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Western Animation / The Shnookums & Meat Funny Cartoon Show

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Shnookums (cat) and Meat (dog)

The Shnookums & Meat Funny Cartoon Show, created by Bill Kopp (of Eek! The Cat fame) for Walt Disney Television Animation, debuted in 1993 as a segment on Disney's Marsupilami cartoon on CBS, before becoming its own half-hour series in 1995. Each episode was composed of three segments:

  • Shnookums and Meat: Follows the exploits of a dog and cat pair who live in a home with two faceless owners.
  • Pith Possum, Super-Dynamic Possum of Tomorrow: A superhero spoof, similar to Darkwing Duck but more extreme. Pith and his sidekick Obediah the Wonder Raccon protect Possum City from a variety of bad guys.
  • Tex Tinstar: A cowboy who fights alongside his friends to defeat the Wrong Riders. Done in a serial style similar to Rocky and Bullwinkle.

Greg Weisman pitched the idea of a then-unnamed cat and dog duo to Kopp and series director Jeff DeGrandis during his time as a development executive at Disney Television Animation. Kopp and DeGrandis fleshed the idea out, naming the characters Shnookums and Meat, and made five shorts for Marsupilami. At a time when The Ren & Stimpy Show was doing well on Nickelodeon, Shnookums and Meat, which had a similar sensibility (partly due to a number of Ren & Stimpy expatriates being hired to work on it), was then spun off into its own half-hour series, presumably to try and duplicate its success. The end result lasted one thirteen episode season on The Disney Afternoon, where it seemed even more out-of-place than Gargoyles, and eventually rerun on Toon Disney before fading into obscurity. Only two comics were made out of it in Disney Adventures magazine.

This show provides examples of:

  • Accidental Misnaming: The other heroes seem to think that Pith Possum's name is "Super Rat".
  • Affably Evil: The aptly named Polite Coyotes in the Tex Tinstar cartoons. They are impeccably civil at all times, even as they're about to eat you with proper table manners.
  • Amazing Technicolor Wildlife: Meat the dog is blue, a color real-world dogs do not come in.
  • Amusing Injuries: Much of the show's humor is derived from slapstick violence. Much of "Ow, Hey!" in particular revolves around Meat getting hit in the head with a baseball repeatedly.
  • Balloon Belly: At the end of "Weight For Me", Shnookums and Meat gain back the weight they lost from a combination of the exercise machines and being in a sauna too long, thanks to their owners overfeeding them.
  • Buffoonish Tomcat: Obviously Shnookums since he tends to be a charlatan with being mean and brighter than Meat's moronitude, yet he tends to be just as imbecilic, klutzy and idiotic as Meat is.
  • Cats Are Mean: While both characters have Jerkass moments, and neither are particularly bright and Shnookums is this.
  • Characterization Marches On: In "Kung Fu Kitty", the first short, Meat is a mostly mute, vicious dog who abuses Schnookums for little reason. Future episodes have Meat talk more and greatly reduce his intelligence.
  • The Chew Toy: Both the titular characters suffer this a lot but Shnookums more so.
  • Christmas Episode: "Jingle Bells, Something Smells" sees Shnookums and Meat forced to take over for Santa Claus after Meat's smelly sock knocks him out.
  • Credits Gag: The writer and director credits for the "Tex Tinstar" segments are always a joke; for example, "Loathsome Dove" was "written" by Mudhead Puddinfoot and "directed" by Ding-Dong-Daddy-o.
  • Department of Redundancy Department: The titles of the Pith Possum segments.
  • Depending on the Artist: Each segment had a distinctly different animation style.
  • Deranged Animation: Especially for a Disney cartoon!
  • Dogs Are Dumb: Meat being an obtuse, short-tempered Dumb Muscle.
  • Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": Shnookums and Meat's owners are only known as Husband and Wife.
  • Eye Scream: Played for laughs, but one Shnookums and Meat short is about Schoonkums and Meat playing baseball, and everything that happens, period, causing Meat to get hit in the eye with the baseball."
  • The Faceless: Shnookums and Meat's owners.
  • Force Feeding: At the end of "Weight For Me," the husband resorts to this to fatten Shnookums and Meat up after the two are nearly killed from being trapped in their sauna.
  • Grossout Show: Downplayed. The series is more focused on slapstick and absurdism, but it does sometimes delve into grossout territory, mainly in the "Shnookums and Meat" segments.
  • Hot as Hell: In one episode, Shnookums and Meat arrive at the pearly gates and are told they've been so naughty they're going to go to hell, unless they can do one good deed. They pull it off, and immediately discover that Hell is full of really sexy devil girls. They dive into Hell, and it turns out that the sexy devil girls were wearing costumes, and actually look like a couple of really ugly blind dates Shnookums and Meat mistreated in the past.
  • Identity Amnesia: Happens to Pith Possum in "Dark of the Darker Darkness", where thanks to a Tap on the Head, he takes on other identities.
  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: The Pith Possum segments.
  • Instrumental Theme Tune
  • Intentional Weight Gain: By way of Hourglass Plot, "Weight for Me" starts off with Shnookums and Meat fat and being told to lose weight. After the two gain huge muscles, they're then reduced to stick figures after being trapped in a sauna while trying to reduce their muscles to regain mobility. The episode ends with their owners force feeding them back into obesity.
  • Interspecies Romance: Pith Possum (Possum) and Doris Deer (Human).
  • List of Transgressions: When Pith Possum is framed for crimes by a criminal disguised as him.
    Commissioner: You've robbed eight banks. You're wanted for grand theft duck, selling stolen ducks to a peace officer, attempting to transport stolen weasels across state lines, felony furniture chewing, misdemeanor carpet staining, receiving stolen rabbits, selling stolen rabbits, assault with a frozen rabbit, aggravated slide whistle assault, left an insulting note and a box of chocolates in my office, stolen the city's entire supply of granola bars, blew up the airport, burned down the library and kidnapped the lovely Ms. Doris Deer, ace reporter for a great metropolitan tabloid.
  • Mickey Mousing: Much of the music does this. For example, in the episode "Weight For Me" where the titular duo become musclebound behemoths, with each of their footsteps punctuated by a dramatic "AH~!" choir.
  • Mission Control: Commissioner Stress gives Pith Possum updates on crimes being committed in Possum City.
  • Muscles Are Meaningless: Averted first but then played straight in the aforementioned episode "Weight For Me". Hilarity Ensues as the titular duo flex so much that they break a mirror, struggle with their severely impaired mobility and Shnookums ends up crushing one of the protein cans, until he hits on the idea to get in the sauna and shrink down just enough that the two can move again. The door ends up getting jammed by a simple mop, which neither of the still-titanic gods can unbar and promptly lose their godly physiques.
  • Mushroom Samba: "Cabin Fever". When Shnookums develops Meat-O-Vision on Meat, the two finally find food in the form of cocktail weenies (that expired in 1952). Meat suggests they might be unsafe to eat, though they consume them anyway. What follows is a nightmarish hallucination.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: The Polite Coyotes were modled after The Beatles.
  • Oblivious Guilt Slinging: After Meat believes he accidentally killed Shnookums in "Night of the Living Shnookums," the wife asks where Shnookums is while emphasizing how he's often so "full of life."
  • Ridiculously Cute Critter: The Little Girl's Horse that Tex is forced to ride for 1 or 2 episodes.
  • Shorter Means Smarter: Shnookums is shorter and marginally smarter than Meat, not that that's saying much.
  • Shout-Out: The Pith Possum segment "Darkness on the Edge of Black" parodies The Mechanical Monsters, and homages more than a few scenes from the original cartoon.
  • Species Surname: Averted. Doris Deer is actually a human.
  • Story Arc: Unlike the other segments, Tex Tinstar actually had a continuing storyline complete with weekly cliffhangers.
  • Vocal Dissonance:
  • Vocal Evolution: In the first short, Meat had a voice similar to Ralph the Guard. In later episodes, he has a deeper, gruffer voice.
  • Weight Loss Horror: "Weight For Me" has Shnookums and Meat gaining huge muscles which make it difficult for them to move around. They get trapped in a sauna in an effort to slim down enough to move their limbs, and by the time their owners find them they've been reduced to stick figures.
  • Your Television Hates You: Meat, who thinks Shnookum's dead in "Night Of The Living Shnookums", is trying to reassure himself that everything's fine, but it didn't work and the TV program made him even more worried and more guilty because there are horror movies about dead cats on every channel.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Shnookums And Meat


Meat trying not to worry

In the "Night of the Living Shnookums" episode, when Shnookums got his comeuppance for something mean-spirited he said. Meat thought he actually killed Shnookums when he meant to get back at him with an prank (even when Shnookums was actually alive), and after he threw Shnookums in the trash, trying to reassure himself that everything's fine didn't work and everything else made him even more worried and more guilty.

How well does it match the trope?

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Example of:

Main / ObviouslyNotFine

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