Follow TV Tropes


Western Animation / Heavenly Puss

Go To

Heavenly Puss is a 1949 Tom and Jerry cartoon directed by Hanna-Barbera.

After getting squashed by a piano while chasing Jerry, Tom finds himself ascending to Heaven. Unfortunately, due to his record of tormenting Jerry his entire life, the Gatekeeper can't let him pass. With only an hour before the Heavenly Express leaves, Tom must get Jerry's signature on a Certificate of Forgiveness in order to get access, otherwise he'll be condemned to eternal torment at the paws of a devilish dog.


  • Afterlife Express: Tom has to ride the Heavenly Express to Cat Heaven, but they won't let him board until he makes up with Jerry, and he only has an hour before it leaves.
  • All for Nothing: Despite Tom successfully convincing Jerry to forgive him, Jerry is unable to sign the Certificate of Forgiveness in time and Tom ends up getting banished to Fire and Brimstone Hell. Fortunately for Tom, it's All Just a Dream.
  • All Just a Dream: At the end, it turns out that Tom is not really dead, but he was just asleep and the whole thing was a very vivid nightmare.
  • Aside Glance:
    • After the escalator disappears while Tom tries to race up it and a fiery pit opens up under him, Tom is in midair for a moment before finally waving bye-bye and falling into the pit.
    • At the end, a relieved Tom embraces Jerry and kisses him. A perplexed Jerry looks at the camera and gives the audience a shrug for the Iris Out.
  • Big Red Devil: The Devil is basically Spike colored red and given horns and a pitchfork.
  • Cat Concerto: One of the recently deceased cats boarding the Heavenly Express was struck with a flatiron while doing this, leaving him with a large lump under his tophat.
  • Cassandra Truth: Tom attempts to pantomime his situation to Jerry to get him to sign the certificate, complete with angel fluttering and devil horns. Jerry naturally gives a rather unconvinced look, though eventually submits after Tom begs persistently.
  • Celestial Bureaucracy: The entrance to Cat Heaven is depicted as a train station gate, where recently deceased cats wait in line to board the Heavenly Express.
  • Dissonant Serenity: Apart from Butch, the cat who lost a fight with a bulldog and was seen frowning over it, all the cats seemed to be eerily okay with being either struck with a flat iron, run over by a steamroller, and drowned.
  • Dragged Off to Hell: Or rather "have a trap door open under him", but once Tom's time runs out, down he goes immediately.
  • Drowning Unwanted Pets: There's a shot where a soggy bag begins bouncing and Fluff, Muff, and Puff (who would later appear in Triplet Trouble) emerge from the bag. That's one today's kids wouldn't figure out. note 
    Gatekeeper: "What some people won't do."
  • Everyone Has Standards: Jerry is completely horrified at the fact that Tom may spend an eternity in Hell, even if he earned it by his enmity with Jerry. He signs the Certificate of Forgiveness once he sees proof of Tom's claims.
  • Eye Pop: Tom's eyes get huge as he's shown a glimpse of Hell.
  • The Final Temptation: When Tom tries to attack Jerry after the latter tears up the Certificate of Forgiveness, the Devil appears behind them and tempts Tom to finish the job.
    Spike (Devil): Attaboy, Tom! Hit him and let's go! Come on!
  • Foe Romance Subtext: At the end, Tom (happy that he's still alive and he just had a bad dream) hugs and kisses a confused Jerry.
  • Food as Bribe: Tom offered Jerry a huge wedge of cheese in exchange for signing the certificate. An offended Jerry rips up the certificate, nearly dooming Tom.
  • Forged Message: At one point, Tom tries to cheat by forging Jerry's signature on the certificate. Unfortunately, he gets caught by the Gatekeeper before he could sign it.
    Gatekeeper: Thomas, uh, uh, uh, uh.
  • Guilt-Induced Nightmare: Tom is denied access to Heaven for constantly chasing Jerry. He needs to have Jerry sign a contract saying that he forgives him or else he will be sent to hell. Jerry signs it too late and Tom is promptly shoved into a boiling pot by a demonic version of Spike the Bulldog. It's then revealed that this was All Just a Dream, and when he wakes up, Tom gives Jerry a big hug, much to the latter's bewilderment.
  • Instant Bandages: One of the cats in line for the Heavenly Express was bandaged up due to losing a fight with a bulldog. As he passes the gate, the dog's teeth are still biting his tail.
  • Jacob Marley Apparel: When we see cat heaven, there are several cats queuing for entry, starting with one who lost a fight to a dog and still had all his bandages (and even the dog teeth on his tail), one with a Cranial Eruption from being hit in the head, and one completely flat due to ben run over by a train.
  • Judgement of the Dead: The Gatekeeper won't let Tom into the Heavenly Express until he gets Jerry to sign a Certificate of Forgiveness. Otherwise, he's sent to Fire and Brimstone Hell, where a Bully Bulldog Devil is waiting for him.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: A subtle example — throughout the short, Jerry refuses to sign the Certificate of Forgiveness, at one point even tearing it to pieces seemingly out of spite. The minute he sees the fate that awaits Tom if he doesn't forgive him, however, he signs it without hesitation (although by then it's too late).
  • Oh, Crap!: Both Jerry and Tom have this reaction when they see the piano sliding down the stairs. Unlike Jerry, however, Tom isn't able to get out of the way in time.
  • The Pearly Gates: The Heavenly Express has the motif of the pearly gates, but, rather than being the actual gate to Heaven, it's simply a train station for the train to Heaven.
  • The Pen Is Mightier: When Tom initially tries to get Jerry to sign the certificate, the mouse instead uses the pen to spray ink in Tom's face.
  • Piano Drop: Tom is pulling on a stair rug to try to catch Jerry. He ends up pulling an upright piano down the stairs, which flattens him against the wall.
  • Race Against the Clock: Tom has to get Jerry to sign the Certificate of Forgiveness before the Heavenly Express leaves in an hour in order to get into Heaven. Unfortunately, he runs out of time.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: The gatekeeper. Even though Tom's name is not in the book of life due to his years of sadistically persecuting Jerry, instead of immediately sending him to eternal damnation like you'd expect, he agrees to let Tom on board the Heavenly Express if he can get Jerry to sign a "certificate of forgiveness" before the train leaves for Cat-Heaven in one hour. Given how Heaven is usually depicted as not offering a chance for redemption once you're dead, Tom really lucked out with this gatekeeper... too bad he still can't get the signature in time.
  • Rejected Apology: As Tom offers Jerry the Certificate of Forgiveness to sign, Jerry is naturally skeptical, and when Tom tries to bribe him with cheese, he gets insulted and tears the certificate to pieces. Tom tapes it together, explains the situation to him and finally gets Jerry to sign, but it's too little, too late...
  • Rerouted from Heaven: The plot is triggered due to Tom's record of tormenting Jerry preventing him from boarding the Heavenly Express.
  • Seen It All: The Gatekeeper doesn't seem fazed by any of the fates of the cats he's processing, no matter how gruesome. Torn apart by a dog? Run over in the street? All the same to him. Only three kittens who were intentionally drowned as unwanted makes him pause for a moment and remark about the callousness of said practice, but he's quickly over it.
  • Squashed Flat:
    • The piano smashes Tom against the wall, leaving him flattened on the back of the piano. He drifts down to the floor and pops back into shape.
    • One of the cats waiting in line for the Heavenly Express was run over by a steamroller. As he walks past the camera, he's revealed to have been left wafer thin.
  • Stairway to Heaven: Or in this case, an escalator to Heaven.
  • Stewed Alive: Tom's fate if he doesn't atone to Jerry is Fire and Brimstone Hell, where Spike as a Big Red Devil has a cauldron ready to put him into.
  • That Was Not a Dream: When Tom initially wakes up after his accident and finds himself home, he's relieved to think going to Heaven was just a dream...until he sees the Certificate of Forgiveness in his hand. Subverted in the end when it's shown the whole thing was a dream.
  • Whole-Plot Reference: To A Matter of Life and Death.
  • You Are Too Late: Tom manages to get Jerry to sign the Certificate of Forgiveness, but by then the hour is up, the Heavenly Express is pulling out, and, when Tom tries to race up the escalator, it disappears and a pit to Fire and Brimstone Hell opens up in its place.


Video Example(s):


What some people won't do

The Gatekeeper of Heavenly Express allows access to three young kitten who were thrown into a river and drowned, while lamenting their tragic fate.

How well does it match the trope?

4.89 (28 votes)

Example of:

Main / DrowningUnwantedPets

Media sources: