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Western Animation / Tree for Two

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"Tree for Two" is a 1952 Looney Tunes short directed by Friz Freleng. Spike is a big tough bulldog, and Chester is his worshipful terrier sidekick. One day the two dogs, looking for something to do, decide to beat up a cat. They encounter Sylvester, here without Tweety, who runs and hides in an old junkyard. Spike goes into the junkyard to beat up Sylvester, but what he doesn't know is that a black panther that recently escaped from a zoo is also hiding there. Spike keeps getting beaten up by the panther, to the consternation of Chester, who finds Sylvester instead and beats him up. At the end, Spike, convinced that Chester is tougher than he is, is now Chester's worshipful sidekick.

"Tree for Two" provides examples of:

  • Aside Comment: Chester tells the camera "Spike is my hero, because he's so big and strong", Spike says the same thing at the end, and Spike tells the camera "the pussycat's gonna scratch me" when Sylvester is pathetically threatening with his claws.
  • Bowdlerization: The version shown on ABC's The Bugs Bunny and Tweety Show from 1994 to 2000 (prior to that, the short was uncut) was edited to remove two scenes of violence:
    • Spike kicking the semi-conscious Sylvester to his feet.
    • Chester slamming Sylvester into the ground twice and hurling him over the fence (this was edited by cutting to a shot of Spike peeking from behind the "Loans" building and having the audio play normally).
  • By the Lights of Their Eyes: Only the panther's eyes are visible as it hides among the wooded crates, right before it attacks Spike.
    Spike: I can see your cowardly yellow eyes and I'm coming in after ya!
  • Clean Cut: The panther slices Spike into cross-sections. He reassembles.
  • Color Failure: Spike turns white after his encounter with the panther, as do his sweater and hat.
  • Death Glare: During the By the Lights of Their Eyes moment, the eyes narrow, suggesting the panther is doing this in response to Spike bothering it.
  • Escaped Animal Rampage: The panther, although it mostly just attacks Spike.
  • For the Evulz: Why Spike and Chester decide to mess with Sylvester — it's mostly for fun.
  • Funny Background Event: As Spike pulls on a tail and proclaims he's gotten the cat, a confused Sylvester pokes out from a garbage can in the background.
  • Get A Hold Of Yourself Man: Chester shakes Spike and says "Get ahold of yourself!" after Spike is freaked out by his first encounter with the panther.
  • Hero-Worshipper: Chester for Spike. Provides the picture on the trope page. By the end, Spike is hero-worshipping Chester.
  • Hourglass Plot: Spike and Chester's roles are reversed by the end.
  • Knight of Cerebus: The panther is pretty scary.
  • Made of Bologna: The panther slices Spike into neat vertical slices, which then drop to the side one by one, after which he emerges fully reassembled.
  • Megaton Punch: Chester sends Sylvester flying, much to Spike's shock.
  • Metronomic Man Mashing: Chester gives Sylvester a round of metronomic feline mashing (pretty impressive given Sylvester's bigger than the dog) before throwing him into the trash.
  • Never Trust a Title: There is no tree.
  • Nothing Is Scarier: For much of the short, the panther is never clearly seen, being either in shadow or showing just the tail. We finally get a good look at it when it slices Spike into pieces (as seen above), and it lives up the hype.
  • Oh, Crap!: Sylvester is walking along singing "Charleston" when he turns the corner and sees Spike. He immediately turns around and throws a spastic fit in the tune of "Charleston".
  • One Free Hit: Seeing the cowering Sylvester timidly clawing at him, Spike dares Sylvester to scratch him. That's when the panther emerges from its hiding place and slices Spike to ribbons with one swipe.
  • Pint-Sized Powerhouse: Sylvester isn't as scary as the panther, but he's still bigger than little Chester, who throws Sylvester around with ease.
  • Swapped Roles: When it's all over, Chester is the tough guy and Spike is his sidekick.
  • Tempting Fate: When Spike sees Sylvester's pathetic attempt at clawing him, he challenges him to scratch him. Unfortunately, the panther is hiding nearby, and is all too happy to oblige.
    Spike: Heh, heh, the pussycat's gonna scratch me! Go on, scratch me! I dare you to scratch me!
    [panther appears from behind the crates, roars and scratches Spike, splitting him into multiple pieces]
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: The panther is never caught, at least not onscreen.