Speedy Gonzales is a recurring character of the Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies franchises, starring in 46 short cartoons. He is a Mexican mouse endowed with Super-Speed. He was the antepenultimate of the "classic" Looney Tunes characters to be creatednote , not making his debut until 1953's Cat-Tails for Two by Robert McKimson, where he looked much different from the more familiar Speedy by Friz Freleng and Hawley Pratt two years later. Initially being the nemesis of two cats based on George and Lennie, he eventually got into escapades with Sylvester the Cat followed by less popular conflicts with Daffy Duck. He shares with Daffy the distinction of starring in the last Golden Age theatrical Looney Tunes short to feature any of the classic characters, which was 1968's See You Later, Gladiator.
While his shorts are fairly popular, the series has come under fire for accusations of ethnic stereotyping—not Speedy himself, mind you, but rather his many acquaintances, who are portrayed as lazy, pejorative stereotypes of Mexican culture. As such, the shorts were not aired on network TV in the United States from 1985-2002, including the duration of The Bugs Bunny & Tweety Show's run on ABC. Fortunately, thanks to Speedy's large Mexican fanbase (who perceive him as a good role model) petitions persuaded Warner Bros. to put the cartoons back on the air.
- Cat-Tails for Two (MM): Features a completely different character design for Speedy.
- Speedy Gonzales (MM) — Co-starring Sylvester. First appearance of his current design. Won an Oscar for Best Animated Short Film.
- Tabasco Road (LT). Nominated for an Oscar for Best Animated Short Film.
- Gonzales' Tamales — Co-starring Sylvester. (LT)
- Tortilla Flaps (LT)
- Mexicali Shmoes (LT): Nominated for an Oscar for Best Animated Short Film.
- Here Today, Gone Tamale (LT) — Co-starring Sylvester.
- West of the Pesos (MM) — Co-starring Sylvester.
- Cannery Woe (LT) — Co-starring Sylvester.
- The Pied Piper Of Guadalupe (LT) — Co-starring Sylvester. Nominated for an Oscar for Best Animated Short Film.
- Mexican Boarders (LT) — Co-starring Sylvester.
- Mexican Cat Dance (LT) — Co-starring Sylvester.
- Chili Weather (MM) — Co-starring Sylvester.
- A Message to Gracias (LT) — Co-starring Sylvester.
- Nuts and Volts (LT) — Co-starring Sylvester.
- Pancho's Hideaway (LT)
- Road to Andalay (MM)— Co-starring Sylvester.
- It's Nice to Have a Mouse Around the House (LT)—Co-starring Daffy, Granny and Sylvester.
- Cats And Bruises (MM)—Co-starring Sylvester.
- The Wild Chase (MM)—Co-stars Sylvester. Crossover with Wile E. Coyote and the Road Runner.
- Moby Duck (LT)—Co-starring Daffy.
- Assault and Peppered (MM)—Co-starring Daffy.
- Well Worn Daffy (LT)—Co-starring Daffy.
- Chili Corn Corny (LT)—Co-starring Daffy.
- Go Go Amigo (MM)—Co-starring Daffy.
1966: All cartoons co-star Daffy Duck and Speedy.
- The Astroduck (LT)
- Muchos Locos (MM)- The one cartoon Speedy is unambiguously defeated.
- Mexican Mousepiece (MM)
- Daffy Rents (LT)
- A-Haunting We Will Go (LT)-featuring Witch Hazel.
- Snow Excuse (MM)
- A Squeak in the Deep (LT)
- Feather Finger (MM)
- Swing Ding Amigo (LT)
- A Tase of Catnip (MM)
1967: All cartoons co-star Daffy and Speedy.
- Daffy's Diner (MM)
- Quacker Tracker (LT)
- The Music Mice-Tro (MM)
- The Spy Swatter (LT)
- Speedy Ghost to Town (MM)
- Rodent to Stardom (LT)
- Go Away Stowaway (MM)
- Fiesta Fiasco (LT)
1968: Both cartoons co-star Daffy and Speedy.
- Skyscraper Caper (LT)
- See Ya Later Gladiator
- The Chocolate Chase (part of Daffy Duck's Easter Show (AKA Daffy Duck's Easter Egg-citement))
- Adapted Out: The only major character who never appears or is never involved in Baby Looney Tunes and Loonatics Unleashed.
- Ageless Birthday Episode: Fiesta Fiasco is one for Daffy.
- All-Loving Hero: Even after all the times Daffy turned on him, Speedy still eagerly set up a surprise party for him in Fiesta Fiasco. Being the staple No-Respect Guy of the Looney Tunes universe, Daffy is sincerely touched.
- Always Someone Better: Rodent to Stardom, a pseudo remake of A Star Is Bored where Speedy replaces Bugs as the rival of a jealous Daffy.
- Arch-Enemy: Sylvester is this to him, but it doesn't work both ways (Sylvester's Arch-Enemy being Tweety Pie). Later on, he is this to Daffy.
- Attack! Attack... Retreat! Retreat!: At one point in Road to Anadaly, Sylvester sics Malcolm Falcon on Speedy, but the falcon, clinging to Sylvester's gloved hand, carries the cat aloft as he flies into the air. Sylvester yells for Malcolm to let go. Malcolm obliges, removing his talons from Sylvester's gloves, only for the cat to discover that he is several feet in the air. As he falls, Sylvester yells for Malcolm to grab him again.
- Badass Adorable: Speedy himself is a cute, cheerful little mouse who is incredibly strong for his size.
- Bandito: Pancho Vanilla (a thinly disguised Yosemite Sam) in Pancho's Hideaway.
- Barefoot Cartoon Animal
- Beware the Nice Ones: The plot of A Message to Gracias has Speedy tasked by a general mouse named El Supremo to deliver a message to General Gracias. Naturally, Speedy outruns and outwits Sylvester, but when he delivers the message, not only does he learn that it’s a birthday card, El Supremo had taken a shortcut to surprise Gracias with a birthday cake! Speedy is so miffed that he actually frees Sylvester from a tree that he’d tied the cat up to earlier and sics Sylvester on the general mice! It’s surprising considering how helpful Speedy usually is to his fellow mice, though it might have something to do with the fact that ten other mice died trying to deliver that birthday card, and Speedy might have been expressing his displeasure of El Supremo's We Have Reserves attitude towards his men.
- "Blind Idiot" Translation: In The Pied Piper of Guadalupe, one of the mice carries a "Loco El Gato" sign. This is a wrong translation of "Crazy Cat", reading "Crazy The Cat" (O rly?). It should have said "El gato loco", or, even better "¡El gato está loco!" ("the cat is crazy!") or "¡Qué gato tan loco!" ("what a crazy cat!").
- Bumbling Sidekick: Oddly enough plays this role for Daffy in Daffy Duck's Fantastic Island.
- Cats Are Mean: Sure, El Supremo's anger towards Daffy in Daffy's Diner for serving him a piece of fake food is understandable. However, his actions afterward easily fall under Disproportionate Retribution; he threatens to murder him if he didn't catch one mouse for a mouseburger. Moreover, his Card-Carrying Villain-esque speech heavily implies Daffy is not his only victim.
- Character Catchphrase: "¡Ándale, ándale!" (Come on, come on!) and "¡Arriba, arriba!" ("Get up, get up!") usually shouted vigorously as he ran about. Also "Yeehaw!" when he gives a Jump Scare in the back of his adversaries.
- Chivalrous Pervert: Speedy Gonzales is a friend of everybody's sister Carmella! And in one cartoon he proves to be quite the romantic, serenading a female mouse with a guitar. (Until Sylvester interrupts his date.)
- Comically Invincible Hero: It plays a lot into the gags however.
- Comically Missing the Point: In one cartoon, Daffy calls a Roman Centurion a "fathead", but regrets it when the guy, who takes offense to it, comes to confront them. Daffy tries to save face by saying the insult was directed at Speedy, but Speedy gets them in even more trouble by being a little too honest about it...
- Crossover: The Wild Chase has Speedy competing in a race against the Road Runner with Sylvester and Wile E. trying to catch their respective foes, the emphasis being on “trying”, as Sylvester and Wile E. both fail spectacularly.
- Dashing Hispanic: Both figuratively and literally.
- Early Installment Character-Design Difference: Speedy's early design by Robert McKimsonnote , in which Speedy wore a pink shirt, had no pants, had a gold front tooth, and looked stereotypically Mexican with his mop of greasy black hair and broken Spanish note , looks nothing like his current self.
- Erudite Stoner: Speedy's cousin, Slowpoke Rodriguez. He moves slow and talks slower, but he's "fast upstairs in the cabeza". Also, he carries a gun that's bigger than he is. It is implied that he is a stoner when he sings about marijuana to the tune of "La Cucaracha."
- Exactly What It Says on the Tin: He's the fastest mouse of all Mexico for a reason.
- Fastest Thing Alive: It's right there in his title.
- Friendly Enemy: Has moments of this with Daffy. At the very least he at tries to play nice with the mean spirited duck most of the time.
- Funny Foreigner: A perfectly competent hero who speaks in Gratuitous Spanish
- Graceful Loser: While he didn't lose a whole lot, he tended to take it rather peacefully (in great contrast to Bugs who often couldn't take what he dished out). In Moby Duck and Assault and Peppered, he is actually willing to back down to Daffy out of sheer pity (though Laser-Guided Karma makes sure it is a moral victory for Speedy).
- Gratuitous Spanish: ¡Por supuesto!
- Guile Hero: When his Super-Speed fails, Speedy can often outsmart his foes as easily. Especially apparent in the DePatie–Freleng era.
- Hat Damage: In Speedy Gonzales, Speedy is working as a living target in a shooting gallery when he gets a bullet through his hat thanks to being distracted by another mouse who needed his help.
- Hero Antagonist: Like a lot of other Looney Tunes protagonists, he flip flopped with this, a lot of shorts giving the main focus to the blundering of foes such as Sylvester or Daffy. Granted there were a fair few pairings against Daffy where it seemed you were really meant to root for him.
- Invincible Hero: The amount of times a villain actually defeated Speedy can be counted on one hand. The amount of times a villain so much as challenged him actually aren't much larger than that. Daffy could make Speedy sweat a little at times, but still usually proved out of his league.
- Jerkass Ball: He’s usually heroic, but Go Away Stowaway is a major exception. All Daffy wants in this cartoon is for Speedy to stop singing "La Cucaracha" while playing his guitar, but Speedy tricks him into trying to take a vacation and then stows away inside Daffy’s suitcase for no good reason! The Music Mice-Tro is a downplayed version, since Speedy and his band harass Daffy (a film star here) in hopes that he will get them into motion pictures but Daffy’s on the verge of a nervous breakdown and just wants peace and quiet.
- Jump Scare: In a gag borrowed from the Road Runner, Speedy often comes from behind his enemies and shouts "Yeehaw!" to make them jump in the air.
- Karma Houdini:
- Some of the DePatie–Freleng era Daffy/Speedy cartoons would have incidental characters that conned Daffy into chasing Speedy but got away with it at the end. Examples include Mayor Katt in Feather Finger and El Supremo in Daffy's Diner. The Loco Crow in Chili Corn Corny got away with screwing over both Daffy and Speedy. One should note in Daffy's Diner that Daffy was trying to cheat El Supremo by advertising a mouse burger but placing a foam rubber mouse in the burger. El Supremo loathed being cheated, and threatened Daffy as a result! Had Daffy not tried to cheat El Supremo, the whole thing might have been avoided.
- While usually benevolent, Speedy is this in Gonzales' Tomales, oddly portrayed as a homewrecker stealing the rest of the town's girlfriends. The vengeful mice sic Sylvester onto him by pretending Speedy challenged him for a fight. Since neither discover the other mice's plot, and Speedy blatantly outmatches Sylvester, only the cat gets punished.
- Karmic Trickster: He often wins through his Super-Speed, though when that fails he can outsmart his opponents pretty swiftly as well. Especially apparent in the Daffy shorts.
- Knight of Cerebus: Astonishingly enough, Daffy is actually this to the rest of Speedy Gonzales' Rogues Gallery. While still highly bumbling in tone, the situations Speedy was placed in were sometimes a lot more dire against Daffy, who stands as the only villain competent (and malicious) enough to hold ground against the mouse, even beating him a couple of times.
- Nice Mice: A mouse who pretty much only steals cheese to help his compadres.
- Not So Invincible After All: The DePatie–Freleng shorts made Speedy slightly more fallible, even losing a couple of times. In Muchos Locos and (to some extent) Chilli Con Corny, Daffy gets the last laugh.
- Out of Focus: In modern adaptations, he gets this more than all the other major Looney Tunes characters. If not outright Adapted Out (see above), he's Demoted to Extra, like in Space Jam and Looney Tunes: Back in Action where he only makes cameo appearances (and he has no lines in the former). This is averted in The Looney Tunes Show where he's a recurring character but played straight again in Wabbit: A Looney Tunes Production where he only appeared in the two-part episode "Tweet Team". As of right now, the only episode of Looney Tunes Cartoons that Speedy appears in is the "Happy Birthday Bugs Bunny!" short.
- Ping Pong Naïveté: Similar to Tweety, while often more a cunning Karmic Trickster Obfuscating Stupidity, there are times when Speedy genuinely comes off as incredibly naive. In cases like "The Music Mice-trio" he has sincere problems realizing that Daffy actually hates Speedy's guts ... or why Daffy might do so.
- Pint-Sized Powerhouse: His cousin, Lento ("Slowpoke") Rodriguez, the slowest mouse in Mexico... who packs a gun, and can hypnotize cats, even Sylvester. Cousin Ramone (the biggest rat in Tijuana) in Daffy Rents, is actually an inversion.
- Political Overcorrectness: Made even funnier by the fact that real Mexicans loved it (the cartoons had a Mexican making his Gringo foes look like idiots, after all).
- Resourceful Rodent: Speedy Gonzales is the fastest mouse in all of Mexico who outsmarts and humiliates his vastly stronger enemies to help his friends and outrun his enemies. It's the reason why he's so idolised Mexico, he's a smooth-talking hero who always outsmarts others and always wins at the end of the story.
- Road Runner vs. Coyote: Along with Tweety Bird, Speedy serves as the Road Runner to Sylvester's Coyote, which should come as no surprise, since his franchise also features the trope namers themselves. In The Wild Chase, Sylvester and Wile E. Coyote team up to catch both Speedy and the Road Runner during a race they have.
- Rogues' Gallery Transplant: Given that Sylvester and Daffy had already previously been established as rivals to Tweety and Bugs respectively before their initial encounters with Speedy, they definitely qualify as such.
- Signature Headgear: Other than his first appearance (which was sort of a prototype of the character) he always wears a sombrero as befitting his role as a Mexican stereotype.
- Spexico: Another reason Mexicans didn't mind it much was because it was an obvious intentional exaggeration of Mexican stereotypes, which even they love to use. For example, the mice weren't lazy, they just like taking Siestas (naps).
- Stock Animal Diet: The most common Speedy plot was the starving mice of Mexico asking him for help to get food that is guarded by Sylvester or Daffy. Usually the food in question is cheese (though The Chocolate Chase had him going for Easter candies instead).
- Super-Speed: The Fastest Mouse in all Mexico!
- A Taste of Defeat: On very rare occasions Speedy actually lost a short (eg. Mucho Locos and Chilli Con Corny). In a few others he defeated the villain, but got his victory soured in some manner (eg. He thwarts the bandit in Pancho's Hideaway, but the latter still gets a small last laugh). He also shares the Downer Ending with Daffy in Daffy Duck's Fantastic Island.
- Token Minority: One of the few Mexican characters in the Looney Tunes cast.
- Took A Level In Jerk Ass: Daffy Duck, in his encounters with Speedy.
- Villainous Underdog: Speedy's Super-Speed more or less made him completely invincible, leading all his foes without a hope of capturing him. The Daffy shorts seemed to weaken Speedy slightly so Daffy was marginally threatening, but being a Looney Tunes series, it's still blatantly there at times.
- Vitriolic Best Buds: With Daffy. In some of their latest cartoons (like Fiesta Fiasco and Skyscraper Caper) they appear to be somewhat friends.
- We Have Reserves: In A Message to Gracias, El Supremo doesn't care that he got ten of his men killed trying to deliver a dispatch to General Gracias before his surviving couriers convinced him to send Speedy to do it instead. And after Speedy got past the blockade and delivered the dispatch, it turned out to be of utterly trivial importance - a birthday card! That might explain why Speedy sent Sylvester after El Supremo and General Gracias at the end.
- When All You Have Is a Hammer…: In the original shorts, Speedy's general solution against all the villains that opposed him was...running fast. And it worked. On more than one occasion Sylvester successfully ate Speedy, but it did nothing to slow him down since Speedy could run with enough force to just burst through the other end. The DePatie–Freleng era shorts toyed more with antagonists being able to overpower Speedy, forcing him to utilise Karmic Trickster tactics against them.
- Who Would Be Stupid Enough?: In Quacker Tracker, the head of the Tooth and Nail Hunters Society announced that whoever captured Speedy would receive a lifetime membership. One heavily-bandaged guy, presumably one of the many who tried and failed to bag Speedy, said that only a "stupid, idiotic, foolhardy ignoramus" would go after Speedy. Naturally, Daffy volunteered and failed spectacularly.
- With Friends Like These...: With Daffy.
- Your Size May Vary: His scale against the other characters changes, particularly in the later shorts and specials, where he'll sometimes size up to Daffy's waist.