Tom and Jerry Tales was a modern Revival of the Tom and Jerry franchise which began production in 2005 and ran in the United States from September 23, 2006 to March 22, 2008 on Kids' WB! It is the fourth television show in the Tom & Jerry franchise and probably the most well-received.
Episodes used a Three Shorts format, mirroring the length and format of the original theatrical shorts. Secondary characters from the original series returned, many for the first time since the 1950s. Droopy even starred in a few shorts alongside Tom and Jerry. It may have lacked some of the madcap slapstick violence of the original shorts, and towards the end relied too heavily on Recycled In Space-styled plots, but it tends to be viewed as better in comparison to past Tom & Jerry adaptations, as well as other cartoons on at the time.
The Direct-to-Video Tom and Jerry movies made since the series ended are somewhat of a Spiritual Successor, having the same animation and writing style. It is currently being re-run on Cartoon Network.
Tropes invoked by this series:
- Adaptational Villainy: Most of the time, Jerry is shown to be an absolute sadist who provokes Tom or gets him into trouble just for laughs. All while wearing an open-mouth smile. This is in contrast to the classic shorts, in which Jerry was either just out for food, Tom went after him on his own, or one of Tom's often-abusive owners forced him to.
- All Just a Dream: "Game of Mouse & Cat".
- Amusing Injuries: It wouldn't be Tom & Jerry otherwise.
- Antagonist in Mourning: Tom in "Bats What I Like About the South" creates a tombstone of Jerry and crying for him, not aware that Jerry is alive and scaring him with a bat who looks like him.
- Animation Bump: In the opening sequence and the first few episodes. Sadly, this didn't really last.
- Art Shift: One later short, "Game of Mouse & Cat", features the duo as they looked in their early 1940s shorts.
- Badly Battered Babysitter: In "Babysitting Blues", both Tom and Jerry babysit their respective nephews.
- Beach Episode: "Beach Bully Bingo".
- The Cameo: Wolfie, from Tex Avery's Red Hot Riding Hood and numerous Droopy shorts, appears as a ghost in "Spook House Mouse". Joe Bear, an extremely loud bear who hates noise from Tex Avery's Rock-a-bye Bear, makes a cameo in the episode "Sasquashed".
- Chekhov's Gunman: At the end of "Northern Light Fish Fight," the fish is ultimately eaten by the polar bear sighted briefly in the short's opening pan.
- Construction Zone Calamity: "Deconstruction Junction" and "Jackhammered Cat".
- Continuity Nod: At the end of "Babysitting Blues", Tom and Jerry both leave (after not wanting to watch their sisters' kids any longer) to go fishing. Guess what they're doing in "Catfish Follies?"
- CPR: Clean, Pretty, Reliable: In "A Life Less Guarded", Tom and Droopy are training to become lifeguards at a city pool. While Tom is sabotaging Droopy to get the job, Jerry is retaliating by sabotaging Tom to help Droopy. Tom then ends up needing to be saved when he gets stomach cramps after eating a whole pizza in the pool. Droopy rescues him and starts bouncing on his chest to squeeze the water out of his mouth, and even goes as far as to give him mouth-to-mouth. The look on Jerry's face is priceless.Lifeguard trainer: You know, I almost hope he doesn't wake up.
- Depending on the Artist: In season 2, the show was animated by three overseas studios: Rough Draft Studios, Yearim Productions, and Toon City. Rough Draft episodes tended to be on-model but with less in-betweens, while Yearim and Toon City opted for fuller animation.
- Deus ex Machina: At the end of "Hi Robot!", when the Fembot suddenly becomes a sentient living being at the last minute despite being completely emotionless and mechanical up until then.
- Enemy Mine: In a few shorts. For example, in "Cry Uncle", the duo teams up to get rid of Jerry's annoying Uncle Pecos (who first appeared in 1953's "Pecos Pest").
- The Faceless: Mrs. Two-Shoes and most other human characters in the series.
- Hand-or-Object Underwear: Tom pulls one in Cat Show Catastrophe.
- Humanoid Female Animal: Tom's taste in cat-women hasn't changed.
- There's also the lionesses in "You're Lion".
- The Hunter Becomes the Hunted: The premise of "A Game of Mouse and Cat", where Jerry is inexplicably the intimidating house pet trying to catch Tom. It turns out to be a virtual simulation Jerry is in, while Tom has a go chasing a terrified Spike around.
- Lampshade Hanging: During "Game of Mouse & Cat":Butch: Does anything about this "Mouse chases cat" thing seem off to you?
Tom: (Shakes head no)
Butch: Yeah, me neither.
- Last Note Nightmare: For some strange reason, the last note is a dissonant chord after a fairly upbeat theme song.
- Mime and Music-Only Cartoon: Most episodes.
- Minor Injury Overreaction: When a tennis ball harmlessly bounces off of Tyke's nose in "Game, Set, Match", Spike proceeds to beat on Tom for being "too rough" with him.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: "Beefcake Tom" has Jerry successfully making Tom strong. What does he get next? Tom uses him for a dumbbell.
- No Celebrities Were Harmed: Tex Avery's cameo in "A Life Less Guarded".
- Piranha Problem: One episode, "Piranha Be Loved By Me", has Tom (and in some instances Jerry) repeatedly pursued by a piranha.
- Pun-Based Title: Numerous episode titles.
- Race Lift: Mammy Two-Shoes was brought back for the series, only she was recolored white and had a voice that sounded like a Southern accent (much like the actual Mammy Two-Shoes, only her grammar isn't broken). Mammy was a controversial character because she portrayed several black stereotypes that were widespread in the 1940s, so the decision to make her white was to make the modern-day shorts politically correct.
- Recycled INSPACE: The duo is in the Middle Ages, prehistoric times, the US Revolutionary War... and even, indeed, IN SPACE!!
- Robosexual: In "Hi Robot!", Tom builds a mouse Fembot in order to trick Jerry into falling in love with it (which he does), but in the end, the robot develops emotions and falls in love with Jerry, giving Tom a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown for wanting to hurt Jerry.
- Sewer Gator: After Tom and Jerry drive through the New York sewers in "Joy Riding Jokers", they are more than a little surprised to see that a white alligator somehow managed to get in the car's back seat.
- Shout-Out: To a lot of Tex Avery shorts; in "A Life Less Guarded", the man auditioning Tom and Droopy for a lifeguard job is a caricature of Avery, and one of the few human characters whose face is fully visible in the series. His assistant Miss Shapely is a comely blonde, referring to Avery's penchant for gorgeous women in his pictures.
- Slasher Smile: The alien in "Invasion of the Body Slammers" when impersonating Tom and Jerry.
- Sure, Let's Go with That: Tom once entered a cat show and Jerry and Nibbles decided to sabotage him. One of their plans included adding lemon juice at his voice spray for his Pagliacci act. With the sounds he made once the juice took effect, the narrator assumed (and announced) that Tom gave up opera and decided to imitate bird songs. Tom decided to play along.
- Swapped Roles: Jerry pursues Tom in "Game of Mouse & Cat", despite being much smaller than a cat. It turns out it was a simulation run by Jerry.
- Tag Along Kid: Nibbles in a few shorts.
- Team Rocket Wins/Throw the Dog a Bone: Similar to the original shorts, Tom gets a rare victory every now and then.
- Three Shorts
- Through a Face Full of Fur: In "Spook House Mouse", the duo goes through a carnival funhouse and come out so scared that their fur is permanently bleached white. They then end up getting jobs at the carnival as an albino cat and mouse.
- Walk Through The Camera: In the short "You're Lion", where Tom and Jerry saw many lions in a dark hut. Tom runs away towards the camera, and runs back out.
- What Measure Is a Non-Cute?: Tom actually manipulates this in "Little Big Mouse". Seeming to get wise to the "smaller cuter underdog creature always wins" formula, he retaliates to Jerry stealing food by getting an even smaller and cuter-looking ant to steal it all back for him, and takes pleasure in watching Jerry convert into a bumbling pursuer for once.