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Western Animation / Chow Hound

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"What? No gravy?!"
—The dog to the cat, repeatedly

Chow Hound is a 1951 one-shot Looney Tunes cartoon, directed by Chuck Jones.

The cartoon is centered on an unnamed cat and mouse, who are both unwilling victims of a greedy dog that bullies them (mainly the cat) into taking part in his get rich quick schemes so that he can fulfill his insatiable gluttony for meat (and gravy). Much hilarity (of the Black Comedy variety) ensues.

Should not be confused with the 1944 Private Snafu cartoon The Chow Hound.



  • An Aesop: The titular character, a greedy dog, abuses a cat and a mouse for the simple mistake of failing to get the gravy along with the meat (literally, in the cat's case). When he buys up a butcher shop, he gets a little too greedy and (based on his grossly obese appearance on the operating table in the final scene) consumes all the stock at once. The cat and mouse show up with a massive can of gravy in tow and proceed to gleefully force-feed the immobilized dog his Just Desserts. The lesson is that if all you want in life is more, you will become corrupted by greed and eventually, pay the price.
  • Antagonist Title: The dog mentioned in the title is clearly the bad guy here- and how detestable he is!
  • Asshole Victim: The dog wrote his own death warrant every step of the way. After all the hell he put the cat and mouse through, he really deserved his fate in the end.
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  • Bait-and-Switch: When the cat swallows the mouse, the dog spanks his rear end to make him spit him out... then places the rodent back into the feline's mouth by the tail.
  • Balloon Belly: After buying an entire butcher shop, the dog eats so much meat that he's reduced to a swollen, immobile blob of fat. This lets the cat and mouse turn the tables on him without fear of blowback.
  • Black Comedy Burst: Chuck Jones' cartoons are typically full of Black Comedynote , but the ending of this cartoon is probably the most morbid in humor out of all of them.
  • Body Horror: Of the comedic variety; the dog becomes so morbidly obese from overeating that he can't even move a muscle and ends up in the vet.
  • Bowdlerise: Almost every recent American TV airing of this short (particularly the airings on the Fox version of The Merrie Melodies Show in the early 1990s, the former WB! network in the mid-1990s, Nickelodeon throughout its run in the 1990s, and post-2001 Cartoon Network note ) cuts the part where the dog (dressed as a game hunter) returns the cat (dressed as a sabre-toothed tiger) to the zoo because the mouse is depicted as an African savage. The edits on all four channels make it seem that the dog earned enough money from scamming the three owners rather than scamming the three owners and the head of the zoo (which was where the big reward was from).
    • In addition to the above cut, the FOX Merrie Melodies Show version also cut the infamous ending where the mouse and the cat visit the dog in the hospital (after being admitted for stuffing himself on the meats in the deli) and funnel gravy into his mouth as revenge, ending the cartoon on the veterinarians leaving the room after diagnosing the dog, which leaves the whole thing on an unresolved notenote 
  • Brick Joke: After constantly beating up the cat for forgetting the gravy in the cartoon, the dog finally gets his beloved gravy in the end — but not in the way he wanted.
  • Bully Bulldog: The dog is a bulldog and ruthlessly bullies the cat into stealing food for him, and keeps beating him up because he doesn't bring gravy with him.
  • Classic Villain: The dog represents Gluttony at its worst.
  • Coin-on-a-String Trick ... or "Cat On a String Trick," if you will, which is used as part of the payoff of the bulldog's scheme. The dog rigs a trick bed and ties a string around the cat's tail after placing him in the bed. After the owners post rewards for what they think is their lost cat, the dog returns the cat and collects the money; after the owner walks inside with the bed, the dog yanks the cat away and makes his getaway before the owners notice.
  • Department of Redundancy Department: The man that calls the cat Timothy keeps repeating himself.
    "Caught another mouse, I see... Y'caught. Well, come on, you've earned your keep... You've earned it."
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: The cat going to different owners just to get the dog some meat, only to get beaten by the latter seems to be an allegory for prostitution.
  • The Dog Bites Back: Or in this case the dog gets bitten back. The cat and mouse manage to turn the tables on the dog in the end by force-feeding him gravy while he lays immobile from overeating.
    "This time, we didn't forget the gravy!"
  • Dope Slap: The dog slaps the cat with his hand or the meat whenever he forgets the gravy.
  • Double Take: The zookeeper does one when he's feeding the big cats and gets to the "saber-toothed alley cattus".
  • Expy: The mouse resembles Bertie.
  • Fat Bastard: The dog is actually quite muscular at first, but he becomes morbidly obese at the end.
  • Feed It a Bomb: During the fourth time the cat hands over some meat to the dog, he puts a stick of dynamite in it to try and do him in. Unfortunately, the bomb has no effect in this instance, and the dog thinks it’s gas.
  • Force Feeding: The cat and the mouse stick a funnel in the dogs mouth and pour in an industrial sized jug of gravy when he is already so fat and full that he can't move.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: The wanted ads for missing cats include the names of several of the cartoon's staff, including director Chuck Jones and animator Ken Harris.
  • Gory Discretion Shot: The film irises out just as the cat begins force feeding the dog an industrial sized jug of gravy, leaving his fate to our imagination.
  • Greed: The dog's motivation is his insatiable hunger, which drives him to crime to fulfill it.
  • Hate Sink: Unlike the majority of the Looney Tunes rogues gallery, who are either morally gray or have some sympathetic moments to offset their repugnant personalities, the dog here is completely unsympathetic and a full-on villain. He's a greedy, lazy, self-centered sociopath who bullies a housecat and mouse just to fulfill his insatiable appetite, and he shows zero gratitude towards them when they get him what he wants. To top all this, he is used as an example of how greed can corrupt a person. You won't so much as shed a tear for him when The Cat and Mouse Bite Back.
  • Humiliation Conga: The Dog overeats himself into a blob and is left helpless on a table at the hospital. Enter the Cat and Mouse... and an industrial-sized tub of gravy.
  • Just Desserts: And holy shit how! The dog manages to get all the food he could ever want in the end. However, the following scene, in which he is shown as grotesquely obese, indicates that he consumed pretty much all of his stock in record time. Unable to budge a millimeter due to his condition, he can't muster more than a feeble whimper as the long-beleaguered cat and mouse (who didn't get so much as a morsel) exact their vengeance upon him in the most ironic possible way.
  • Kick The Cat: The dog beats up the cat constantly, for nothing more than forgetting the gravy.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: After all the crud the dog put the cat through in the cartoon, he gets his just desserts in the end when he and the mouse force-feeds him the belated gravy as he lays swollen and helpless from overeating, which makes the moral of the cartoon more clear.
  • Little "No": The dog can't do much more than muster this as he is force-fed gravy in the end.
  • No Name Given: None of the characters are given real names. The lead cat, in particular, is given three different names by his various owners (though this is justified, as it's part of the dog's scam to get meat).
  • No-Sell: The cat tries to kill the dog by feeding him a steak laced with dynamite. It harmlessly explodes inside of him.
  • Oh, Crap!: When the bulldog – strapped to an operating table as he awaits his stomach being pumped – realizes his fate is about to come, when the cat and mouse come in with a large can of gravy and make clear their intent: "This time, we didn't forget the gravy!" He sweats profusely and murmurs "Oh no! Help!" as the cat begins feeding his tormentor the gravy.
  • Oh, No... Not Again!: The mouse's reaction when he's forced to be "caught" by having him being dangled by the tail from the cat's mouse, which he finds morbidly humiliating. He begs the dog not to be placed in that position, but they fall into deaf ears.
    "Oh, how degrading!"
  • Pre-Asskicking One-Liner: The dog always says "No gravy?!" or a variant of it before he beats up the cat.
  • Revenge Is a Dish Best Served: With gravy!
  • Running Gag: The dog beating up the cat because he keeps forgetting the gravy. This bites him hard in the end.
  • The Quiet One: The cat doesn't speak until the very end of the cartoon.
  • Self-Disposing Villain: The Dog gets access to the butchers' shop and meat for miles. He proceeds to eat himself into an obese blob, putting him at the complete mercy of the Cat and Mouse, who are only too happy to give him the gravy he asked for.
  • Seven Deadly Sins: The dog commits four during his schemes: greed (being insatiably hungry), gluttony (consuming almost all of the goods almost all at once), wrath (beating up the cat for forgetting the gravy), and sloth (doing none of his own dirty work).
  • The Sociopath: The dog is a self-centered, greedy glutton and remorseless bully who uses a helpless cat as his lackey in his schemes to con money and food out of innocent people, and he constantly beats up the cat because he keeps forgetting the gravy.
  • Spiritual Successor: The cartoon borrows some plot details from Jones' previous short Fresh Airedale where a cruel scheming mutt uses a cat as a scapegoat for food and reward. The dog in this short even resembles that of the former with a buffed up redesign (only in this instance, a Karma Houdini Warranty kicks in).
  • Standard Snippet: A sting of "We're in the Money" plays when the dog realizes he can get a money reward for returning lost cats.
    • Also, the ending quotes "When the Swallows Come Back to Capistrano", since the cat is making the dog "swallow" all that gravy.
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome: The dog eats a deli shop's worth of meat and, rather than the usual cartoon depiction of being overweight, becomes grotesquely obese and sick.
  • Villainous Glutton: The Dog. He eats the entire stock of a deli shop once he gets the money to buy it.
  • Villain Protagonist: The Dog is the central character in the short, and the plot is driven by his constant abuse of both the Cat and Mouse.
  • Villains Want Mercy: As the dog lays on the operating table, immobile from his self-inflicted obesity, all he can do is whimper "No!" as the cat and mouse pour gravy down his throat.
  • Wham Line: The cat's only line in the short (see the caption for the page image).