Follow TV Tropes


Western Animation / Mr. Magoo

Go To
"Oh, Magoo! You've done it again!"

Quincy Magoo, a nearsighted old gentleman voiced by character actor Jim Backus, created in the waning years of The Golden Age of Animation, is the most popular character created by the UPA animation studio. Most of the humor in Mr. Magoo's cartoons came from his visual handicap and his staunch refusal to acknowledge it. Aside from his theatrical shorts and assorted TV specials, Mr. Magoo has appeared in:

  • 1001 Arabian Nights, a 1959 feature filmnote , a version of Aladdin with Magoo as Aladdin's uncle;
  • Mr. Magoo's Christmas Carol, a 1962 hourlong Christmas Special, an Animated Adaptation of Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol (obviously);
  • The Mr. Magoo Show in the 1960s, later rerun on USA Network;
  • Inside Magoo, a 1960 Quarter Hour Short sponsored by the American Cancer Society;
  • The Famous Adventures of Mr. Magoo, a 1964 prime-time series on NBC, in which Magoo re-enacted famous literary works;
  • Uncle Sam Magoo, a 1970 special in which Magoo relives the major events of American history;
  • What's New, Mr. Magoo?, a 1977 Saturday Morning Cartoon on CBSnote ;
  • Mr. Magoo, a 1997 Live-Action Adaptation starring Leslie Nielsen.
  • Kung Fu Magoo, a 2010 animated film by Mexican studio Anima Estudiosnote  where Magoo and his other nephew, Justin, go evil-busting during the supervillain olympics.
  • Mr. Magoo, a 2019 French-American cartoon series featuring a slightly-younger-seeming and less curmudgeonly (but still as nearsighted as ever) Magoo, this time aided by his dog, Mr. Cat, as he inadvertently keeps thwarting the evil schemes of Fizz, a hyper-intelligent hamster with plans of global domination.

Magoo and his nephew Waldo also appeared on a 1957 LP, Magoo in Hi-Fi.

Mr. Magoo work pages on TV Tropes:

Mr. Magoo in all his varied incarnations provides examples of:

  • Abhorrent Admirer: Moolah McGoy, whom Waldo escapes from being forced to marry in "The Real McGoys".
  • Absurdly Dedicated Worker: The elderly hermit in "Hermit's Hideaway". He didn't know the Civil War was already over, and when Waldo and Prezly tried to chop down the tree he lived in, he mistook them for Union spies, attacking them until they surrendered. It was after this that Prezly explained that the war already ended and the hermit went back home.
  • Accidental Astronaut: In "Destination Magoo", Magoo wanders into an experimental rocket and accidentally launches it with himself inside. It crashes next to Coney Island's Luna Park, which Magoo mistakes for the actual moon.
  • Accidental Ventriloquism: A typical gag involves the titular character having a conversation with someone but directing his attention to an inanimate object he mistakenly believes to be the man he's talking to. The other guy indulges him and continues the conversation from the side, while Magoo never catches on.
  • Achievements in Ignorance: Mr. Magoo often gets into this territory.
    • In "Requiem for a Bull", Waldo wins a bullfight by following instructions from what he thought was a bullfighting manual, but it was actually a book on baby care.note 
  • Actor Allusion: In-Universe. In Mr. Magoo's Christmas Carol the Ghost of Christmas Present describes Scrooge (played by Magoo) as "the man too much of a skinflint to spring for a pair of glasses."
  • Adults Dressed as Children: Little Jake's Paper-Thin Disguise in "The Vacuum Caper". The fact that he's short and has a high-pitched voice helps.
  • All Animals Are Dogs: In 1001 Arabian Nights and ''The Mr. Magoo Show'’, Magoo regards his cat, Bowser, as a dog. In the shorts, he has mistaken a panther, a tiger-skin rug, and even a person or two for a dog.
  • All for Nothing: In "Hermit's Hideaway", Prezly and Waldo are working as lumberjacks, and run afoul of a Southern hermit that lives in the tree the duo tries to chop down. Not knowing that the Civil War already ended, the hermit thinks that the 2 are Union spies and shoots at them until they surrender. After Prezly tells the hermit that the Civil War is over, the old man, as he starts leaving, tells the duo that there's no use trying to chop the tree down because it's "peetrified".
    Waldo and Prezly (shocked): Peetrified?!
  • Amphibious Automobile: In "Magoo's Puddle Jumper", Mr. Magoo buys an electric car and takes it out on a spin with his nephew Waldo. Due to being near sighted, Mr. Magoo drives his new car into the ocean and thinks he's in a different part of town.
  • An Aesop: For "Top the Music", it's "don't cut corners to win contests; play to your strengths, even if you have to improvise".
    Prezly (when the audience applauds Waldo's singing on Top the Music): Well, whattaya know? They like my little buddy just as he is.
  • Androcles' Lion: Mr. Magoo removes a thorn from a lion's paw in "Bwana Magoo" and is instantly befriended by him. The lion stepped on the thorn after Waldo tossed it on the ground following his taking the thorn out of his shoe, unbeknownst to the nearsighted man, who soon mistook the lion for his nephew.
  • Animated Actors: Mr. Magoo was depicted as an actor playing a role in Mr. Magoo's Christmas Carol and The Famous Adventures of Mr. Magoo.
  • Art Evolution: In his first cartoon, Magoo looked very different, with a barrel chest, bigger jowls and heavy eyebrows. As the character evolved, his design became simpler, and his features more baby-like.
  • Artistic License – Biology: In "Bring 'em Back Waldo", during one of Prezly and Waldo's attempts to cage a gorilla, they trick him into thinking they want him to join the army. At one point, Waldo measures the gorilla's chest and finds that it's 107 inches wide. In real life, the average width of an adult gorilla's chest is around 66 inches.
  • Baseball Episode: "Base on Bawls”.
  • Beach Episode: "A Day at the Beach" subverts this, in which Mr. Magoo mistakes a construction site for a beach. The trope is played straighter, however, in "Thin Skinned Diver" and "Hula Magoo".
  • Beary Funny: In "Ragtime Bear" and "Grizzly Golfer". Other examples are in "Magoo's Bear" and "Goldilocks Magoo" from The Mr. Magoo Show.
  • Beleaguered Assistant: Charlie.
  • Big Fancy House: Mr. Magoo lives in an awesome mansion.
  • Big Guy, Little Guy: Several examples make appearances throughout the franchise, including the criminal duo Big Jack and Little Jake.
  • Birthday Episode: The Mr. Magoo Show has "Magoo's Birthday Cake'' for Charlie's birthday and "Magoo's Surprise Party" for Mr. Magoo's birthday. There's also the short film "Sloppy Jalopy", where Magoo test-drives a car that he later buys as a surprise birthday present for Waldo.
  • Blind Driving: Magoo in his Cool Car.
  • Blind Mistake: The central element of Magoo's comedy.
    • When Magoo took on the role of Don Quixote, this became the mechanism by which he identified his Dulcinea.
  • Blind Without 'Em: Not only is Magoo blind without glasses, he never had 'em in the first place. This is the cause of much of his trademark comedy, although it is toned down somewhat when he is portraying a character other than himself, such Ebenezer Scrooge. The original shorts revealed that Magoo uses a huge magnifying glass when he's reading at home and owns a pair of glasses, but refuses to wear them out of stubborn pride.
    • One of the original shorts shows that Magoo's glasses (on the rare occasions when he actually does wear them) aren't prescription, but a cheap pair of cheaters he picked up at a department store sale decades ago.
  • Boxing Kangaroo: Magoo brings one home in "Kangaroo Courting", mistaking it for Waldo's girlfriend.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: There are a couple of instances in the theatrical shorts.
    • "Ragtime Bear" opens on Magoo asking someone in the audience the way to Hodge Podge Lodge.
    • When Magoo passes a wrestler being carried away unconscious in "Hotsy Footsy", he shoots an Aside Glance at the camera to say that the poor man must be "Loaded", as in passed out drunk.
    • The Mr. Magoo Show frequently has characters looking directly at the camera and/or talking to the audience, especially in the interstitials.
  • Breakout Character: Waldo proved so popular in the short films that The Mr. Magoo Show had segments centering on his adventures with his best friend Prezly.
  • Butt-Monkey: Anyone who has the misfortune of going on Mr. Magoo's adventures, though a few characters have sometimes been this without accompanying him, such as the mailman Wills Fargo in some of the first show's interstitials.
  • The Cameo: Gerald McBoing-Boing appeared in several of the shorts, most notably in the episode "Magoo Meets McBoingBoing" and portrayed Tiny Tim in Mr. Magoo's Christmas Carol. Also, Go Go Gomez from The Dick Tracy Show makes an appearance in the episodes "Requiem for a Bull" and "Fuel in the Sun".
  • Captured by Cannibals: A variation in "South Pacific Potluck", in which Prezly and Waldo mistake an island inhabited by cannibals for Hawaii, and quickly escape when they discover the truth.
  • Carpet-Rolled Corpse: In "Magoo's Problem Child", Magoo wanders into a house used as a hideout by criminals finds a rolled-up rug in a closet, thinking it's a corpse, while he passes a man tied up on the floor and thinks it's a rolled-up rug.
  • Cassandra Truth: In "Hermit's Hideaway", Prezly doesn't believe what Waldo says about a man being inside the tree they try to cut down until the hermit in question starts rapidly firing his gun at both of them.
    Prezly (hiding behind a tree stump with Waldo): Why didn't you say someone was in that tree?
    Waldo: But- but- I did!
  • Catchphrase: "Oh, Magoo! You've done it again!"
  • The Cavalry: In "The Vacuum Caper", just as Little Jake and Big Jack have Waldo and Prezly at gunpoint, demanding that they empty the vacuum cleaner they tried to sell so the crooks could take back the stolen money, a squad of police officers show up to arrest the two criminals. It was a lucky break for the cops, as they came because someone complained about the crooks' TV being too loud.
  • Christmas Carolers: The Christmas Special starts with a group of kids caroling, but when they come to Scrooge and Marley's, Scrooge (Magoo) kicks their donation cup right out of their hand. All but one of them run off, with the last staring at him before walking away sadly.
  • Christmas Special: Perhaps surprisingly, Mr. Magoo's Christmas Carol is the Ur-Example, being "the first animated holiday program ever produced specifically for television" according to The Other Wiki.
  • Comedic Hero: Magoo himself.
  • Comedic Underwear Exposure: Occurs in "Saddle Battle" when, after Waldo ends up in a rodeo, the bronco throws him out of his pants, exposing his polka-dot boxers (Prezly put glue on the saddle beforehand to prevent Waldo from getting thrown off the horse).
  • Comically Missing the Point: Mr. Magoo does this all the time due to his poor eyesight causing him to mistake one thing for something else.
    • Waldo has his moments, too, due to his lack of intelligence. For example, in "Double Trouble" after Prezly recommends Waldo as a stunt double for the movie star Rock Bottom, the director notes that Waldo "does resemble Rock a lot". Waldo soon asks "Who's "Rockalot"?”
      • Also, in the short film, "Magoo's Problem Child", after Mr. Magoo mistakenly thinks Waldo has turned to a life of crime (due to mistaking a crook's hideout for his mansion), the nearsighted man thinks he's failed as an uncle and almost shoots himself when Waldo arrives and speaks against it. Upon seeing Waldo, Quincy says, "Waldo, you've broken out!" He meant "broken out of jail", but the confused Waldo, having no idea what was going on, looks at his hands and replies, "No, I feel fine."
    • In "Fuel in the Sun”, after Manuel Gomez charges $20 for "refueling" Waldo's carnote  and for the souvenirs sold to him and Prezly, Manuel asks if the price is too cheap when Prezly expresses shock at it.
  • Con Man: Prezly and Go Go Gomez, in The Mr. Magoo Show. The theatrical shorts had their fair share of them too.
  • Construction Zone Calamity: In "Trouble Indemnity", Magoo wanders into a construction site thinking it's the office of his insurance company. The insurance agents scramble to keep him from getting killed, as he's their only client, and "if he falls, the company falls!"
  • Cool Car: Magoo drives a fancy, old fashioned car that keeps on mint condition, despite the rough treatment it keeps receiving from its driver.
  • Criminal Doppelgänger: Dangerous Dan looks like Mr. Magoo with stubble.
  • Crossover: "Magoo Meets McBoing-Boing".
  • Darker and Edgier: The Famous Adventures of Mr. Magoo still had some humor, but was otherwise played very straight, making sure to keep the tone of the original stories it adapted intact, and as a result would often feature characters dying, even some of the ones Magoo played.
    • The short films "Barefaced Flatfoot" and "Magoo's Problem Child" have Magoo mistaking certain situations for criminal scenarios, which is played for laughs.
  • Dark Reprise: Inverted in Mr. Magoo's Christmas Carol, in which the third reprise of "Ringle Ringle" has Scrooge (Magoo) giving some of his coins to the Cratchits.
  • A Day in the Limelight: Charlie had this in the episodes "Goo Goo Magoo", "Magoo's Houseboy", and "Magoo and Cholly".
  • Dinner Order Flub: The comic strip has Magoo and Waldo at a Mexican restaurant. Magoo asks if the "Alvarados" are good, only to be informed that is the name of the proprietor. Magoo tetchily changes his order to a hamburger.
  • Disguised in Drag: Big Jack poses as a mother in "The Vacuum Caper”.
    • In "Foxy Magoo", the fox disguises himself as an Indian mother, with his glove-covered paw as the papoose.
  • A Dog Named "Dog": Ching-Toi's cat Kitty, in "Magoo's Houseboy".
    Charlie: How original.
  • Driving Test: In "Safety Spin", Magoo takes a driver's test to renew his driver's license, but accidentally gets on a fire engine instead of the tester's car and wreaks havoc all over town.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: Go-Go Gomez of The Dick Tracy Show appeared in 2 Mr. Magoo cartoons. He is called by his real name in both.
  • Early-Installment Weirdness: The first two Waldo and Prezly segments ofThe Mr. Magoo Show, "Thin-Skinned Diver" and "Fox Pass" had the duo unexpectedly finding Quincy Magoo himself at the end of their adventures- both cases being inside an object. See Foreshadowing below.
  • Electric Slide: One opening sequence shows him driving his car on top of power lines.
  • Exploding Cigar: In "Magoo's Express", Magoo is mistakenly given a powerful explosive "more powerful than the hydrogen bomb" by some Eastern European spies in the form of a cigar. Just as he's about to smoke it, the porter tells him that there's no smoking allowed in the car, so he tosses it out the window. It gets picked up by a hobo, who then throws it back on the train, just in time to explode on the spies' faces.
  • Expy: Magoo's Uncle Tycoon, whose voice sounds identical to Yosemite Sam, especially since he and his butler Worcestershire are both voiced by Mel Blanc.
  • Eye Scream: Mr. Magoo unknowingly sprays glass cleaner in a crook's eyes at a gas station in "Gumshoe Magoo".
    • Downplayed in "Fox Pass", when the following offscreen exchanges occur when the fox that Waldo and Prezly are trying to catch ensnares them in the latter's own traps:
      • First, when they're inside the Step-On-It Jiffy Instant Cage Maker, after the cage folds back into a box:
      Prezly: Waldo, would you mind getting your elbow out of my eye?
      Waldo: Whoops! (chuckles) Sorry, Prez.
      • Then, when they're inside the Super-Duper Vacuum Maker:
      Prezly: You got your elbow in my eye again, Waldo.
      Waldo: Oh, sorry.
  • Fat and Skinny: Prezly and Waldo, in that order. In "The Vacuum Caper”, Little Jake lampshades the trope as follows when he sees Waldo approaching his and Big Jack's hideout:
    Little Jake: Here comes the skinny one.
  • Fattening the Victim: In "South Pacific Potluck", the cannibals serve turkey dressing to Waldo and Prezly (who both mistook the island for Hawaii) to fatten them up before putting them in the stew pot.
  • Feuding Families: The Martins and McGoys from "The Real McGoys".
  • Flanderization: In the original UPA cartoons, the soul of the character was not simply being almost blind, but also being so incredibly stubborn about everything that even when he realizes the truth of what he is experiencing, he will still keep at it regardless. Later cartoons drop that and just focus the humor on his poor vision.
  • The Fool: Magoo's incredible luck always saves the day for him and always ruins the day for whoever attempted to cheat or scam him.
  • Foreshadowing: In the openings for "Thin Skinned Diver" and "Fox Pass", when Mr. Magoo is on the phone with Waldo, the former declines the latter's invitations to join him and Prezly at the beach and on a fishing trip, respectively, due to having other plans (attending a club initiation for the former and taking the subway to town to go shopping for the latter). Guess who Waldo and Prezly discover at the end of both shorts?
  • Fountain of Youth: Played with in "Goo Goo Magoo", in with the fountain shown is not a fountain of youth (even though it's labeled as such), but Charlie mistakenly thinks it is and that Magoo turned into a baby when he sees a toddler (wearing Magoo's shirt and hat) playing in the fountain. Soon enough, Charlie keeps getting stopped by the little boy's father from snatching him away. It isn't until Charlie sees the real Mr. Magoo lying in the fountain that he realizes the truth and soon gets in trouble with the boy's father.
  • Friend to All Children: Has no problem baby-sitting young children at the last minute or taking scouts out on a hike.
  • Genre Savvy: Subverted as follows in "Lady in Black": after Prezly convinces the mirror spirit (who was turned into a donkey) to turn a witch (whom the spirit made a snake) into a pretty girl, and then her to change him into a handsome prince, Waldo and Prezly assume that Happily Ever After will soon follow. However, soon this assumption is subverted when a bolt of lightning enters the cave and turns the witch and spirit back to normal, prompting them to start fighting again.
  • Goggles Do Nothing: The few times he's worn glasses, they actually seem to make his vision worse.
  • Goo Goo Getup: Waldo dresses the bull he fights in "Requiem for a Bull" in this. note 
  • Grumpy Old Man
  • Head-Turning Beauty: Invoked in "Lady in Black" when the witch brews a tea that makes whoever drinks it see her as a gorgeous woman. After drinking the tea, Prezly and Waldo are enamored by the appearance they see as a result.
    • There's also the señorita Waldo falls for in Mexico in "Requiem for a Bull". Subverted at the end when he tosses the prize money he won in the bullfight to her and she reveals herself to have been the con artist Manuel Gomez convincingly Disguised in Drag.
  • Henpecked Husband: Harold in "Gumshoe Magoo".
  • Here We Go Again!: The ending of many of the theatrical shorts.
    • In "The Real McGoys, after Waldo and Prezly escape from the McGoys, Quincy Magoo is driving through the Blue Rich Mountains when he gets stopped by them.
  • Hidden Depths: Some old shorts and TV specials revealed that despite his poor eyesight and old age, Magoo is a very famous and still very competent actor.
    • The climax of "Top the Music" reveals that Waldo is a good singer.
  • Hot Drink Cure: In the comic story "Mighty Moe" (an adaptation of "Captains Outrageous"), Magoo tries to give Waldo a cup of coffee in order to ward off a cough. Key word being "tries to" - not only does he mistake a seal for Waldo, he accidentally gives the seal cod liver oil instead of coffee.
  • Hot Guy, Ugly Wife: Studly Davy Crockett and his buck toothed Gonk of a sweetheart from Uncle Sam Magoo.
  • Identical Stranger: One episode of The Famous Adventures of Mr. Magoo has the actor Mr. Magoo asked by the police to impersonate an identical gangster in order to catch the whole gang. Just to make it all better, the person who asks Magoo to do this is Dick Tracy!
    • "Dangerous Dan Magoo" involves a sheriff mistaking Mr. Magoo for the crook Dangerous Dan due to their similar looks.
    • "Double Trouble" involves Waldo becoming a stunt man for the star of a Western film because they look almost exactly alike.
  • Impairment Shot: Most cartoons will include at least one blurred-out shot of whatever Magoo was looking at.
  • Innocently Insensitive: Mr. Magoo can be this sometimes; of course, this is justified by his bad eyesight.
  • Instant Expert: The bear in "Ragtime Bear". Within seconds of getting his paws on a banjo, he's playing like a pro.
  • Ironic Echo: In "Magoo's Houseboy", Charlie's little nephew Ching-Toi is trying to get his cat down from a telephone pole and wonders what his ancestors would do in this situation. Later, Charlie asks himself the same question after he winds up hanging from a broken telephone wire in the process of getting Ching-Toi's cat back down.
  • Joisey: Magoo is an alumnus of Rutgers University, "class of aught-three". (That would be 1903 for our younger readers.)
  • Laser-Guided Karma: In "Double Trouble", Prezly recommends Waldo as a stuntman for Western film star Rock Bottom, and the job is a painful experience for Waldo. Later, Rock is injured in an accident, and Waldo must fill in for him, so the director makes Prezly the stuntman, leading to him getting the same painful experience.
  • Legion of Lost Souls: Played for Laughs in "Beau Jest", in which Prezly and Waldo, who joined the French Foreign Legion, botch their attempts to defend a fort from Sheik Sala'ad Roquefort.
    Prezly (as Sergeant François angrily chases him and Waldo and swings his gun at them): Why'd we ever join the Foreign Legion in the first place, Waldo?
    Waldo: Well, uh, the same reason everyone else does: to forget.
    Prezly: Forget what?
    Waldo: Gosh, I forgot!
  • Lethal Klutz: Although there's not much actual bodily harm caused.
  • Luminescent Blush: Waldo turns red in the face in "Saddle Battle" when he notices- in midair- that the bronco he was riding threw him out of his pants (thanks to the glue on the saddle).
  • Medium Blending: In "Magoo's Private War", Magoo enters a movie theater that is showing live-action Stock Footage.
  • Miniature Senior Citizen
  • Misplaced Retribution: Both "Sloppy Jalopy" and "Magoo's Glorious Fourth" involve Waldo being mistakenly arrested for the trouble his uncle accidentally caused.
  • Mistaken for Terrorist: In "The Explosive Mister Magoo", Magoo storms into a newspaper office demanding to speak to the editor while carrying a ticking package (which is actually a wind-up toy, although Magoo thinks it's a clock), so naturally the receptionist assumes the worst.
  • Monochrome Apparition: Marley and the Ghost of Christmas Past in "Mr. Magoo's Christmas Carol" are blue and orange respectively.
  • National Stereotypes: "Cholly"/"Charlie", Magoo's houseboy in The Mr. Magoo Show embodies a whole raftful of early to mid-20th-century Chinese stereotypes, but also subverts them at the same time by being intelligent and resourceful, and often rescuing Magoo from the situations he gets himself into.
    • His nephew Ching-Toi embodies several of the same stereotypes.
  • Nephewism: Magoo is more often than not accompanied by his college-aged nephew Waldo. Depending on the Writer, he either lives with Magoo or is just visiting.
  • Nice Guy: Magoo is a kind, mild-mannered old man who has no problem babysitting kids and is very polite.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: Prezly is essentially a caricature of W.C. Fields.
  • Not Where They Thought: Happens frequently due to the title character's bad eyesight:
    • In "Soft Shoe Magoo", Mr. Magoo thinks he's gone to a dance school when really it's a gymnasium. He even notes to himself that it seems a lot like a gymnasium.
    • In "When Magoo Flew", Mr. Magoo boards a plane thinking it to be a movie theatre.
    • In another episode, Mr. Magoo thinks he's at a fishing zone when really he's at a game preserve because he misread "Game preserve- no fishing" as "Reserve for fishing".
  • Off-Model: Magoo's appearance changes constantly throughout "Ragtime Bear"; being his first cartoon, the animators were still trying to get a bead on his design.
  • Oh, Crap!: Anyone who accompanies Mr. Magoo will have this feeling when he gets into/causes trouble.
    • Both Waldo and Prezly have these moments when trouble's about to ensue in several of their adventures:
      • For instance, they get it "South Pacific Potluck" when they realize the island they're on is not Hawaii and that the natives are cannibals who want to eat them.
      • They have this moment "The Vacuum Caper" when Waldo accidentally removes the disguises of a pair of crooks with the vacuum cleaner he and Prezly tried to sell and their identities are revealed.
      • It also happens in "Lady in Black" when they realize they just met a witch, and in "Fuel in the Sun", after Manuel reveals that he put liquid jumping beans in the gas tank of Waldo's car.
      • Prezly has this moment in "Fox Pass" when he finds a lit firecracker in his Super-Duper Vacuum Maker instead of the fox.
      • In "Lost Vegas", Waldo gets this moment when he sees Pauncho Villa behind Prezly. Soon after noticing that Waldo ran away, Prezly gets it when he sees that the desperado is right behind him.
      • In "Saddle Battle", Waldo has one when he realizes the "cowhide chair” he sat on to watch the rodeo is a live bull (and therefore, he's in the rodeo).
  • "Oh, Crap!" Smile: Charlie has this in "Goo Goo Magoo" when he is confronted by an angry father, after figuring out that Magoo wasn't really turned into a baby, for snatching the man's toddler son away from him several times during Charlie's misunderstanding.
  • Only a Lighter: In "Magoo's Express", Magoo flashes a gun lighter to a lady spy.
  • Photo Doodle Recognition: In the live-action adaptation, Mr. Magoo infiltrates an auction for criminals by disguising himself with black hair and a moustache. He is discovered when Austin Cloquet sees a photo of Mr. Magoo in a newspaper and draws in black hair and a moustache on his photo.
  • Pro Wrestling Episode:
    • Theatrical short "Hotsy Footsy", in which Magoo wanders away from a dancing competition and into the wrestling arena next door and defeats the champion with his fancy footwork.
    • There's also "Rassle Hassle", where Prezly gets Waldo into a wrestling match against the champion wrestler Moose Montague. In spite of Moose's attempts to throw him out of the ring, Waldo manages to stay in it for the entire match and wins the prize money. Winning a wrestling match through sheer luck must run in the family.
  • Punny Name: Several examples abound, including Wills Fargo (a mailman), Rock Bottom (a Western film star), Sheik Sa'laad Roquefort and Pauncho Villa.
  • Railroad Tracks of Doom: Mr. Magoo has often driven on railroad tracks, mistaking them for a very bumpy road, and an oncoming speeding train as some impatient driver. He always manages to avoid getting hit in some way.
  • Selective Obliviousness: Magoo simply won't admit to needing glasses. And the few times he does, (like in "Fuddy Duddy Buddy" or "Magoo's Check-up") he simply bucks up and carries on as always.
  • Screw the Money, I Have Rules!: Magoo is wealthy, but he is a really nice, law-abiding guy.
  • Sequel Episode: "Foxy Magoo" is this to "Fox Pass".
  • Servile Snarker: Sometimes Charlie could be this.
    Charlie (after Mr. Magoo says he wants to take in the sights in Hawaii): That's rich, Mr. Magoo. You taking in sights!
  • Shave and a Haircut: Happens twice in "We're Despicable (Plunderers' March)" in Mr. Magoo's Christmas Carol.
  • Shoo Out the Clowns: In the episode of The Famous Adventures Of Mr. Magoo, Dick Tracy And The Mob, several common tropes for both characters runs on UPA are subverted. Both Tracy and Magoo (and a small army of police officers) are nearly killed, none of the Ethnic Scrappy characters from Tracy's UPA series appear, the mobsters are anything but their animated goofball personas, and when Magoo's ruse as his double, an assassin hired by the mob, is exposed, he is very much aware of where he is, who he is dealing with and he is visibly terrified. Add to this, while Magoo's quick thinking gets the booby-trap bomb away from Tracy and the other cops, it does not affect the villains' successful escape.
  • Shout-Out: Alfred, the giant from "Magoo and the Beanstalk" is revealed at the end to have the face of Alfred E. Neuman. Not only that but in that same scene, he's reading an issue of MAD, and when the narrator asks if Alfred's worried about his life going downhill, he replies, "Why, me worry?" as he reveals his face.
    • "Requiem for a Bull" has the book "Dr. Shlok's Baby Book", a reference to Dr. Benjamin Spock's book Baby and Child Care.
    • The witch consulting her magic mirror in "Lady in Black" is an obvious reference to Snow White.
    • "The Real McGoys" has the McGoys and Martins, a parody of the McCoys and Hatfields.
  • Show Within a Show: Mr. Magoo's Christmas Carol is actually about Magoo performing A Christmas Carol on Broadway. This gets carried over into The Famous Adventures of Mr. Magoo.
  • Simpleton Voice: Both Jerry Hausner and Daws Butler have done this for Waldo.
  • Still Sucks Thumb: Near the end of "Rassle Hassle", Moose Montague sucks his thumb while his manager talks to him after Moose loses the wrestling match to Waldo.
  • Stock Clock Hand Hang: In the cartoon "The Explosive Mr. Magoo", Mr. Magoo steps out of a building window, thinking it was an elevator, and happens to step onto the second hand of the clock. When he finally tips over and falls, he thinks the elevator operator is being too rough. Fortunately, the awnings at the entrance break his fall.
  • Sword Cane: Magoo hides a sword inside his walking cane in the short "Barefaced Flatfoot".
  • Talking Animal: Magoo's dog McBarker in What's New, Mr. Magoo?
    • In The Mr. Magoo Show, Magoo's pets are this in the segments centering on them.
  • Thick-Line Animation: The Mr. Magoo shorts were some of the earliest examples of the style, although arguably examples in transition between traditional styling and the modern expression of the style/trope.
  • Thriller on the Express: "Magoo's Express".
  • Tiny Guy, Huge Girl: The married criminal couple Harold and Mabel in "Gumshoe Magoo" (Mabel wears the pants in their relationship).
  • Title Drop: Prezly offers this gem in "South Pacific Potluck" as he and Waldo run from one of the cannibals:
    Prezly: Run, pal, or we'll end up in a South Pacific potluck!
  • Tonto Talk: The Indian mountain guide in "Magoo and Cholly" talks this way. Charlie even lampshades the improper English.
    • There's also the Indian guide in "Trailblazer Magoo".
  • Treasure Hunt Episode: "Thin Skinned Diver", in which Waldo and Prezly search for Davy Jones's locker underwater.
  • Uncatty Resemblance: His dog, McBarker in What's New, Mr. Magoo? not only looked like his owner, Magoo, but he also had the same bad eyesight.
  • Uncle Pennybags: Magoo is very wealthy, very friendly... and very naive, so people trying to invoke and abuse this trope on him is the plot of several episodes. Plus, Magoo is an uncle, as he is sometimes shown with his stupid nephew Waldo.
    • Magoo's rich uncle Tycoon Magoo, who is usually planning another construction project, many of which are thwarted by Magoo causing chaos when he happens upon the scene, much to Uncle Tycoon's and Worcestershire's dismay.
  • Unexpectedly Dark Episode: "Magoo's Problem Child" is perhaps the darkest of the short films. It still has jokes about Magoo's nearsightedness causing misunderstandings, but the gags segue into Black Comedy. To elaborate, Magoo is coming home from a vacation, but passes his mansion by mistake and arrives at a dilapidated house that some crooks used as a hideout. The crooks ran away before Magoo shows up, and while looking around the place, he mistakenly assumes that Waldo has become a criminal. In probably the most serious moment, Magoo thinks he failed as an uncle, and almost shoots himself over it. Thankfully, he snaps out of it quickly when he hears Waldo (who saw his uncle drive pass the mansion earlier and found him at the old house) speak against it, and the short goes back to comedy as Magoo thinks that Waldo broke out of jail and decides to hide him from the police.
  • Universal-Adaptor Cast: The Famous Adventures of Mr. Magoo.
  • Vacation Episode: Many examples abound within the franchise.
  • Verbal Tic: Charlie says "bloss" instead of "boss."
    • Prezly often addresses Waldo as his friend with various terms, with "buddy boy" and "little chum" being the most common.
  • Villain Song: "We're Despicable", sung by the graverobbers in Mr. Magoo's Christmas Carol.
  • Vocal Evolution: Waldo had 3 voice actors between 1949 and 1977, so it varied from time to time, but there is more of this trope for Jerry Hausner alone. He slowly deepened the voice little by little for the short films from 1949-1955, and considerably more so when he reprised the role on The Mr. Magoo Show.
  • Warm-Hearted Walrus: The cartoon "Fuddy Duddy Buddy" has Magoo mistake a walrus from the zoo for his old friend Bottomley and take him out for a game of tennis. When a detective takes the walrus back, Magoo is at first disheartened at the revelation, but then decides that "I don't care if he is a walrus. I like him!" At the end, Magoo is having dinner with the walrus, while Bottomley has somehow taken the walrus' place in the zoo.
  • Who Would Be Stupid Enough?: In "Requiem for a Bull", Manuel asks himself this when he wants someone to fight El Grand Toro. Soon enough he sees Waldo and Prezly walking by and hatches his plan.
    • Also, in the beginning of "Rassle Hassle", Waldo comments that one would have to be really stupid to wrestle Moose Montague. Guess who goes up against him?
  • Wiper Start: In Inside Magoo, Magoo tries to turn off his radio, but instead turns on everything else - the headlights, the wipers, the retractable roof - until the radio announcer tells him which button to push.
  • Written Sound Effect: "WHAM!" and "CRASH!" respectively appear in the bronco-busting scene in "Saddle Battle" when Waldo crashes into 2 sides of the stadium wall.
  • Yet Another Christmas Carol: Mr. Magoo's Christmas Carol started the tradition of using cartoon characters to retell Dickens' classic.
  • You Can Say That Again: This exchange in "Lost Vegas" when Waldo and Prezly are in the titular city after all 4 tires on the former's car fall flat:
    Waldo: Boy, this town is jumpin' with nothin'!
    Prezly: You can say that again, buddy boy.
    Waldo: I said this town is jumpin' with-
    Prezly (covers Waldo's mouth after noticing Pauncho Villa's wanted poster): Hold it, Waldo!


Video Example(s):


Frankenstein Ends His Story

In this animated adaptation of Mary Shelly's novel, in order to prevent that monster he had created from creating a super race of monsters, Dr. Frankenstein (played by Mr. Magoo) redeems himself by blowing up the isle of St. Basil, destroying the monster, its army...and himself.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (3 votes)

Example of:

Main / TakingYouWithMe

Media sources: