Go Go Gophers was an animated western comedy series created by Total Television. It started as a side segment of The Underdog Show on CBS in 1966 and consisted of 48 episodes, each about 4 and a half minutes long (5 if you count the opening sequence.) This segment was so popular that from 1968 to 1969 it was its own show on CBS, and only consisting of reruns of all 48 episodes.
In this series, Colonel Kit Coyote and Sergeant Okey Homa (both being coyotes) try to claim the western town Gopher Gulch for the U.S. calvary, but their attempts are undermined by Chief Running Board and Ruffled Feather. These two gophers are the only tribe members to still live on their native land, as the rest of the tribe was moved to a reservation up north due to the increase of settlers moving to Gopher Gulch.
The premise of the episodes often had the same formula. The coyotes would discuss the colonel's latest plan to get rid of the Gopher Indians, never knowing that Ruffled Feather would secretly find out the scheme. Ruffled Feather would rush back to the Gophers' tepee and report his news to his best friend/housemate Running Board, and would always come up with a plan to thwart the coyotes. Using Ruffled Feather's ideas, the gophers would prevail against their rivals and stay one step ahead.
One recurring gag throughout the show is that Okey Homa would try to warn Kit Coyote with any suspicions the sergeant has when they try to stop the gophers. However, Kit often ignores Okey's warnings, which is one of the reasons why the coyotes fail to get rid of the Gopher Indians. Another running gag in the show is that during exchanges of dialogue Ruffled Feather would speak in his native language and someone who doesn't understand him (usually the colonel) would ask Running Board, "What did he say?" Running Board would then translate his friend's statements into English.
Besides the four main characters, there were two recurring characters who each appeared in a few episodes. The first was Colonel Coyote's human boss, General Nuisance, who sometimes visited the fort to work with the cavalry to stop the Gopher Indians. When the gophers thwarted the cavalry, the general would get angry with the coyotes and lock them in the guardhouse as punishment for their failure. The other recurring character was Corporal Crimp, a coyote who tried to help the colonel stop the gophers, only for them to turn the tables on him, landing Crimp in trouble with Colonel Coyote.
Go Go Gophers provides examples of:
- Absentee Actor: Sergeant Homa doesn't appear in "Wild, Wild Flowers" and "Look Out! Here Comes Aunt Flora". In the former episode, his temporary replacement Corporal Crimp (who appeared in both episodes) explained to the colonel that the sergeant was sick at the time.
- All Just a Dream: The episode "He's for the Berries" used this trope.
- Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: Colonel Coyote dreams about eating wild gopherberries and becoming a giant as a result in "He's for the Berries."
- Braids, Beads and Buckskins: The Gopher Indians are clad in typical Hollywood Natives attire.
- Big Guy, Little Guy: Okey Homa and Kit Coyote, respectively.
- Breaking the Fourth Wall: Most episodes ended with Okey Homa inviting viewers to watch the next episode. In the 2 episodes where he doesn't appear, Corporal Crimp did this instead.
- In "Wild, Wild Flowers", Ruffled Feather winks at the viewers while spying on Colonel Coyote (the colonel was talking with his aunt Flora).
- Butt-Monkey: The gophers' rivals were often this.
- Can't Stand Them, Can't Live Without Them: The Gopher Indians dislike Colonel Coyote, but they need to rely on his incompetence so they can stay in Gopher Gulch.
- Catchphrase: A few main characters have these:
- Running Board would often say one or two of the following to Ruffled Feather (usually two after the latter explained his plans to thwart the coyotes): "Oopie doopie!", "You-um genius!" and "We have fun!". What asked what Ruffled Feather's unintelligble statements meant, Running Board would say, "Him say..." and then translate his friend's statement into English.
- Colonel Coyote would often say, "Bully!" to express his delight at something. He would also sometimes yell, "Charge!" before he and Sergeant Homa try to attack the Gopher Indians. He would also often comment on how some things that happened were against the regulations in his rule book, whether by reading one of the regulations or by saying something like "Regulation expressly forbids it!" or,"This is against regulations!"
- Sergeant Homa would often say, "Begging the colonel's pardon..." before expressing his suspcicions about a situation to Colonel Coyote.
- Comically Missing the Point: In "The Cleveland Indians", Colonel Coyote reads a newspaper headline saying "Cleveland Welcomes Indians" in the sports section, and thinks they're real Indians. When Sergeant Homa tries to correct him, saying they're just a baseball team, the colonel replies as follows:
- Colonel Coyote: I don't care what they play, just so long as Cleveland likes them.
- Continuity Nod: In "Moon Zoom", Sgt. Homa tries to tell Col. Coyote about how savage the Gopher Indians are, only for the colonel to tell him the regulation, "Indians are Indians." Later, in "Introducing General Nuisance", Col. Coyote tries to warn his boss about the gophers and gets reminded of the same regulation.
- Also in "Moon Zoom", when the gophers lock the coyotes in the tepee rocket, Col. Coyote tells him it's against regulation 4082B: No locking big-wigs in wigwams. He later tells them the same thing in "Tricky Tepee Trap after the gophers lock the coyotes in their own cage.
- Sgt. Homa spells two as T-O-O in "Moon Zoom". Later in "Honey Fun", he spells two as T-O-O-O and Col. Coyote spells three as T-H-R-E-E-E.
- Early Installment Weirdness: The Gopher Indians were depicted as being more savage and having a ruddy complexion and dark gray noses in the first three episodes. Starting with the fourth episode, "Gatling Gophers", they got lighter complexions and red noses and their behavior was toned down.
- Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": Sergeant Okey Homa is only called by his rank.
- Expository Theme Tune: Two of the opening sequences had a song explaining the show's basic premise.
- Fire-Breathing Diner: Colonel Coyote, Sgt. Homa and General Nuisance have all been this.
- Fully Dressed Cartoon Animal: Both the gophers and all the coyotes are this.
- Glad I Thought of It: In "Look Out! Here Comes Aunt Flora", Colonel Coyote quotes this trope almost word for word in response to Corporal Crimp's idea of faking an Indian attack to try stopping the colonel's aunt Flora's stagecoach from reaching the cavalry fort.
- Hello, Nurse!: In "Tricky Tepee Trap", the Gopher Indians go bonkers when they think they see a pair of squaws and chase after them. At the time, they didn't know that the "squaws" were really the coyotes in disguise.
- Ironic Echo: In "The Carriage Trade", the gophers find themselves riding their car backwards in and out of the fort, and Col. Coyote taunts them with, "Get a horse! Get a horse!" Later, when the coyotes' wagon comes loose from the horse and goes backwards down the mountain, the gophers' car passes ahead (backwards, of course) and Running Board taunts the coyotes with, "Get-um horse! Get-um horse!"
- Kneel, Push, Trip: The Gopher Indians did this to the police chief of Cleveland in "The Cleveland Indians".
- Lethal Chef: In "Kitchen Capers", the Gopher Indians prepare a super-spicy soup and explosive biscuits and the coyotes falls victim to both.
- Manchild: The Gopher Indians are essentially this, constantly playing pranks on their enemies.
- Meaningful Name: The colonel's aunt Flora loves flowers.
- No Celebrities Were Harmed: Colonel Coyote is essentially Teddy Roosevelt as a coyote- though with a name based on Kit Carson, and Sergeant Homa's voice was based on John Wayne.
- Only Sane Man: Sergeant Homa is this, having more common sense than Colonel Coyote.
- Opaque Glasses: The colonel's aunt Flora has these.
- Opening Narration: The rare first opening sequence had one explained how the events of the series got started.
- Punny Name: Okey Homa and General Nuisance.
- Running Board gives the following retort to Colonel Coyote in "Choo Choo Chase":Running Board: You be general, all right: General Disaster!
- Running Board gives the following retort to Colonel Coyote in "Choo Choo Chase":
- Rule of Three: This trope is often used in the show.
- The Smart Guy: Ruffled Feather. He often spies on the coyotes to find out their plans and easily comes up with plans to thwart them.
- Tonto Talk: This is how Running Board speaks. In fact, a few episodes reveal the gophers even write this way.
- "The Big Pow-Wow" shows human Indians that talk this way.
- Translator Buddy: Running Board is this for Ruffled Feather.
- Trojan Horse: The Gopher Indians had a "Trojan totem pole" in the episode "Trojan Totem".
- The Unintelligible: Ruffled Feather speaks an incomprehensible language native to Gopher Indians. Running Board is the only character who understands him perfectly. Ruffled Feather frequently peppers his speech with English words and phrases, albeit very few at a time.
- Vocal Evolution: Over the course of the show, mainly in the latter half, the pitch in Ruffled Feather's voice gradually got higher.
- Wholesome Crossdresser: The coyotes disguise themselves as squaws to lure the gophers into a cage disguised as a tepee in "Tricky Tepee Trap". It almost works, but Colonel Coyote blows their cover without knowing it (they wore their uniforms under their dresses.)
- Sgt. Homa also dresses like a woman in "Gatling Gophers".