloaded from Humongous' website.
  • Dub Name Change: The UK version of Putt-Putt Enters the Race altered several character names:
    • Smokey is known as Bernie.
    • Betsy Bulldozer is known as Bella Bulldozer.
    • Mr. Fenderbender is known as Mr. Bumperthumper.
    • Chuck is known as Tony.
  • Early-Installment Weirdness:
    • The first two adventure games, as well as Fun Pack, were originally made for MS-DOS, and use a more basic, pixelated art style with simplistic animations. All games from Saves the Zoo onward were made after Humongous started using fully hand-drawn animation for their games. Additionally, they are the only two adventure games in the series to lack a musical number sequence, as those were introduced starting with Saves the Zoo.
    • Joins the Parade is the only game in the series where Putt-Putt getting a paint job is actually relevant, as it's one of the tasks he needs to complete to be allowed to enter the Pet Day parade. In all later games, changing his color is an optional cosmetic choice.
  • Easter Egg: In Enters the Race, clicking on the green car at the speedway while holding SHIFT skips to the race.
  • Edutainment Game: These are children's games, after all. But Humongous Entertainment goes for a different approach, rather than forcing kids to solve math and learn spelling, they've claimed to trust that children can use problem-solving skills and memory to help Putt-Putt puzzle through his adventures. There are however hundreds of clickable-caused animations for the youngest kids. Going to the observatory in Putt-Putt Goes to the Moon provides some information about the planets in the Solar System, and clicking on the speakers throughout the zoo in Putt-Putt Saves the Zoo provides some trivia about the nearby animals. In Travels Through Time, the dinosaurs will provide some facts about their respective genera, and Putt-Putt will also spout facts about desert animals in the Wild West.
  • Elephants Are Scared of Mice: In Putt-Putt Saves the Zoo, when Putt-Putt finds Jambo the baby elephant, Jambo is cowering in fear from a mouse that lives in a nearby tree. To get the mouse to move, Putt-Putt has to give him cheese squigglies.
  • Everybody Do the Endless Loop: The dancing penguins in Putt-Putt Saves the Zoo. You can even change their dance cycles. Putt-Putt and Pep also join in after the music has been playing for ten seconds, Pep doing a "swimming" dance. Doggie paddle?
  • Everything Is an iPod in the Future: According to Putt-Putt Travels Through Time, in the future we can teleport, have very high-tech battery makers, make our own books, make food for any animal of any sort, and things like newspaper are ancient artifacts.
  • Excuse Plot: The Junior Arcade games have their entire plots shown in the intro and ending cutscenes.
    • Balloon-O-Rama: Putt-Putt and Pep accidentally lose a bundle of balloons they were carrying, so now they have to pop them all.
    • Dog on a Stick: Putt-Putt and Pep go to the local dump to dispose of some recyclables, and Pep finds a pogo stick while taking them in.
  • Expanded Universe: The Tie-In Novels and Audio Adaptation have Canon Foreigners and Geographic Flexibility.
  • Extreme Omnivore: Pep, especially in Dog on a Stick. In addition to the typical dog bones, he can also eat a variety of other things that real dogs can't eat, including fruit, ice cream (in both vanilla and chocolate flavors), and hot chocolate.
  • The Face of the Sun: Every Putt-Putt game except Saves the Zoo begins with a smiling sun. Usually made complete with chirping birds and happy flowers.
  • Fan of the Past: In Travels Through Time, there's a museum dedicated to anything at all from the past. Putt-Putt's lunchbox, calculator, and history report all have a chance of landing in here, and Putt-Putt will need to trade the curator a similar item to replace it in order to get them back.
  • First-Person Snapshooter: In Putt-Putt Saves the Zoo, Putt-Putt receives a camera and can snap any animals. It's completely optional and has no effect on gameplay.
  • Fish Eyes: In Dog on a Stick, Putt-Putt often has these.
  • Floating Continent: Putt-Putt Travels Through Time has a floating town in The Future.
  • Flying Car: Miss Electra from Travels Through Time is this, and also the only vehicular citizen of The Future Putt-Putt arrives at.
  • Free-Range Children: Putt-Putt is explicitly a child car due to the fact he's shown to go to school in Travels Through Time, but there are no signs of him having parents.
  • Friend to All Living Things: Putt-Putt is kind to animals as he is to fellow vehicles.
  • Furry Confusion:
    • Pep can't talk, not even in Saves the Zoo or Joins the Circus, where every other animal can talk.
    • In Enters the Race, two car characters have pets, a cat and a dog. They can't talk, despite being in the same game that has a pair of talking squirrels who tell each other jokes.
    • Santa Claus' sleigh from the Tie-In Novel / Audio Adaptation Putt-Putt's Night Before Christmas is not a Sentient Vehicle.
    • In Travels Through Time, non-avian dinosaurs plus a claw-winged avian can talk while modern birds do not, despite also being dinosaurs and the other games having ones that do talk. Pterosaurs also do not talk either. In the other time periods, there is only one talking animal, Virgil Clyde the horse in The Wild West.
  • Future Slang: In Travels Through Time, clicking on the Radio in The Future yields a few terms like how the Future's radio station is KVRR (Kool Virtual Reality Radio), a radio advertisement for "Space Travel Vacations", and an announcement for the final playoffs for a generically named futuristic sport called Laserball.
  • Game-Breaking Bug: The 1999 version of Putt-Putt Saves the Zoo adds a glitch that wasn't in the original 1995 release. If you are on the raft and click on the land (without going somewhere else) and skip it while Putt-Putt is talking, the raft disappears and you have no way of getting it back. And you can't have lowered the drawbridge beforehand—unless you immediately skip the animation, in which case the glitch doesn't happen for some reason. The iOS port worked around it by making this scene impossible to skip.
  • Game Within a Game: Arcade machines for "Bear Stormin'" in Goes to the Moon, and for "Squoosh" in Travels Through Time.
  • Genial Giraffe: Masai and her mother from Saves the Zoo are both friendly giraffes.
  • Gentle Giant Sauropod: Both the Brachiosaurus and Apatosaurus in Travels Through Time are gentle giants who will help out Putt-Putt.
  • Geographic Flexibility: All games that take place in Cartown change the design each time.
  • The Good Kingdom: In Travels Through Time, The Middle Ages is a small medieval town ruled over by King Chariot, whose daughter is the kind Princess Chassis. They live in a castle with happy wooden wagons as subjects. Expect lute-playing and dragons.
  • Green Gators: The alligator in Saves the Zoo is green.
  • Guide Dang It!:
    • The digging minigame in Putt-Putt Enters the Race only seems like a Luck-Based Mission, to the avail of many YouTubers. Instead of just spamming holes, you're supposed to listen to Ralphie's barks.
    • In Putt-Putt Travels Through Time, there are two puzzles that require Putt-Putt to pay a nickel: buying a suit of armor and buying a newspaper. You're only allowed to carry one nickel at a time, so if both of these puzzles appear, you have to purchase something with the nickel you have before Toby will let you earn another one. It's never made obvious that Toby will give you more than one nickel.
  • Hair-Trigger Avalanche: In Saves the Zoo's Arctic Land, Putt-Putt warns Pep not to make loud noises in fear of avalanche, and uses an Anti-Sneeze Finger (or antenna) on him. Promptly after, Putt-Putt sneezes and an avalanche ensues.
  • Helicopter Pack: Putt-Putt's propeller attachment from both Activity Pack's "Circus Stormin'" and Dog on a Stick.
  • Heroes Love Dogs: Putt-Putt serves as our main hero in the series and is never seen without his dog Pep.
  • Holler Button:
    • In Joins the Parade, clicking Putt-Putt's horn will honk at a cow or flock of birds to move out of the way, and honk for help after he runs over some nails. Clicking his radio will play music for a mouse marching band to march out of the way.
    • In Goes to the Moon, clicking Putt-Putt's horn will honk for help after he falls in some moon goo.
  • Hollywood Chameleon: In Saves the Zoo, at the broken bridge there is a chameleon which changes from invisible to visible when clicked on.
  • Honorable Elephant: Baby Jambo and his mother Mombasa from Saves the Zoo and Joins the Circus. Both elephants are Gentle Giants.
  • Idiosyncratic Wipes: The ending of Pep's Birthday Surprise does this once, using an image of Pep's head.
  • Inconvenient Itch: The Apatosaurus in Travels Through Time suffers an itch on his back where he can't reach, so Putt-Putt has to scratch it for him.
  • Innocent Aliens: In Goes to the Moon, Putt-Putt meets space aliens who are all friendly.
  • Invincibility Power-Up: The Super Pep cape in Dog on a Stick allows Pep to turn the tables on the rascally critters and remove them from the stage by jumping into them.
  • Irony: In Travels Through Time, there's a dinosaur that will mistake Putt-Putt for a vicious creature about to attack. The dinosaur in question? A Tyrannosaurus rex.
  • Jet Pack: One enemy in Dog on a Stick is a pig wearing a jet pack. The jet pack prevents them from falling off the stage, and allows them to move around on empty tiles.
  • Jungles Sound Like Kookaburras: In Saves the Zoo, there are apparently kookaburras living in Jungle Land since their calls are heard there.
  • Just a Stupid Accent: Gratuitous Italian Mr. Baldini.
  • King of Beasts: The lion and lioness in Saves the Zoo sport crowns and have regal-sounding voices. Same goes for Reginald the Lion from Joins the Circus.
  • Kleptomaniac Hero: If Putt-Putt has never come across the nails on Red Street, when he sees a magnet in the toy store, he simply exclaims "So this is where I left my magnet!" and takes it. If he has, though, the toy store owner reveals that Putt-Putt left his magnet at the toy store a week ago.
  • Letting the Air out of the Band: The Levels 91-100 level end fanfare of Balloon-o-Rama does this.
  • Level Editor: Balloon-o-Rama and Dog on a Stick
  • Living Toys: In Joins the Parade, located in a small box in the toy shop is a group of joke-and-riddle-telling animal toys.
  • Long Song, Short Scene:
    • The music for blasting off into outer space in Putt-Putt Goes to the Moon. More than a quarter of it is unheard in-game.
    • Rover's story from the same game. It's cut off halfway through.
    • Land selection in Putt-Putt Saves the Zoo mostly gets drowned out from the waterfalls in the background. It also only plays on one screen, so the only way to hear it in full is to stand there the whole time.
    • Putt-Putt and Pep's Balloon-o-Rama has this for just about every song. Every level is usually finished before it ends up until 101-110. But it is possible to listen to the music by waiting before launching Pep.
  • Lost in Translation:
    • Due to the fact that the first two games had few translations, a lot of the Continuity Nods and Call Backs were lost when the other games were translated. The DOS game coding was very complex by comparison of later games, so most companies didn't bother with them.
    • In the UK English Same Language Dub of Joins the Circus, during the "Animals in the Circus" musical number, there's a set of lines that originally rhymed "cotton candy" with "spaghetti". "Cotton candy" was changed to "candy floss" and left alone, leaving a stanza that doesn't rhyme!
  • Loved by All: There is hardly anyone in the series who has a dislike to Putt-Putt, mostly due to everything he has done to help them all.
  • Mad Libs Dialogue: Inserted dialogue happens most often when observing variable items.
    • In Joins the Parade, "I have...four...coins."
    • In Goes to the Moon, "I have...nine...moon crystals."
  • The Man in the Moon:
    • Played literally in Goes to the Moon by a crescent moon-headed, yellow-skinned man with a Wizard Beard and wizardly clothing. His introduction is "I am a man in the moon." And he's been looking for a picture of himself for ten thousand years.
    • At the end of Goes to the Moon, a smiling moon rises and winks at the player.
  • Meaningful Name: The majority of the characters in Putt Putt have a name that's based on what sort of vehicle they are or what job they do.
    • Cartown's resident fire engine is named Smokey. Smoke is created by fire.
    • Saves the Zoo introduces Outback Al, the owner of the zoo, who speaks in an Australian accent. The Outback is a term referring to the remote inland regions of Australia.
    • In Enters the Race, the Cartown 500 is run by Redline Rick. Redline is a term referring to an engine driving at or above its rpm (revolutions per minute).
  • Minigame Game: Fun Pack consists of six mini-games. Putt-Putt and Fatty Bear's Activity Pack is an Updated Re-release that combines it with Fatty Bear's Fun Pack, and adds a few more mini games.
  • Monkey Morality Pose: The beatnik monkey trio in Saves the Zoo do this as they think of rhyming words.
  • Multiple Head Case: The alien selling the rocket in Putt-Putt Goes to the Moon has two heads.
  • Never Smile at a Crocodile: In Saves the Zoo, underneath the broken bridge is a pool inhabited by an alligator, making this seem like a hazard. But this is actually averted; the gator is not hostile at all and is just a background character who watches Putt-Putt.
  • Never Trust a Trailer: The "Invitation" Musical intro in Pep's Birthday Surprise itself claims that the party guests will include "the limo from the mansion" and "some Martians from a Putt-Putt game that you have played before." Neither the characters nor the mansion are seen thereafter, and the Martians aren't even from a previous game.
  • Nintendo Hard: The minigame "Bear Stormin'" (later rebranded as "Circus Stormin'" in Putt-Putt & Fatty Bear's Activity Pack) has near-impossible later levels. You can't forget a single balloon, or hit a single enemy otherwise you're guaranteed a death. Did we mention no continues? That is, unless you abuse the internal save feature of Goes to the Moon for makeshift continues, which is not present in Activity Pack.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: Often.
  • Non-Human Sidekick: Pep, who can't talk, but does help Putt-Putt now and then.
  • Oddly Named Sequel 2: Electric Boogaloo: Putt-Putt: Pep's Birthday Surprise doesn't follow the Putt-Putt Verbs the Noun structure.
  • Once per Episode:
    • Every adventure game but Goes to the Moon and Pep's Birthday Surprise has a set of characters who tell each other jokes. Joins the Parade has joking toy animals, Saves the Zoo has a pair of toucans, Travels Through Time has King Chariot and the three children, Enters the Race has a pair of squirrels, and Joins the Circus has a cat and mouse. Pep's Birthday Surprise slightly averts this with Marvin the Marvelous who only shares jokes to Putt Putt.
    • Putt-Putt can change his color in every game, but don't expect any sleek silver or black finishes.
    • The beginning of every game except for Saves the Zoo features a smiling sun who has normally just risen.
    • Each game from Saves the Zoo onward has a musical number sequence. They typically appear in one of the first rooms, and tend to serve as a preview for some of the things Putt-Putt will see during the adventure.
  • One-Steve Limit: Averted—while not in the same game, the series has two characters named Reginald III: the circus lion Reginald Cornelius Andronocles III from Joins the Circus, and the balloon inflator Reginald Windbag III from Pep's Birthday Surprise. Both get called Reggie at least once.
  • Orphaned Etymology: Putt-Putt says the Stock Phrase "I can see again!" after scrubbing his windshield, which his eyes are nowhere near.
  • Palette Swap: The Carbucks Coffee Carista from Pep's Birthday Surprise is Chuck Wagon with his "Cartown's Best" logo replaced by the Carbucks Cocoa logo.
  • Parental Bonus: In Putt-Putt Saves the Zoo, the music for the calm, swampy area you can enter while on the rapids is a sound-aline of "Dueling Banjos."note 
  • Perpetual Smiler:
    • Putt-Putt is smiling 99% of the time. In the original games, due to sprite limitations he can't stop smiling, even if something's wrong.
      Putt-Putt: "Oh my goodness, I'm on the moon!" (Goes to the Moon)
    • Lampshaded in the Title Theme Tune for Goes to the Moon: "We're glad that you're happy / But Putt-Putt, make it snappy!"
    • Mr. Firebird in Goes to the Moon continues smiling while Putt-Putt is blasting off on a firework, and in Travels Through Time his sprite is seen smiling after Pep was sucked into his time machine.
  • Photo Montage: The credits of Saves the Zoo, Enters the Race, Joins the Circus, and Pep's Birthday Surprise have this for the characters.
  • Point-and-Click Map: All of the adventure games utilize this.
  • Polar Penguins: Saves the Zoo has several penguins living in Arctic Land.
  • Portal to the Past: Travels Through Time and the Tie-In Novel Putt-Putt: Lost In Time both use portals to connect the past/future to the time machine.
  • Post-Kiss Catatonia: After helping Katie Cannonball in Joins the Circus, she gives Putt-Putt a smooch in thanks, and his grin is particularly dopey for a while after.
  • Prehensile Tail: The many Sentient Vehicles in this world use a long extendable, prehensile tendril to grab, hold and manipulate tools. One might think it's an antenna, since it extends from Putt-Putt's rear, but old-time vehicles like King Chariot and Princess Chassis have them too.
  • Product Placement: Played for Laughs/parodied in a clickable in Saves the Zoo; a billboard which changes every time you click it includes plugs for various other Humongous games, eventually leading to one that reads "Shameless Humongous Entertainment self-promotion to be placed here."
  • Protagonist Title: Every game in the series starts with Putt-Putt, even Putt-Putt and Pep's Dog on a Stick.
  • Punny Name: Arthur T. Fact. But you can call him Art T. Fact.
  • Recurring Element: Each one of the Adventure Games have some sort of location where Putt-Putt can get a paint job and change his color. While doing this fulfills a task in Joins the Parade, later games have this purely as an optional cosmetic change.
  • Recycled Soundtrack:
    • Fun Pack and its Updated Re-release Activity Pack reuse music from Putt-Putt Joins the Parade.
    • One-Stop Fun Shop reuses music from Balloon-O-Rama.
    • Pep's Birthday Surprise reuses music from Putt-Putt Saves the Zoo.
  • Reluctant Mad Scientist: Mr. Firebird, who can't help but show off his cool gadgets that have Big Red Buttons, which just happens to lead to Putt-Putt... Goes to the Moon and Travels Through Time.
  • Respawning Enemies: The beach balls in Dog on a Stick can only move downwards, but they always reappear at their spawn points whenever they fall off the stage.
  • Retraux Flashback: When Pep's Birthday Surprise flashes back to when Putt-Putt first met Pep, the artstyle reverts back to that of DOS game Joins the Parade.
  • Rhymes on a Dime: The Tie-In Novel / Audio Adaptation Putt-Putt's Night Before Christmas and the Tie-In Novel Go, Go, Putt-Putt Go! are narrated in rhyme.
  • Robot Dog: Winks from the Alternate Continuity Tie-In Novel Putt-Putt: Lost In Time.
  • Same Language Dub: There are UK English dubs of Travels Through Time, Enters the Race, and Joins the Circus. Each comes with Dub Name Changes.
  • Santa Claus: He and his flying reindeer have a cameo in Putt-Putt Saves the Zoo, and they make a full-fledged appearance in the Tie-In Novel / Audio Adaptation Putt-Putt's Night Before Christmas.
  • Saving Christmas: Putt-Putt and Pep do this in the Tie-In Novel / Audio Adaptation Putt-Putt's Night Before Christmas.
  • Sentient Vehicle: The titular character, Putt-Putt, and many other characters. He is from Cartown, after all.
  • Shout-Out: Humongous Entertainment LOVES these, and of course they're going to put them in any place they can. There could practically be a whole page with cross references in HE games. Just a few examples:
    • In Putt-Putt Travels Through Time, when talking to Art T. Fact, Putt-Putt can ask for Pajama Man comic books or a SPY Fox decoder ring.
    • Putt-Putt Saves the Zoo is FILLED with Freddi Fish references. There's an ad on the billboard for the first game, she makes a brief appearance in the zoo song, she and Luther pull the raft back to Putt-Putt when he's sunk down in the rapids, and one of the things you can see in the telescope is Freddi talking to Sam the pelican.
    • Putt-Putt: Pep's Birthday Surprise has clickpoints that reference SPY Fox, including a Dummied Out one that references practically every other Humongous series.
  • Slippy-Slidey Ice World: Levels 31-40 of Dog on a Stick take place atop large ice pillars in the arctic. Many of them even have oil slicks on them to simulate slippery ice.
  • Sluggish Sloths: In Saves the Zoo, there is a sloth sleeping in a tree in one section of the river area. Clicking on it will cause it to yawn and switch sleeping positions.
  • Smelly Skunk: One enemy in Dog on a Stick is a skunk that occasionally leaves a stinky green cloud on the tile it's on. If Pep jumps into it, he cannot move until the cloud dissipates, potentially leaving him vulnerable to getting caught.
  • Snakes Are Sinister: Averted in Putt-Putt Saves the Zoo. Little Skeeter the boa constrictor and his mom are just as friendly as all the other animals.
  • The Something Song: The official name for Putt-Putt Saves the Zoo's song is "The Zoo Song".
  • Space Episode: Putt-Putt Goes to the Moon. You guess what the game's about.
  • Spell My Name with an S: There are several places where the dash in Putt-Putt's name is missing, like on Putt-Putt Joins the Parade's title screen.
  • Spiritual Successor: Enters the Race has a large amount of returning characters and locations from Joins the Parade.
  • Spoiler Title: Every Adventure Game is named after something plot-significant that Putt-Putt does in that game, but some of these namesakes are events that most of the game leads up to. Thus, there is no doubt that Putt-Putt will join the parade in Putt-Putt Joins the Parade, save the zoo in Putt-Putt Saves the Zoo, enter the race in Putt-Putt Enters the Race, and join the circus in Putt-Putt Joins the Circus.
  • Sticky Situation: Dog on a Stick has green slime on certain tiles that acts as an environmental hazard. It slows Pep down when he jumps on it, leaving him vulnerable to getting caught by the rascally critters.
  • Stock Femur Bone: In Joins the Parade, Putt-Putt finds one and uses it to befriend Pep. Later, in Dog on a Stick, Pep finds them all over the place.
  • Story Branching: In Travels Through Time, Enters the Race, and Joins the Circus, each playthrough's story puzzles are randomly chosen automatically, without player input. It's usually some item Putt-Putt needs to find or rescue and never affects a major plot point. Makes for great Replay Value.
  • Subliminal Advertising: Parodied in Saves the Zoo's song "Topiary Creatures" with the Non Sequitur lyric "and advertising tie-ins" which is accompanied with an image of various Humongous Entertainment T-shirts and other merchandise.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: Smokey has had two different Dalmatian puppies, Sparky from the Tie-In Novel Putt-Putt: The Great Pet Chase and Max from the game Putt-Putt: Pep's Birthday Surprise.
  • Sweet Seal: Sammy in Saves the Zoo and Sebastian in Joins the Circus are both friendly seals Putt-Putt has to help out.
  • Take Your Time:
    • Joins the Parade is the only game in the series to actually make use of the gas gauge, but as in the later games, you cannot run out of fuel.
    • Enters the Race will sometimes have a shed on fire. Despite the fact it's a really small shed and could burn in mere seconds, it never does. In fact, you have enough time to go back to Smokey only to find out he's out to lunch.
    • Enters the Race and Joins the Parade both have Putt-Putt working under a theoretical deadline, as he has to collect everything before the race or parade begin. None of those events actually happen until everything is safely collected.
  • Talking Animal:
    • The zoo animals in Saves the Zoo and circus animals in Joins the Circus all talk. Strangely enough, Pep can't talk.
    • Nearly every game has animals who tell each other jokes.
    • In Travels Through Time, there are talking dinosaurs in the Mesozoic Era and a talking horse in the Old West.
  • Taunt Button: Putt-Putt's speedometer, the gas gauge in Pep's Birthday Surprise, and the horn are animated but useless almost 98% of the time.
  • Terrifying Tyrannosaur: Discussed and then subverted in Travels Through Time. When coming across a Tyrannosaurus rex, Putt-Putt will make a comment about hoping the dinosaur's not too mean and nasty. However, this T. rex turns out to be cowardly and freaks out upon seeing Putt-Putt, but is ultimately friendly after being assured by Putt-Putt that he means no harm. He is still very strong though, able to lift large rocks with his small arms (which is Truth in Television as the arms of Tyrannosaurus are actually powerful for their size).
  • Temper-Ceratops: The Triceratops in Travels Through Time averts this by being a Big Eater oblivious to his surroundings.
  • The End: In Joins the Parade and Saves the Zoo, right before the credits, one of these appears on-screen.
  • Tie-In Novel: Many children's books were made, including Alternate Continuity Putt-Putt: Lost In Time. See description for a list.
  • Time Machine: Mr. Firebird's time portal, which is operated via inserting nickel into laundry machine, and is actually... rocket-shaped.
  • Time Travel Episode: In Putt-Putt Travels Through Time, Putt-Putt freely travels between The Future, The Wild West, The Middle Ages, and the dinosaur ages.
  • Title Drop: In Putt-Putt Saves the Zoo, Outback Al says, "Congratulations! Putt-Putt, you saved the zoo!"
  • Title Theme Tune: From Goes to the Moon to Enters the Race, there is an opening song where the game's namesake will be said or repeated.
    "Putt-Putt travels through tiiiiime!"
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Betsy Bulldozer really loves milkshakes. When she's not working, she'll be drinking them. One of your potential quests is to get her a Giant Jumbo Milkshake for her break so you can use her shovel.
  • Trial-and-Error Gameplay: "Bear Stormin'" (or "Circus Stormin'") has one level where there is a cannonball attached right inside a balloon. There is no clear indication of this either, and if you fall for it, you lose a life.
  • Updated Re-release:
    • Putt-Putt & Fatty Bear's Activity Pack, which combines the six games from the former and the five games from the latter into the same disc, with four exclusive games.
    • The Bear Stormin' mini-game from Goes to the Moon received its own separate DOS release, although it was only a demo title. It was updated with scrolling grass and Password Save.
    • "Circus Stormin'", a reskin of "Bear Stormin'", is one of the exclusive games in Activity Pack; making it a re-release within a re-release. Ironically, neither the scrolling grass nor the Password Save of the original demo release are featured in it.
  • The Unintelligible: Honko the Clown in Joins the Circus, who only speaks in clown horn honks. Putt-Putt needs to find a Honkish dictionary to communicate with him.
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight: Putt-Putt, himself, is this in Travels Through Time. Nobody in any time period he visits is surprised when Putt-Putt tells them he's from their past or future.
  • Urine Trouble: Mildred almost has this happen in Putt-Putt Enters the Race when Pep lifts up his back-left leg next to her wheel. She tries to get out as quick as possible from this.
  • Vegetarian Carnivore: In Saves the Zoo, Little Skeeter the Snake drinks hot cocoa to warm up. Cocoa is a plant product, by the way.
  • Video Game Cruelty Potential: In Putt-Putt Joins the Parade, there's some nails on Red Street. You can actually make Putt-Putt run over them and kill his tires. Finding it entertaining gives reason to do it on purpose.
  • Viewers Are Goldfish: At the beginning of Pep's Birthday Surprise, Mr. Kibble lists off all of the new flavors of dog food for Pep. Less than a minute later when Pep is testing them, Mr. Kibble feels it important enough to list off all of the flavors...again.
  • Viewers Are Morons: Just about everything on the screen can be clicked on to produce an animation that's entertaining and usually mind-blowingingly insane. According to manuals, it's for the youngest children who may prefer this over puzzle-adventuring.
  • Virtual Paper Doll: The salon in Goes to the Moon allows choosing from different heads, bodies, and legs to create an alien. Hilarious results likely, or otherwise.
  • Voice for the Voiceless: In Travels Through Time, the Triceratops is too busy eating to even notice Putt-Putt, so his Compsognathus buddy does the conversation for him.
  • What Year Is This?: In Putt-Putt Travels Through Time, he'll ask this upon entering The Future or chatting with the dinosaur in the prehistoric era.
  • White-and-Grey Morality: In Putt-Putt and Pep's Dog on a Stick, the enemies don't really try to intentionally hurt Pep. The bear hugs you and supposedly chokes you, the penguin grabs you and dances, the skunk we can all guess, and the tiger licks Pep's face.
  • A Winner Is You:
    • In the Spin-Off game Putt-Putt and Pep's Balloon-o-Rama: "Great job, Pep! Pep, you're the greatest balloon-poppin' pup I know!" *barks* *jumps to pop balloon* "Hooray!"
    • Winning the "Bear Stormin'" mini-game from Putt-Putt Goes to the Moon rewards you with a "GAME OVER." The... same thing that happens when you lose.

If you lived in Cartown, you'd be home by now.


Video Example(s):


Putt-Putt & Ms. Brachiosaurus

In "Putt-Putt Travels Through Time", our title character comes across a sleeping Brachiosaurus, who is more than willing to move her tail blocking a path when asked to.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (8 votes)

Example of:

Main / GentleGiantSauropod

Media sources: