Follow TV Tropes


Western Animation / Shirt Tales

Go To
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:

  • Ageless Birthday Episode: "Sunrise Surprise"note  is about Pammy's birthday.
  • 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.
  • 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!
  • 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.
  • 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".
  • "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: Amongst the otherwise-male Shirt Tales are Pammy Panda and (later) Kip Kangaroo, who are females.