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Western Animation / Heckle and Jeckle

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A classic series of Terrytoons cartoons, starring two identical wisecracking magpies, Heckle and Jeckle. One has a British accent, the other a New York one, and they are fast friends who are able to overcome foes by outwitting them, breaking the rules, and generally having fun at other people's expense.

Many characters on other shows are known to enjoy watching Heckle and Jeckle, including Fonzie, Lenny and Squiggy, and Jack, while imprisoned by the Others.

Together with the rest of the classic Terrytoons package, Heckle and Jeckle haven't been seen much on television lately, their last appearance in animation being Curbside, an unsuccessful pilot for an Animated Anthology series centered on Terrytoons characters that had the framing device of Heckle and Jeckle hosting a talk show, with Heckle voiced by Toby Huss and Jeckle voiced by Bobcat Goldthwait.


  • The Talking Magpies (1946)
  • The Uninvited Pests (1946)
  • McDougal's Rest Farm (1947)
  • Happy Go Lucky (1947)
  • Cat Trouble (1947)
  • The Intruders (1947)
  • Flying South (1947)
  • Fishing by the Sea (1947)
  • The Super Salesman (1947)
  • The Hitch Hikers (1947)
  • Taming the Cat (1948)
  • A Sleepless Night (1948)
  • Magpie Madness (1948)
  • Out Again In Again (1948)
  • Free Enterprise (1948)
  • Goony Golfers (1948)
  • The Power of Thought (1948)
  • The Lion Hunt (1949)
  • The Stowaways (1949)
  • Happy Landing (1949)
  • Hula Hula Land (1949)
  • Dancing Shoes (1949)
  • The Fox Hunt (1950)
  • A Merry Chase (1950)
  • King Tut's Tomb (1950)
  • Bulldozing the Bull (1951)
  • The Rainmakers (1951)
  • ''Steeple Jacks (1951)
  • 'Sno Fun (1951)
  • Rival Romeos (1951)
  • Off to the Opera (1952)
  • House Busters (1952)
  • Moose on the Loose (1952)
  • Movie Madness (1952)
  • Hair Cut-Ups (1953)
  • Pill Peddlers (1953)
  • Ten Pin Terrors (1953)
  • Bargain Daze (1953)
  • Log Rollers (1953)
  • Blind Date (1954)
  • Satisfied Customers (1954)
  • Blue Plate Symphony (1954)
  • Miami Maniacs (1955)
  • Pirate's Gold (1957)
  • Wild Life (1959)
  • Trapeze, Pleeze (1960)
  • Mint Men (1960)
  • Deep Sea Doodle (1960)
  • Stunt Men (1960)
  • Thousand Smile Checkup (1960)
  • Sappy New Year (1961)
  • Messed Up Movie Makers (1966)


  • Abhorrent Admirer: The short "Trapeze, Pleeze" had Heckle and Jeckle try to get a hippo woman named Zelda a boyfriend by fixing her up with Dimwit Dog, who is horrified of Zelda's advances.
  • Anti-Hero: When they're not being troublemakers or hecklers, they're just manic screwballs who can occasionally do a good deed, such as in "House Busters" or "Hair Cut-Ups".
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: "The Rainmakers" has Jeckle wish that it would never rain again, resulting in the entire world suffering a water shortage for weeks until he and Heckle do something to get it to start raining again.
  • Bullet Seed: In "Hair Cut-Ups", the villain, Dangerous Dan, eats a bullet and then spits it dozens of bullets like a machine gun, all just to scare a local rabbit.
  • Bullying a Dragon: Granted he had no way of knowing what he was in for, but when a dinner-seeking cat laid an ad for songbirds, he really should have stuck to canaries and robins.
    Cat (aside comment when a certain pair of magpies swoop in): Aah, more boids! This IS my lucky day!
  • Butt-Monkey: The lugubrious Dimwit Dog. And to some extent, the bulldog (who was named Chesty in the St. John's comic books which were drawn by Terrytoons artists).
  • The Cameo: Heckle and Jeckle have a guest appearance in the Filmation Mighty Mouse episode "Around the World in 80 Ways" and a cameo in the Bakshi episode "Mighty's Wedlock Whimsy." They also appear in The Simpsons episode "The Wizard of Evergreen Terrace" as mourners at Homer's funeral in an Imagine Spot.
  • Carnivore Confusion: At least two cartoons, "The Stowaways" and "The Rainmakers", depict Heckle and Jeckle having eaten a roast chicken.note 
  • Clever Crows: While they're magpies and not crows, they're excellent examples of the trickster archetype, Heckle and Jeckle are able to overcome foes by outwitting them, breaking the rules, and generally having fun at other people's expense.
  • The Con: Someone tries to sell the magpies the Brooklyn Bridge, and they turn him down—because they already own it!
  • Deranged Animation: Any scene animated by Jim Tyer. Check out the scene in "Goony Golfers" as Jeckle uses a putter to move the hole around as Chesty tries to putt it in, and Chesty's subsequent loss of temper.
  • Disguised in Drag: Heckle dresses Jeckle in drag to impersonate a millionaire's long-lost girl friend in "Blind Date."
  • Downer Ending: "The Power of Thought" ends with Heckle and Jeckle being imprisoned, ironically because the policeman after them realized he could use the exact same Reality Warping as them and decided to do some thinking of his own.
  • Early-Installment Weirdness: The first cartoon listed, "The Talking Magpies," was actually a Farmer Al Falfa cartoon. The two magpies shown at the start are a married couple whose squabbling over their nest disturbs Al Falfa and his dog (an early version of Dimwit). As Heckle and Jeckle took their more known forms in "The Uninvited Pests," they were voiced by Syd Raymond (Jeckle's voice wasn't the familiar British accent; that would come when Dayton Allen took over as the birds' voices).
  • Elevator Gag: In "Pill Peddlers", Chesty chases the pair into an elevator car, then goes after them in another. From outside the window, the elevators are shown moving every which way. Heckle and Jeckle then take their car so far down it opens into Fire and Brimstone Hell ("Oops! Too low!"), and as they go up again, they crash into Chesty's car, breaking the skyscraper in two. The three fall on an empty lot, Chesty still holding the lever and calling out "Second floor, women's wear, stockings, girdles, garter belts..."
  • Falling into Jail: "The Super Salesman" and "Out Again, In Again" end with Heckle and Jeckle falling into a jail cell.
  • Finger-Snap Lighter: In "The Power Of Thought", Heckle and Jeckle demonstrate this to the bulldog cop in showing how anything is possible in a cartoon. When the cop tries it, his hand is caught on fire.
  • Happy Rain: Done in The Rainmakers, when they make it rain after a drought, and are given a parade in the rain.
  • Heel–Face Door-Slam: In "Sappy New Year." The boys sign a pledge to give up practical jokes as a New Year's resolution, but when their attempts to do good deeds are misinterpreted as mischief, Heckle starts to revert back.
  • Heel–Face Turn: As much of con artists, vagabonds and reprobates they were depicted as, Heckle and Jeckle could also use their wiles to combat bad guys. "Blue Plate Symphony," "Sno Fun" and "Hair Cut-Ups" are good examples. "Hair Cut-Ups" had them as barbers in the old west facing the outlaw Dangerous Dan. As noted in verse three of the cartoon's song:
    One day towards the town he came ridin' real fast,
    A-lookin' for some harmless cowboy to blast.
    And so met his downfall as all bad men should
    By two tenderfoot barbers who trimmed him for good.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: Heckle and Jeckle are very close friends who are both male.
  • Just Eat Gilligan: Heckle and Jeckle could've gotten out of a jam if they just flew away since they're, you know, birds, but that would result in a shorter and less funny cartoon.
  • Medium Awareness: In the short, "The Power of Thought", Heckle and Jeckle realize they're cartoons, and that being aware of the medium they can manipulate the medium any way they see fit (one of them turns himself into a mouse and then a dog to prove it). They proceed to harass an anthropomorphic policeman dog with their newfound powers, but eventually the dog gets the upper hand, Breaking the Fourth Wall to tell the audience that he's realized he's also a cartoon character and has the same powers.
  • Name and Name: The series' title is also the pairing's names, Heckle and Jeckle.
  • No Fourth Wall: in Pirate's Gold, after making off with a buccaneer's treasure, the taxman comes in at the end and glomps 99% of it:
    Heckle: Ya can't escape it. Even in a cartoon.
    • The Lion Hunt has them changing scenes and modes of transportation four times in a fifteen second spurt en route to Africa:
      Jeckle: My, things sure happen quickly in a cartoon, don't they?
  • Non-Fatal Explosions: In "Thousand Smile Check Up," the bullying rival gas station owner ends up on a missile originally meant for the magpies' station. After it floats long enough for them to clean it and fill it up, it and the bulldog disappears into the horizon, resulting a nuclear explosion complete with mushroom cloud.
  • Reality Warper: The magpies realize in The Power of Thought that they're just in a cartoon, and can do anything they want.
  • Rhyme Theme Naming: The titular characters are a pair of twin magpies named Heckle and Jeckle.
  • Ridiculously Cute Critter: At the start of "McDougal's Rest Farm", we see a baby pig in a diaper unable to get milk from the mother pig nursing its siblings. The baby pig starts crying loudly but Dimwit the watch dog satisfies the hungry baby with a bottle of formula.
  • Talking Animal: They are talking magpies.
  • Thieving Magpie: They often try to swindle others.
  • The Trickster: And Con Man, with some Snake Oil Salesman
  • Vagabond Buddies: The pair are usually out on the streets.
  • Wheel o' Feet: During any Chase Scene in the Filmation series. Complete with spinning sound effects.


Video Example(s):


A little Basketball

Heckle and Jeckle have a little fun after a dog smashes itself into a wall, turning it into a ball.

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