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Western Animation / Shirt Tales

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An early 1980s Animated Series by Hanna-Barbera, based on a group of animal characters from Hallmark greeting cards. In the Shirt Tales cartoon, the animal heroes had their base of operations in an old oak tree in the aptly named Oak Tree Park. The title came from the fact the message on their shirts changed constantly - usually reflecting what they were thinking or feeling at the moment.

This series provides examples of:

  • Affirmative Action Girl: Kip Kangaroo.
  • Ageless Birthday Episode: "Sunrise Surprise"note  is about Pammy's birthday.
  • Alliterative Name: The only exceptions are Digger Mole and Bogey Orangutan.
  • Cassandra Truth: Pammy was right not to trust the barker, Ichabod Delight You, in "Pleasure Valley". Unfortunately, the other Shirt Tales don't listen to her until Delight You reveals his scheme to turn them into androids.
  • Cats Are Mean: Averted in Tyg's case. However, in "Figby, the Spoiled Brat Cat", the commissioner's wife asks Mr. Dinkel to babysit her kitten, Figby, and Dinkel immediately dumps the cat on the Shirt Tales. At first Figby appears to put cute, friendly, and harmless, but turns out to be a sneaky, spoiled-rotten, mischievous troublemaker. He runs off to an amusement park and plays dirty pranks on the Shirt Tales throughout the episode. He then teases a dog who follows him back to Oak Tree Park and chases him all over, causing a huge mess. When Mr. Dinkel returns, the Shirt Tales are scolded, the dog is sent away, and Figby gets off scot-free. Fortunately, Figby gets his just desserts when his owner returns and reveals she had adopted the dog he was teasing earlier (now named Precious) to keep Figby company.
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  • Evil Twin: A cheese-stealing rat poses as Digger in "Digger's Double".
  • Expressive Shirt
  • Forgotten Theme Tune Lyrics: First season only.
  • Friend to All Living Things: The Shirt Tales are "friends to all creatures".
  • Glad I Thought of It: In "Digger's Three Wishes", after Digger drives off in a limo:
    Pammy: Tyg, Bogey, why don't you fellas go and find out what Digger is up to and let us know.
    Tyg: Hey, like, I got a better idea. Bogey and I will go find out what Digger's up to and you gals cover for us.
    Kip: Isn't that what you just said, Pammy?
    Pammy: Humor them, Kip, humor them.
  • Half Dressed Cartoon Animals
  • Hey, You!: A nameless dragon Kip befriends in "Kip's Dragon" is really addressed as "Hey, you" by his human employer, Witchita Willie. Kip changes that by naming him Sparky.
    Witchita Willie: Hey, you. You... Y-You really can act like a dragon!
    Kip: His name is not "Hey, you", it's Sparky!
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  • Homoerotic Subtext: One episode, "Saturday Night Shirt Tales" was particularly notorious for this, with the episode ending with the two Villain of the Week characters dancing with each other on the disco floor, this despite it being The '80s when homophobia and AIDS were big things in October 1983. Although Played for Laughs, it's blatantly obvious and one of the characters hangs a lampshade on things.
  • Hope Spot: In "Digger's Three Wishes," when Digger finally has enough of the genie that's been manipulating him, he and his friends invoke the power of their magical shirts ... only to have the genie zap the shirts away.
  • Jackass Genie: The genie in "Digger's Three Wishes" is a magical con artist.
  • Kangaroos Represent Australia: Kip Kangaroo.
  • Karma Houdini:
    • In "The Game Masters", a villain, known as the Game Master, trapped the Shirt Tales in an arcade game and forced them to be game players. Though the Shirt Tales escaped the arcade, Game Master was not apprehended and was still free to capture more victims for his game.
    • In "Pam-dora's Box", a panda, who was really an evil robot spy, trapped Pammy in the zoo and ran off with some top secret documents he had stolen for his master. Though the robot panda is defeated, his creator was never revealed, let alone captured.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: Fred Travalena's Bogey Orangutan was a voice caricature of Humphrey Bogart, "schweetheart".
  • Overt Operative: Possible subversion. No one is supposed to know who the Shirt Tales really are, let alone that they are five (later six) talking animals. The mere fact that they are talking animals is the perfect cover since most humans would assume that the Shirt Tales were also humans. So, they aren't as "overt" as the trope would imply.
  • Pandaing to the Audience: Pammy Panda.
  • "Scooby-Doo" Hoax:
    • In "The Humboldt Ghost", the tour guide of Humboldt Mansion poses as Colonol Humboldt's ghost to scare folks away so he can search for the Humboldt Jewels. He is apprehended at the end.
    • In "The Ghost Out West", a greedy man and his dog, Roy, pose as a pair of ghosts to scare the Shirt Tales out of a ghost town so they can search for a lost gold mine (which they find at the end). Unlike the tour guide, after he's been exposed, he apoligizes for his actions (after the Shirt Tales gave him a small lecture), and decides to fix up the ghost town so people can enjoy it.
  • Secret Identity: A major point of the first season, but mostly downplayed in the second.
  • Theme Tune Roll Call: Both seasons, but especially the second:
    "Pammy! Rick! Digger! Tyg! Kip! and Bogey! The Shirt Tales!"
  • Two Girls to a Team: Pammy Panda and (later) Kip Kangaroo.
  • Villain Song: "Concrete Paradise" in "A Song Saves the Park".note 
  • We Help the Helpless
  • West Coast Team: The Western Shirt Tales from the episode "Moving Time" consisted of a prairie dog, a fox, a skunk and an owl.
  • Yet Another Christmas Carol: A non-Christmas example in "Save the Park"; features a character named "Ebenezer Grunge".