The first Animated Show based on the Littlest Pet Shop toy line was an attempt to establish a new direction for the franchise.
In a City with No Name, a kindly eccentric named Elwood P. Harvey runs a pet shop that features miniature animals called the Littlest Pets. Unknown to Elwood, the tiny pets have their own society and experience lots of misadventures. This especially applies to the five main characters:
- Stu: A blue dog who's a well-meaning, lovable bumbler.
- Chloe: A sarcastic purple cat who's been reincarnated many times since she first lived in Ancient Egypt.
- Viv: A musically-inclined pink rabbit who sings, dances, plays various instruments, and speaks with an adorable British accent. Her songs are accompanied by a backing band who live inside her top hat.
- Chet: A macho yellow horse who talks and acts like a traditional cowboy.
- Squeaks: A banana-loving brown monkey. His main role is helping the other characters, and he communicates with sounds instead of speech.
The description makes Littlest Pet Shop sound like a innocuous show for toddlers, but the series' true inspiration is Tiny Toon Adventures and Animaniacs; like those shows, it features witty dialogue, slapstick humor, pop culture parodies, and even some occasional satire. Much of the series' humor will go over the heads of the small children that it was presumably intended for, and maybe that's why it got disappointing ratings; it simply wasn't the show that anyone expected it to be.
- Abhorrent Admirer: Bernice often treats Sarge like this. Chet gets one of his own in "Chet the Dream Horse", in the form of fellow little horse, Sabrina.
- Accessory Wearing Cartoon Animals: The animal characters wear little or no clothing.
- Amazing Technicolor Wildlife: Out of the five main characters, Squeaks is the only one who has a realistic fur color.
- Berserk Button: Chet does not like being called "little and cute."
- Big Bad: Delilah, a normal-sized monitor lizard whose goal is to eat the other animals.
- Big Eater: Stu.
- Boisterous Bruiser: Chet.
- Captain Oblivious: Elwood hardly ever notices the stuff going on in the pet shop, least of all Delilah's attempts to eat the pets.
- Cats Are Snarkers/Deadpan Snarker: Chloe.
- Cloud Cuckoolander: Squeaks.
- Cluster Bleep-Bomb: Used in "Bunny Beat", during a sequence parodying an infamous Madonna appearance on Late Night With David Letterman where she engaged in a Cluster F-Bomb. (See what we mean about Parental Bonus humor?)
- Cool Old Lady: Mumsy.
- Drill Sergeant Nasty: Sarge parodies the trope.
- Egomaniac Hunter/Evil Brit: The villain from "Travels with My Mumsy".
- Evil Twin/The Glorious War of Sisterly Rivalry: Both tropes are exemplified by Chloe and her sister in the episode "Chloe's Evil Twin".
- Expository Theme Tune: The theme song was originally an Instrumental Theme Tune, but lyrics and vocals were added later.
- The Eeyore: Lola the Sad Kangaroo from "When Lola Laughs".
- Fake Band: Viv and her "hat band".
- The Fool: Stu.
- Four-Fingered Hands: The entire cast.
- Gang of Critters
- Gosh Dang It to Heck!: An interesting variation of this happened in "Treasure of the Sierra Pet Shop": when this show first aired, "heck" itself was considered taboo, so Elwood instead said "What the eck-hay?"
- Hammerspace: Viv's top hat.
- Limited Animation
- May the Farce Be with You/Where No Parody Has Gone Before: "Squeaks in Space" combines both these tropes.
- Merchandise-Driven: Not only was the series based on an established toy line, but the show's main characters were made as figures in a Spin-Off toy line...
- Toyless Toyline Character: ...except for poor Chet.
- Mouse World
- Multiple Demographic Appeal: Presumably what the producers were going for, given the unexpected similarities to Tiny Toon Adventures and Animaniacs.
- Musical Episode: The second half of "Are You My Mumsy?" is an opera parody.
- My God, What Have I Done?: Viv betrays the other pets in one episode when the villains offer her a steady gig, but soon comes to regret it, prompting this lament.
- Never Say "Die": From "Are You My Mumsy?":Viv: Help, help, a cry of alaaaaaaaaaaaarm... / This lizard wishes to do me haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaarm!
Delilah: Said the villain / In all her charm / The rabbit shall buy the faaaaaaaaaarm!
Chet and Stu: Buy the farm! Buy the farm! Buy the farm! Buy the farm!
- Nice Hat: Viv's top hat.
- Off-Model: A side effect for being outsourced to companies like AKOM, Wang Film Productions and KK C&D Asia.
- Parental Bonus: The source of much of the show's humor.
- Pintsized Powerhouse: Chet is strong enough to lift a piano, which doesn't sound that impressive until you take into account he's only three inches tall.
- Reptiles Are Abhorrent: Delilah.
- Shout-Out: Plenty of them.
- Elwood's name is a reference to the main characters of Harvey.
- As noted, "Squeaks in Space" is an Affectionate Parody of Star Trek: The Original Series and Star Wars.
- G-rated Expies of Beavis And Butthead appear in "Bunny Beat".
- "Mechanical Madness" has the gang menaced by a robot who resembles Woody from Toy Story... which didn't premier until after the episode was first broadcast!
- Stealth Pun: Viv is a rabbit with a magic hat. Get it?
- The Unintelligible: Squeaks.
- When She Smiles: Lola.
- Yet Another Christmas Carol: The plot of "Who Scrooged McRude?"