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Western Animation / 2 Stupid Dogs

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"Well, isn't that cute. But it's WRONG!"

This Animated Series, originally aired on TBS and broadcast syndication between 1993 and 1995, was Hanna-Barbera's answer to Ren & Stimpy.

As expected, it revolves around a mismatched pair of stray, idiotic dogs, neither of whom is named on or off the program, who generally wandered about getting into surreally wacky misadventures. The shorts had several recurring characters, including a ditzy version of Red Riding Hood, a shy schoolboy called Kenny, and most importantly their most frequent antagonist, the loudmouthed "Mr. H" (or "Hollywood" in the credits).

The backup feature of the show was a Revival of Secret Squirrel called Super Secret Secret Squirrel. This version consistently featured Funny Animals beyond Secret and Morocco Mole. It also introduced "Penny", secretary to Da Chief (and an obvious counterpart to Miss Moneypenny.)

Compare and contrast SWAT Kats: The Radical Squadron, which ran alongside the series on TBS and most local stations and were both examples of shows bringing their own style with a good helping of Promoted Fanboy love. Even though in content was pretty much different in every way (like being action-adventure instead of comedy). Ultimately they were both ended to focus on the What-A-Cartoon! project (though for a while, SWAT Kats fans believed Ted Turner was the cause, thanks to a misquoted interview).

Today, the show is notable for kickstarting the careers of several animators who'd make a name for themselves in the later half of the 90s, such as Craig McCracken, Genndy Tartakovsky, Paul Rudish and Tony Craig (all from the Cal Arts class of 1992).

2 Stupid Dogs provides examples of (Secret Squirrel tropes go to their own page):

  • Adam and Eve Plot: This happened at the end of "Hollywood's Ark". After eating all of the food on the Ark, chewing off the horns of the unicorns, and other disasters, Hollywood/Noah finally gets sick of the dogs and tries to throw them overboard. Suddenly the storms passes and an overjoyed Noah shouts "Drop anchor, brethren!" Big Dog then throws the anchor in the air, sinking the ship. The Dogs end up swimming to a nearby island. Thousands of years later all of civilization looks like the two stupid dogs. It's probably best not to think about which dog was the "Adam" and which was the "Eve".
  • All Just a Dream: Played in an interesting way in the episode "Day Dream". They thought they were in a dream, and tried to wake up from it no matter what. It led to a lot of pain at one point.
  • Animals Fear Neutering: At the end of "Let's Make a Right Price", Little Dog faints after Bill Beaker reminds the audience to spay and neuter their pets.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: In "Return of Red", when Granny commands the two dogs to attack the wolf that ate her alive, she suggests that they bite him, scratch him, or pee on him.
  • Art Shift: "Hobo Hounds" is done in the style of a black-and-white silent era cartoon.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: When each dog wished to be the other in "Far-Out Friday", it resulted in a "Freaky Friday" Flip.
  • Belly Dancer: Shows up in "Jerk".
  • Big Ball of Violence: Occurs in "Sheep Dogs" when Hollywood and the dogs prepare to shear a sheep. They all get into a brawl represented as the typical ball of smoke with limbs sticking out before we cut to the next scene, where it turns out all of them have been shorn somehow.
  • Big Eater: Big Dog has an enormous appetite and always thinks about food.
  • Big "NO!" / The Scream: The episode "Door Jam" ends with Little Dog repeatedly screaming "No" when he and Big Dog are trapped inside the Y-Mart while the can they spent the episode trying to get by entering the Y-Mart is on the other side of the door. It zooms to outside the Y-Mart's parking lot, the whole city, and then the world as he keeps screaming "No!"
  • The Blind Leading the Blind: In "Seeing Eye Dogs", the dogs are sold to the blind Hollywood by a wig store owner to get him off his back, but they eventually lead Hollywood into a construction site.
  • Boisterous Bruiser: Hollywood is a big man and often tries to get the dogs on his good side.
  • Boot Camp Episode: Happens in the episode "Cartoon Canines". They were sent to "cartoon boot camp" and given the names Hammy (Little Dog) and Loafy (Big Dog).
  • Butt-Monkey: Kenny Fowler, the red-haired and bespectacled boy the dogs sometimes encounter, frequently gets the short end of the stick. He ends up getting detention in "Show and Tell" and "Love Doctors" ends with him getting buried alive by Big Dog.
  • California Collapse: Seen in "Day Dream": the possibility is mentioned several times, and then the earthquake hits and sinks the entire state of California, except for the two dogs who sleep throughout the whole disaster.
  • Catchphrase: Hollywood's "Well, isn't that cute... BUT IT'S WRONG!!" Subverted exactly once in the series with the episode "Love" — Hollywood even broke the Fourth Wall to deliver a Lampshade Hanging.
    "Ha! Thought I was gonna say it was wrong, didn't ya?!"
  • Clapper Gag: In the episode where the dogs run into the Red Riding Hood with Tourette Syndrome, the three wind up in the home of the Three Bears. They retire to the bears' beds for the night, and Red claps her hands to turn the lights out.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • In spite of the series' episodic nature, this is done in the last two of the three episodes featuring Red. "Red Strikes Back" has Little Dog mention that he, Big Dog, and Red were beaten up by bears the last time they met, while "Return of Red" has Little Dog and Big Dog reluctant to join Red on her journey to Granny's house because of how their previous encounters turned out, with Little Dog even referring to Red as an "evil little girl".
    • In "Far-Out Friday", Little Dog opens the entrance door to Winky Mart by stepping on the door mat with Big Dog's body and expresses amazement at the fact he doesn't need any shoes. It's a ned to "Door Jam" back when Little Dog was under the impression the people who enter need their shoes to open the door.
  • Credits Gag: The three "Little Red Riding Hood" episodes had John Kricfalusi credited for "Tidbits Of Poor Taste".
  • Cute, but Cacophonic: Red may look adorable, but she tends to randomly scream certain words in her sentences.
  • Cute Kitten: These often appear in front of the duo, scaring Little Dog, despite them not doing anything to him at all, prompting Big Dog to scare them away.
  • Depending on the Writer: Big Dog often scares cats so bad that they are petrified in fear, but the episodes "Where's the Bone?" and "The Rise and Fall of the Big Dog" unambiguously depict this action as fatal to the cats, with the latter even having another character state that Big Dog killed the cat.
  • Defensive "What?": Big Dog says one in "Love Doctors" when Little Dog yells at him for burying Kenny Fowler alive.
  • Digging to China: At one point in the episode "Cat", Little Dog attempts to escape the cat Big Dog is too sleepy to scare right away by digging. He keeps digging until he goes to China, where he is scared by a Chinese cat.
  • Disney Death: In "Spooks a Poppin," the Little Dog is lying unconscious after running into the Big Dog's fist trying to remove the monkey skull stuck on his head. The Big Dog walks up to the Little Dog lying on the ground as the show's "melancholy" music cue plays, and then starts grossly licking him, reviving him from his knocked out state.
  • The Ditz: Both of them, though the big dog can be smart when he needs to.
  • Dogs Are Dumb: Well, it is in the title of the show. The two titular protagonists are both dogs and morons. The Little Dog especially. One episode reveals he doesn't even know his own age or name.
  • Downer Ending: The first two Red shorts end badly for the dogs (and Red herself). Though thanks to a little Negative Continuity, they're alright by next episode.
    • The first time the end up getting mauled after being caught by the three bears and hung as trophies.
    • The second time they end up being eaten by a wicked witch.
  • Dumb Muscle: Big Dog is both an idiot and the strongest of the pair.
  • The Eeyore: Big Dog is less chipper than Little Dog.
  • Energetic and Soft-Spoken Duo: The main duo is composed of the excitable but loopy Little Dog, who comes up with hare-brained ideas explained by Insane Troll Logic; and The Stoic but dim Big Dog, who goes along quietly with his companion's lunacy because he can't think of anything better to do.
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: The show is about two stupid dogs.
  • Face Your Fears: Subverted in an episode where Little Dog tries to get over his fear of cats but fails.
  • Fat and Skinny: Little Dog is skinny while Big Dog is fat.
  • Fat Bastard: Hollywood and the mail woman.
  • Formula-Breaking Episode:
    • "Cartoon Canines", a very slow paced episode portraying the dogs as Animated Actors, who showcase little to none of their trademark stupidity, and the episode concludes with a Big-Lipped Alligator Moment.
    • "Hobo Hounds" is a tribute to the silent era black-and-white cartoons of the 1920s.
  • Four-Fingered Hands: All the humans.
  • "Freaky Friday" Flip: The dogs switch minds in the episode "Far-Out Friday". They don't catch on until near the end of the episode, just before they end up switching back.
  • Funny Animal: The dogs speak and occasionally demonstrate a human-like mentality.
  • Game Show Appearance: In the episode "Let's Make a Right Price", the dogs appear on a parody of The Price Is Right with "Bill Beaker" as host.
  • Good Angel, Bad Angel: In the episode, “A Quarter”, when the dogs are trying to get $10,000, the big dog sees his face on a wanted poster for a $10,000 reward. The little dog’s shoulder devil appears telling him to turn him in for the money, and then his shoulder angel appears to tell him...the exact same thing!
  • Groin Attack: Big Dog and Hollywood often get hit in the crotch for comedic effect.
  • Grossout Show:
    • Occasionally - for example, a kitten getting chewed up (no red gore, mind you) and spat out, and a quarter forcefully inserted into the bigger dog's cranium.
    • The episode "Spit Soup", where Little Dog tried to fill an empty bowl of soup on a billboard with Big Dog's saliva.. It was aired about once every leap year.
  • Ham and Deadpan Duo: this duo is composed of the Keet dachshund Little Dog paired with The Stoic sheepdog Big Dog. Little Dog is full of cockamamie ideas and Insane Troll Logic, which routinely kick off the pair's adventures. Big Dog goes along, having no better idea. Thus, a loud idiot leads a quiet moron, and Hilarity Ensues.
  • Happy Ending: The ending of “Return of Red.”
  • Hollywood Natives: In "Where's the Bone?" the dogs briefly end up on an island populated by pitch-black, mask-wearing, spear-wielding natives who speak broken English. They start worshipping Little Dog because he has a bone on his head.
  • Hope Spot: In "Red Strikes Back" after The Witch declares she's still hungry after eating Red, she coners Big Dog and Little Dog. Little Dog nervously says that all they had wanted from this ordeal was some canned cheese. The Witch pulls out a can of easy cheese and for a moment Big and Little Dog are happy, thinking they're about to get the food they wanted. However The Witch just sprays the cheese on their heads before she eats them too.
  • Idiot Hero: The main characters are two dogs that happen to be stupid.
  • Inexplicably Identical Individuals: In the episode "Pie in the Sky", the two dogs encounter several employees at the mall who look and sound like Hollywood.
  • Instant Soprano: In the episode "Las Pelotas!", Little Dog at one point inadvertently injures Big Dog by biting onto a tennis ball with enough force that it shoots out of his mouth and into Big Dog's groin. When Little Dog cries "Balls", Big Dog replies with "Yeah, I know" in a much higher voice than usual.
  • Interspecies Romance: Big Dog falls in love with a human woman in "Let's Make a Right Price" and a hamster in "Love".
  • Ironic Fear: Little Dog is afraid of cats.
  • Kazoos Mean Silliness: The theme song is played on kazoo, foreshadowing the silliness of the show proper.
  • Keet: Little Dog is more energetic and chipper than Big Dog.
  • Lawyer-Friendly Cameo: The episode "Family Values" featured a family that is almost, but not quite, The Brady Bunch. The patriarch is even addressed as "Mr. B" at one point.
  • Leave the Camera Running: The dogs standing in front of a giant door in "Cookies, Ookies, Blookies".
  • Little Guy, Big Buddy: Little Dog is the Little Guy, while Big Dog is the Big Buddy.
  • Most Definitely Not a Villain: Little Dog's plan to distract a cat in the episode "Cat" was using a cat puppet. "Hey, cat! Hey! Look at me! I'm a cat, not a puppet! And we can be friends, you can trust me, because I'm a cat, not a puppet... and definitely not a dog."
  • Naked People Are Funny: In the episode "Stunt Dogs", when the dogs accidentally tear off Hollywood's loincloth ("You gotta hold onto something!").
    Hollywood: Now wasn't that cute... BUT IT'S— *revels to have a pineapple covering his crotch*
    Little Dog: Food!
    *Little Dog grabs it, Hollywood quickly covers himself*
  • Never Given a Name: The eponymous dogs are unnamed strays. They are called Big Dog and Little Dog. Though in "Cartoon Canines", they are called Loafy and Hammy, respectively. But in "Love", a female hamster calls Big Dog Jonathan. In "At the Post Office", in order to play it safe (he didn't know his own age), Little Dog decided to fill a draft form and didn't know his own name. Based on Big Dog's last answer to the question about his name, Little Dog registered his name as Ida Know.
    • In addition to "Love," in "Spit Soup," both Little Dog and a dentist refer to Big Dog as, "Johnny."
  • New Job as the Plot Demands: Hollywood tends to have a new job depending on what fits the plot of the episode he's in.
    • Cubby as well, to a lesser extent, having worked in various service industries such as a concession stand, a grocery store, and a post office.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: The game show host in "Let's Make a Right Price" is Bill Beaker, an obvious stand-in for Bob Barker.
  • No Indoor Voice:
    • Hollywood often shouts his dialogue.
    • Red often raises her voice whenever she says certain words.
  • No Fair Cheating: Done rather ironically in the game show episode. Little Dog tries his hardest to lose so Big Dog and he can get some dog treats as a consolation prize but constantly keep winning. In the final round, he jumps on the wheel to get it to stop on a low number. Just as he celebrates and grabs a box of the doggy treats, the host calls him out on it.
    Bill: You cheated (takes away the doggy treats) You win the car.
  • No-Neck Chump: Most the characters, save for Little Dog and a few skinnier humans, simply have their head imposed just above shoulder level.
  • Orphaned Punchline: The episode "Inside Out" begins with Little Dog saying to Big Dog "So, this guy comes out of the doctor's office and says 'Hey! That's not my pontoon boat!'"
  • Perma-Stubble: Hollywood, even in the episodes where he plays a woman.
  • Pet the Dog: In "Substitute Teacher", the bully who torments Kenny Fowler tampers with Hollywood's computer so that it rewards Kenny with chocolate malt balls even though he recites the alphabet incorrectly and electrocutes Hollywood when he recites the alphabet correctly.
  • Pie-Eyed: Used in "Hobo Hounds", which was made to look like an old silent cartoon.
  • Potty Emergency: Used in two episodes.
    • Big Dog frequently mentions that he needs to find a hydrant in "Seeing Eye Dogs". At the end of the episode, he gets to relieve himself offscreen.
    • "Bathroom Humor" begins with Big Dog waking up with the need to pee. He attempts to relieve himself on a sapling before Little Dog admonishes him. While looking for another place for Big Dog to relieve himself, the duo enter someone's house and make their way to the bathroom, which confused Big Dog over the lack of trees. Little Dog gets the idea for Big Dog to use the toilet after observing pictures of a young boy and a young girl going to the bathroom, but Big Dog finds himself unable to relieve himself until he dips his fingers in a glass of warm milk offered to him by Little Dog.
  • Public Domain Soundtrack: It's easy to know Red's around when you hear her singing the chorus to the 1812 Overture.
  • Running Gag:
    • The piece of corn randomly appearing.
    • The beginnings of the Red episodes have quite a few gags, such as Big Dog getting covered in flowers and Little Dog offering the same dead squirrel in varying stages of decay.
    • Every time Big Dog scares a cat, it lets out a high-pitched scream and then freezes and falls down, with the sound of china tapping on the surface.
  • Screams Like a Little Girl: Whenever a cat is frightened by the Big Dog.
  • The Silent Bob: Though he predates the Trope Namer by a year and is not nearly as mute, the Big Dog still only says a few words at a time. Like the trope namer, however, the few times he speaks in complete sentences, it's because he has something actually worthwhile to share.
  • Simpleton Voice: Big Dog. All Brad Garrett needs to do is speak slowly in his trademark deep voice to make the character sound significantly stupider.
  • Sit on the Camera: in the cartoon "Substitute Teacher" in the beginning the camera zooms out from the principal's butt which was filling the screen.
  • Shout-Out:
    • The music played during the giant door in "Cookies, Ookies, Blookies" sounds like "Thus Spoke Zarathustra".
      • Another piece from 2001, "Blue Danube Waltz," shows up in "Where's the Bone?" and "Space Dogs."
    • "Cartoon Canines" has a lot of homages to other cartoons.
      Drill Sergeant: No cutesy in my corps, only classic funny cartoons. You know, lots of butt jokes! Too Beanie! Too out there! Too in there! Too diseased!
    • Also in "Cartoon Canines", in a in-show segment parodying the likes of Tom and Jerry, a large cat sits on the Little Dog, saying "Did I do that?", then the little dog, who is now green-skinned, muscular and very pissed off proceeds to lift the cat off of him.
    • The naming scheme of the Red sequels mimic that of the Star Wars original trilogy. The second episode is called "Red Strikes Back", while the third and final episode is called "Return of Red".
    • In "Red", Red mistakes Big Dog for her grandmother, and from her point of view he looks like Granny Clampett.
    • In the episode "Hobo Hounds", the two dogs dress like Mickey Mouse, complete with an antagonist that vaguely resembles Pete.
  • Small Name, Big Ego: Hollywood.
  • Smart Ball: In the episode, "Substitute Teacher", Little Dog at the end of the episode points out that Lincoln was shot.
  • Soundtrack Lullaby: At the start of "Bathroom Humor", "Brahms' Lullaby" plays while Big Dog is asleep with his head in a trash can.
  • Spoof Aesop:
    • Used as a Running Gag in the episode with the not-Brady Bunch, with the parents regularly asking the kids what they learned from various events during the episode, only for them to keep coming up with Non Sequitur aesops.
  • Springtime for Hitler:
    • "Vegas Buffet" has the dogs only want to go to a casino's hot dog buffet. However, Big Dog wins a huge jackpot in the slots prompting the casino's owner to force them to gamble in order to get his money back, but they end up nearly draining the casino dry of money instead. Eventually the Big Dog loses after the owner agreed to give the two all the hot dogs from the buffet in exchange.
    • In "Let's Make a Right Price", the little dog keeps trying to lose every round because he wants the consolation prize box of doggy treats. Naturally he wins every round. Taken to a truly ridiculous extreme when the dog sabotages the final round to avoid winning the grand prize — a luxury car. The host calls him out on cheating and makes him take the car.
  • Suddenly Shouting: Hollywood and Red are prone to shouting their dialogue, though the latter mainly does it with random parts of the sentences she utters.
  • Thick-Line Animation: The Trope Maker: the show's stylized look would go on to become the house style of the Cartoon Cartoons era of Cartoon Network.
  • Three Shorts: Every episode in season one consisted of two 2 Stupid Dogs shorts and one Super Secret Secret Squirrel segment. In season two, there were three 2 Stupid Dogs shorts (new episodes and first season repeats).
  • Title Drop: Happens at the end of "Stunt Dogs" when Little Dog performs a musical number that mostly consists of him singing "We're two, two stupid dogs."
  • Too Dumb to Live: The main duo are both complete idiots and at times just barely avoid serious danger through sheer luck.
    • However even they find Red to be worse than they are at this trope.
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight: Nobody seems to find it odd that the dogs are able to speak. In fact, the people the dogs interact with frequently regard them as if they were human beings.
  • Urine Trouble: The doggie biscuit commercial in "Let's Make a Right Price" depicts Secret Squirrel and Morocco Mole tied to a fire hydrant with a villain called Heckhound attempting to urinate on them before Secret lures him away by tossing a box of the doggie biscuits.
  • Voices Are Mental: Averted in "Far-Out Friday". While Big Dog and Little Dog switch minds, they still speak in their regular voices, though Big Dog can now speak more quickly.
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: Little Dog is afraid of cats.
  • Yo Yo Plot Point: All three "Red" episodes start with Little Dog enjoying the forest, while Big Dog calling out for food. Since they're in nature, Little Dog tries to find "nature stuff" give him, but nothing seems remotely pleasing (especially a dead squirrel). Enter a non-nature food, courtesy of Red, and the trope ends.


2 Stupid Dogs

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