Droopy is a cartoon character created by Tex Avery during his years with MGM (1942-1954). This low-key basset hound was his most popular recurring MGM character, and remains an icon of The Golden Age of Animation.
Droopy is a pathetically tiny, very melancholic, slow-moving dog. His Deadpan Snarker comments often form a sharp contrast to the zaniness of other characters around him and makes them appear even wilder. The plot of his cartoons are very similar. He is usually given some kind of mission that he needs to accomplish and allows him to be pitted against one of his two main antagonists: Wolfie the Wolf or Spike the bulldog. At first the odds seem against him, because he's such a tiny and slow dog. Yet Droopy is intelligent and always master of the situation. If he gets really mad, he can even showcase enormous strength and beat up those who underestimate him.
List of Tex Avery's Droopy cartoons:<!—index—>
- Dumb-Hounded (1943)
- The Shooting of Dan McGoo (1945)
- Wild and Woolfy (1945)
- Northwest Hounded Police (1946)
- Seņor Droopy (1949)
- Wags to Riches (1949)
- Out-Foxed (1949)
- The Chump Champ (1950)
- Daredevil Droopy (1951)
- Droopy's Good Deed (1951)
- Droopy's Double Trouble (1951)
- Caballero Droopy (1952)note
- The Three Little Pups (1953)
- Drag-a-Long Droopy (1954)
- Homesteader Droopy (1954)
- Dixieland Droopy (1954)
- Deputy Droopy (1955)
- Millionaire Droopy (1956)
Later Droopy cartoons include:
- One Droopy Knight (1957)
- Sheep Wrecked (1958)
The Droopy cartoons ran through 1958 with Michael Lah at the helm, but the Avery cartoons are usually regarded as superior. The character was retired when the entire MGM animation department was shut down for good at the end of 1957 as The Dark Age of Animation was beginning.
The character has appeared in other works since the end of The Golden Age of Animation, with a renewed series by Filmation in the early 1980's, a cameo in Who Framed Roger Rabbit (and each of the subsequent Roger Rabbit Shorts), and appearances in several Tom and Jerry spinoffs such as Tom & Jerry Kids (which in turn spawned a Droopy-centric spinoff, Droopy, Master Detective) and Tom and Jerry Tales.
Due to his original voice actor Bill Thompson getting drafted to the war, several shorts feature Tex Avery and Don Messick as the voice of Droopy. Messick later became Droopy again for Hanna-Barbera's 90s products. Looney Tunes veterans Jeff Bergman and Joe Alaskey have also voiced the character.
The character is not to be confused with Snoopy from Peanuts.
Droopy provides examples of the following tropes:
- Alliterative Title: Many of his cartoon shorts have an alliterative title: Deputy Droopy, Drag-Along Droopy, Dixieland Droopy, Droopy's Double Trouble.
- Amusing Injuries: A staple of many cartoons he appears in.
- Art Evolution: The image above is Droopy's first appearance, where's he's drawn with more emphasized jowls, baggy eyes and in generally looks more, well, droopy. He even has a belly button. As time went on and MGM began slashing budgets for cartoons, he was redesigned to be smaller and more geometric, making him easier to animate.
- Barely Missed Cushion: One short features the Wolf chasing Droopy into a saloon. In order to escape, Droopy jumps from the second floor and lands on his donkey. The Wolf tries something similar with his horse and misses. He goes back to saloon for a second attempt and misses again. He then moves his horse to the spot where he landed and makes a third attempt, this time landing where the horse originally was. He gives up and calls a cab.
- Big Ball of Violence: Happens often.
- Big Guy, Little Guy: Droopy is much smaller than his opponents, Spike and Wolfie.
- Berserk Button: Whatever you do to Droopy, don't ever, EVER deface a picture of the girl he loves.Y'know what? That makes me mad!
- Born Lucky: It's rare for anything to go wrong for Droopy in stark contrast to just how bad the luck of his foes is.
- The Cat Came Back: His trademark.
- Hello, all you happy people.
- You know what? I'm happy.
- You know what? That makes me mad.
- Cheaters Never Prosper: Quite frequently when competing against Spike, Spike will often try to sabotage Droopy's chances only for it to instantly backfire on him in the most comedic ways imaginable.
- Comically Invincible Hero: In quite a few of his appearances, Droopy's near-infallibility is the primary engine of comedy.
- The Comically Serious: Part of what makes Droopy so funny is how utterly disinterested he is in... well, almost everything.
- Covers Always Lie: The cover to the VHS tape "Here Comes Droopy" depicts a scene from Out-Foxed, which is not on the tape. Averted when the same cover was reused for the "Compleat Tex Avery" laserdisc, which does indeed have the cartoon.
- Crazy-Prepared: Droopy has to be a master of psychology to be able to figure out where Wolfie's gone to next.
- Creepy Monotone: Droopy speaks in monotone all the time.
- Crushing Handshake: In Droopy's Double Trouble, Droopy's super strong twin cousin Drippy crushes the hand of Droopy's superior, the mansion's head butler, upon extending it for a shake.
- Cunning Like a Fox: The short "Out-Foxed" features Droopy and a Fox who is both cunning and a Karmic Trickster.
- David Versus Goliath: Droopy's opponents, the Wolf and Spike, are way taller than he is.
- Deadpan Snarker: Droopy's comments are very dry.
- Dick Dastardly Stops to Cheat: Whenever Droopy and Spike compete against each other, Spike will almost always cheat. Fortunately for Droopy, Spike's attempts will also always backfire in some humorous fashion.
- Digital Destruction: Four of the cartoons on the DVD set, "Wags to Riches", "Daredevil Droopy", "Droopy's Good Deed", and "The Three Little Pups" got hit with some very nasty DVNR artwork erasing issues. "Riches" has it all over the entire cartoon. Some feel this makes them rendered unwatchable in that format. The restorations of "Daredevil" and "Wags" on the Warner Archive's "Tex Avery Screwball Classics" Blu-Ray lack DVNR.
- Dogs Love Fire Hydrants: In Dumb-Hounded Droopy walks behind a hydrant and after a brief pause, walks out with a look of embarassment on his face.
- Dog Stereotype: Droopy is a basset hound, therefore he must be melancholic, just look at his face!
- The Eeyore: Droopy always seemed to be in a really sad and gloomy state.
- Subverted when someone pushes his Berserk Button. He calmly says "You know what? That makes me mad", then proceeds to beat the other guy to a pulp and throw him miles away.
- Also subverted in the ending of some cartoons. Winning a large sum of money or a kiss from Red makes him madly overreact for a while just to suddenly stop, return to his sad state, looking at the camera to say his Catchphrase "You know what? I'm happy."
- Establishing Character Moment: Subverted by the Big Bad Wolf dog catcher in "Three Little Pups", who is introduced like an over-the-top stage villain with an evil sneer, and goes right to work trying to snag Droopy and his fellow pups with great relish. After failing to blow Droopy's house down and a few seconds of furious, but fruitless effort to force open Droopy's door, the wolf instantly and permanently drops the hamminess and turns into a laid-back Mellow Fellow who never loses his chill again, in this short or in any of the others he appears in.
- Fake Rabies: In the Droopy short "Wags to Riches," Spike puts shaving cream on a sleeping Droopy and phones in a report of a mad dog, but a fan blows the foam onto Spike's face just as the dog catcher arrives.
- Flat Joy: Even when Droopy is truly happy his voice and demeanor hardly change.
- Gotlib's Gai-Luron is a homage to the character. Both of them are white melancholic dogs.
- Hans Moleman from The Simpsons was based on Droopy, according to Matt Groening.
- Lampshading: Droopy often comments on the predictability or corniness of the story and/or the gags.
- Laser-Guided Karma: Nothing ever goes right for Droopy's enemies, whether it be the Wolf or Spike/Butch. Any attempt at trying to get the upper hand over Droopy, particularly by cheating, is guaranteed to end in failure either by their shortsightedness or just sheer bad luck. The closest thing Spike ever got to a victory was "The Chump Champ", but even that blows up in his face when he discovers his prize for winning is to get to kiss a particularly gonkish lady.
- Later-Installment Weirdness: The later Droopy cartoons made just before and then after Tex Avery left MGM can be a bit jarring, as they are done in Limited Animation with neither the Wolf nor Butch/Spike as antagonists, the madcap slapstick humor is severely scaled back, and worst of all, Droopy's face is no longer "droopy".
- Let's Get Dangerous!: Droopy, when someone has a laugh at his expense for any reason and is about to be severely punished by him for it.
- Love Makes You Crazy: Whenever Droopy receives a kiss from Red, he generally reacts the same way Wolfie would, even kidnapping her at the end of Wild and Woolfy.
- Meaningful Name: Droopy has a droopy face.
- Metronomic Man Mashing: Droopy's preferred form of ass-kicking is to deliver a devastating uppercut to the person, animal, or monster that offended him, knock them off their feet, then smash them on the ground repeatedly in this manner.
- Mistaken for Insane: "Droopy's Double Trouble", Spike is the victim of a Twin Switch; whenever Droopy leaves, his stronger twin brother Drippy comes and beats Spike up. When Spike confronts him about it, Droopy says, "Why, Spike, I haven't touched you all day." Thinking he's cracked up, Spike calls for the insane asylum to come pick him up. When the van arrives and Spike calls for Droopy, both him and Drippy respond; seeing double, Spike has a Freak Out and is the one taken away to the looney bin.
- Offscreen Teleportation: Droopy can appear anywhere in a matter of seconds, even if its at the other end of the world. Though in North West Hounded Police it is explained that there are just a large number of identical Droopys.
- On One Condition: In "Wags to Riches", Droopy and Spike are the pets of a deceased millionaire who bequeathed his fortune to Droopy on the condition that the fortune will go to Spike upon Droopy's death. Spike spends most of the episode trying to kill Droopy.
- Perpetual Frowner: Droopy rarely smiles.
- Pintsized Powerhouse: Although small and unimposing, Droopy will kick the snot out of anyone who makes him angry.
- His twin brother Drippy in Droopy's Double Trouble. He's strong.
- In Homesteader Droopy, it's Droopy's infant son who delivers the beatdown.
- Politically Incorrect Villain: The Mellow Fellow wolf antagonist is established as being from the Deep South, not only due to his accent and repeatedly whistling "The Year of Jubilo" (a pro-Union anthem, oddly), but also due to him admiring the Confederate flag during Blackboard Jumble.
- Pre-Asskicking One-Liner: Y'know what? That makes me mad!
- Pyrrhic Victory: Spike technically emerges as the victor over Droopy in "The Chump Champ", but it turns out all for naught, as his prize is winning the affection of a very ugly lady who chases after him.
- The Runt at the End: Out-Foxed opens with the kennel master doing a roll call. After assorted similar dogs and one very feminine dog of the same size, he gets to the much smaller Droopy.
- Sophisticated as Hell: The very English fox in the Droopy cartoon "Out-Foxed" lapses into this at one point.Droopy: Hello, Mr. Fox. Now can I catch you?Fox: Ah, as they say in America... (Brooklyn accent) Are you kiddin'?
- Standard Hero Reward: In One Droopy Knight he fights a dragon to earn the hand of the king's beautiful daughter.
- The Stoic: Droopy doesn't show too much emotion, but when he does...
- The Strongman: In Daredevil Droopy, Droopy and Spike compete for the role of acrobatic dog in a circus' dog act. One tryout they have to do is a test of strength courtesy of Simpson the Strong Man. Spike tries to cheat by covering over part of the barbells Droopy is to lift so that it looks like he's lifting one-pound weights as opposed to the original 1,000 lbs. As one might expect, Droopy succeeds in lifting the barbells with no trouble at all, but when a surprised Spike tries it, the strips covering the barbells come loose and they weigh down on Spike and send him crashing through the floor.
- Suspiciously Similar Substitute: Droopy had much of the mannerisms and actions in common with another one of Avery's creations: Cecil Turtle from the Looney Tunes cartoon Tortoise Beats Hare (1941). Droopy's voice and personality were modeled after Wallace Wimple, a character from the radio show Fibber McGee and Molly, whom was also portrayed by actor Bill Thompson (Droopy's voice).
- Gotlib 's comic book character Gai-Luron is basically a copy of Droopy: a bassoon hound with a melancholic expression and Deadpan Snarker comments.
- Take Our Word for It: In the Droopy cartoon The Three Little Pups, one scene ends with the pursuing dogcatcher swallowing Droopy's TV set whole. A couple of scenes later, Droopy and his brothers are watching TV again, and he says to us "Now, don't ask how we got the television set back." Probably just intended as a wink toward cartoon continuity, but the implication was it happened the "natural" way.
- Talking Animal: Droopy and all the others can talk. Yet in Dumb-Hounded he barks with another dog, then says to the audience: Heh-heh, dog talk!
- Team Rocket Wins: The only time Droopy outright loses to his foe is when Spike tricks him into forfeiting his victory in "The Chump Champ", but even there Droopy emerges as the moral victor when Spike's prize is winning the affection of a very ugly lady.
- That Makes Me Feel Angry: Droopy used to say this, almost word for word.
- They Wasted a Perfectly Good Sandwich: The result when he drives the antagonist crazy in "Thanks a Latte":Droopy: Ya know what? He forgot his latte.
- Tranquil Fury: When Droopy gets angry, he barely raises his voice and says "You know what? That makes me mad." The then proceeds to give a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown on whoever crossed him.
- Transplant: Droopy, who stayed mostly separate from Tom and Jerry in the MGM days, is a regular supporting character in recent media starring the duo, including the current run of direct-to-video movies.
- Tricked into Signing: One cartoon has a competitor in a sports contest set up a fake psychic reading tent and asked for Droopy's signature to get a reading off it. Turns out he tricked him into signing a document confessing to cheating and forfeiting.
- Twin Switch: Happens accidentally on Droopy's Double Trouble. Whenever Droopy leaves Spike's side, Drippy comes along to beat him up.
- Ugly Spouse Sentence: In "The Chump Champ", Droopy and Butch (here named Gorgeous Gorrilawitz) are competing in a sports event, with the winner being crowned King Of Sports. As part of the prize, the King Of Sports will receive a kiss from the Queen Of Sports, which is likely a separate event occurring for women. After being crowned King Of Sports (which he did by showing the announcer a forged document stating that Droopy cheated to win the events), Gorgeous Gorillawitz excitedly watches as the Queen Of Sports is slowly revealed. Slowly the curtain is pulled up, showing the Queen Of Sports has a thin, lithe, attractive body... and then her face is revealed, which looks like Goofy with make-up on, much to Gorgeous' shock. The Queen Of Sports excitedly runs towards Gorgeous, eager to give him the kiss, only for Gorgeous to scream in terror and run away, with the Queen Of Sports in hot pursuit and still as eager.
- Unlikely HeroDroopy: You know what? I'm the hero.
- Unstoppable Rage: When Droopy says he's mad, somebody's in for a world of hurt.
- Wet Cement Gag: While fleeing from the owner of a flea circus in "Dixieland Droopy", John Pettibone (Droopy) rounds a corner and finds himself trying to run through wet sidewalk concrete. The Dixieland fleas embedded in John's fur slow their music tempo down as John gets bogged down in the stuff, then speed up their tempo as John gets his Heroic Second Wind at the midpoint. Once free of the concrete, John resumes running at full tilt as his fleas play furiously fast.
- When He Smiles: Droopy's small, bashful smile is adorable.
- Who Are You?: In Wild and Woolfy, Droopy gets asked this after repeated encounters.Wolf: Hey now, wait a minute, shorty! You've been a doggin' me all through this picture! Just who the heck are you, anyway?!
Droopy: [taking out a mallet] Why, haven't you heard? I'm the hero. [wallops him]