Follow TV Tropes


Western Animation / Sports Cartoons

Go To

Sports Cartoons was a Canadian Animated Series produced by Derek Lamb and Janet Perlman's Lamb-Perlman Productions in 1985. The series featured various sports being played by anthropomorphic animals. Professional sports such as ice hockey, football, soccer, curling, clay target shooting, and boxing were depicted. Some segments involved games like table tennis, darts, and chess. A few even featured Olympic events such as gymnastics and the shotput.

Four basic characters were used throughout the shorts: a hippo, a cat, a pig, and a dog. The hippo was usually the protagonist who was quite gentle and friendly, the cat was always the antagonist, the pig was another protagonist who usually triumphed through dumb luck, and the dog was usually a referee or judge - though on some occasions he would be a player in the sports and games.

Roughly 45 cartoons were made, ranging from 40 seconds to around 2 minutes, and would frequently run as filler segments on Nickelodeon during the late 1980s through the mid-1990s (with the "Darts" cartoon airing until around 2000).


  • Berserk Button: The hippo was normally gentle. But if something innoccent was threatened (like a butterfly or flower), he would go crazy.
  • The Brute: The bigger, stronger, and meaner version of the Cat that appeared in some shorts.
  • Bullying A Hippo: The cat(s), despite being the smallest character(s), often went out of his/their way to antagonize the much larger protagonists. This rarely ended well for him/them.
  • Cats Are Mean: The cat mercilessly cheats and taunts his opponents.
  • Cheaters Never Prosper: All of the cat's attempts to cheat would inevitably fail or backfire.
  • Dartboard of Hate: In the darts episode, the hippo gets so annoyed by the cat's constant distraction noises that he visualizes the dartboard as the cat's face, with his big, red nose as the bullseye. Needless to say, he nails it.
  • David Versus Goliath: Frequently occurred when the protagonist, usually the pig(s), against the Big Cat. The cat(s) versus the hippo(s) can also be considered this, except with David as the antagonist.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: The cat would often scream at the hippo for minor things.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: In one of the soccer episodes, one of the cats feigns an injury, but the dog referee calls the hippopotamus, who is a priest in this short, onto the field. Even the cat is unwilling to lie to a priest, so he immediately drops the act, reveals he's just fine, and goes back to the game.
  • Evil Laugh/Evil Gloating: The Cat would always do one of these.
  • Gentle Giant: The hippo.
  • Jerk Jock: The larger version of the cat.
  • Jerkass: The Cat. The Cat would not only cheat in the various games/sports he participated in, but also would taunt his opponent. Needless to say, he was also a very sore loser.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: What always happened to the Cat at the end of the short.
  • Look Behind You: The Cat uses this trick against the Hippo during a chess match to cheat. When the Hippo tries to warn the Cat, it doesn't work...and the Cat literally ends up with egg on his face.
  • Offscreen Moment of Awesome: In the boxing episode, after the Hippo does some work on the Pig, the now rejuvenated pig charges at the two cats that were beating on him before. The ensuing Curb-Stomp Battle takes place entirely offscreen.
  • The Olympics: Some shorts would have the characters in Olympic style events such as the shotput, the discus, pole vaulting, and gymnastics.
  • Twist Ending: Some of the shorts ended in unexpected fashion.
    • The Vault Short had the pig go through a spectacular vault... to get himself to his easy chair so he could watch TV.
    • The Baseball short had the hippo spend quite a bit of time finding the perfect bat... to beat a rug with.
  • Unnecessary Roughness: The cats tend to get violent and rough at times, even in games where rough play is generally frowned upon, like soccer.