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Western Animation / Dog Trouble

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Dog Trouble is a 1942 Tom and Jerry short directed by William Hanna and Joseph Barbera. It is notable for being the debut of a grey bulldog who would later go on to be known as Spike.

Tom is going about his usual day of toying with Jerry and chasing him around, but his fun comes to an abrupt halt when he accidentally provokes a bulldog who then proceeds to chase him around. Jerry is initially delighted at his nemesis being ambushed by the bulldog until the canine spots him and goes after him as well. Now the cat and mouse must put aside their differences in order to rid themselves of the vicious beast.



  • Accidental Kiss: Tom and the bulldog kiss when the cat collides with him.
  • Attack the Tail:
    • This happens to Tom, courtesy of the two instances of the mouse trap below.
    • When Jerry is preparing his plan to get rid of Spike, Tom repeatedly subverts this trope to distract him.
  • Booby Trap: To deal with the bulldog, Jerry runs over to the living room, takes a strand of yarn and threads it all around the room until he's created a huge web tangled over every piece of furniture. Then he gets the bulldog to chase him into the living room, where the dog gets caught and upends everything, causing a huge mess that gets him kicked out by Mammy Two-Shoes.
  • Bully Bulldog: The bulldog, who would later be known as Spike, is the main antagonist of the cartoon, chasing and trying to attack both Tom and Jerry.
  • Cuckoo Clock Gag: As he is running from the bulldog, Jerry takes refuge in a cuckoo clock, whose bird pops out with him on it, giving the dog two chances to jump up and bite at him, only to miss. Then, when Jerry tries to get down from the clock, he ends up having to go back in when the bulldog ambushes him. The bird pops out with Jerry again, and this time, the dog manages to destroy the bird with a chomp from his jaws.
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  • Early-Installment Weirdness: The bulldog in this cartoon that would later evolve into Spike is a far cry from the character that we know today. He is less anthropomorphic, walking on all fours and communicating only with barks and growls, and doesn't give a damn whether his target is a cat or not as he chases and tries to attack both Tom and Jerry.
  • Enemy Mine: Tom and Jerry see that the bulldog will try to attack them at any given opportunity, so they decide to join forces and make up a plan to get rid of him.
  • I Shall Taunt You: While he's on the cuckoo clock, Tom taunts the bulldog and allows him to make several unsuccessful chances at leaping up and biting his tail, effectively keeping him distracted while Jerry sets up the trap.
  • Literal Ass-Kicking: Jerry does this to the bulldog in order to get him to chase him and run into the trap.
  • Mouse Trap:
    • As Tom waits for Jerry to come out of his mouse hole, the latter comes out of an electrical outlet behind the cat and places a mouse trap near his tail, trying to get it caught in the trap. When Tom's tail keeps moving to avoid getting snapped, an impatient Jerry decides to grab it and place it on the mouse trap himself, with predictable results.
    • Later, at the end of the short, Tom sits down, relieved that he and Jerry have gotten rid of the bulldog, only to get his tail caught in another mouse trap hidden behind a curtain.
  • Perpetual Frowner: The bulldog, in part due to his more aggressive nature than who he would eventually become.
  • Prehensile Tail: When Jerry slides from the top of the cuckoo clock and falls towards the bulldog's jaws, Tom manages to catch him with his tail and place him back on the clock.
  • Pulling the Rug Out: At the beginning of the short, Jerry is trying to run away from Tom, but is still in one place due to the cat pulling down the tablecloth that he's on. Tom then tugs on the tablecloth hard, completely removing it from the table and causing Jerry to slip.
  • Status Quo Is God: Tom and Jerry resume their rivalry after the former gets caught in another mouse trap.