Winsome Witch is a character created by Hanna-Barbera for The Secret Squirrel Show, though she also sometimes appeared on The Atom Ant Show. The cartoon is a unique example of a Three Shorts Hanna-Barbera feature that stars a human instead of a Funny Animal, and the character is one of few such examples not to have a Sidekick. She was voiced by Jean Vander Pyl, best remembered for her work as Wilma Flintstone.
Known as "Winnie" to friend and foe alike, she's chubby, middle-aged, and generally good-natured and friendly. Not surprisingly, her preferred method of transportation is a magic broom. On the Good Witch Versus Bad Witch scale, she definitely falls in the former category. Like Esmeralda or Aunt Clara from Bewitched, Winnie unfortunately has an incompetent streak, her spells backfiring more often than not. Her incantation catchphrase is "Ippity-pippity-pow!"
Ippity-pippity-pow! This cartoon provides examples of:
- An Aesop: The episodes often show Winnie reforming a miscreant and teaching them a valuable life lesson.
- Alien Abduction: In "Have Broom, Will Zoom," the witch is beamed aboard a Flying Saucer and spirited away to Planet X. When the alien leader decides he wants Winnie's broom so he can clone more examples, she first plays tricks on him and then leaves.
- Alliterative Name: Winsome Witch.
- Badly Battered Babysitter: Winnie's luck with kids is often less than good — but played with in that she frequently uses her magic to subdue her unruly charges.
- "Have Broom Will Travel" sees the witch hired out by an employment agency to babysit two little terrors. She manages to keep them in line by using witchcraft and earns their respect at the end, when the kids tell their parents she's the best babysitter they've ever had.
- In "Witch Witch Is Witch," Winnie looks after another pair of mischievous boys. They manage to get hold of her magic wand and turn themselves into gorillas. The witch saves the day just as the kids' parents return home.
- Baseball Episode: In "Little Big League," Winnie substitutes for a sick child scheduled to pitch in a local little league game — and her witchcraft-tinged pitches give the opposing team's batters fits. A couple of big-league scouts try to sign her up for major league ball, but she refuses their offer when they show no interest in the youngsters.
- Catchphrase: Winnie's spell incantation of choice is "Ippity-pippity-pow!"
- Easily Thwarted Alien Invasion: "Witch Hitch" sees Winnie head off to Washington DC to match wits with an alien who wants to take over earth. His powers are decidedly no match for her sorcery, and he is forced to leave.
- Fractured Fairy Tale: Several episodes see Winnie interacting with various fairy tale worlds.
- "Prince of a Pup" sees her involved with Snow White. She tries to help the Queen put Snow White to sleep, but manages to put herself under as well.
- "The Hansel & Gretel Case" is a take-off on Hansel and Gretel. The little boy and girl seen are expies rather then the actual characters, though.
- "How Now, Cinderella" sees Winnie substituting for the title character's fairy godmother.
- "Good Red Riding Hood" places Winnie smack in the middle of Little Red Riding Hood. Here, she warns the title character about the wolf's presence, then later poses as Granny while besting the wolf with magic spells and broom whacks.
- "Wolfcraft Vs. Witchcraft" is a riff on The Three Little Pigs. Here Winnie uses her powers to provide protection for the three pigs. She manages to thwart the Big Bad Wolf by giving him conjuring powers (which he fouls up badly), then earns the wolf's gratitude when she shows him how to use them properly. The wolf is so thankful that he becomes the Big Good Wolf.
- "Ugly Duckling Trouble" has the witch interacting with the title character, who she saves from jumping off a cliff. At the bird's request, she turns him into various other animals — but after he runs into all kinds of trouble after being transformed, the duck has Winnie return him to his original form. He is most grateful for the lesson learned.
- Good Witch Versus Bad Witch: Winnie definitely qualifies as a good witch. She's friendly and helpful, if rather inept.
- Inept Mage: Winnie's spells often backfire, though she usually manages to win out by the end of an episode.
- In-Series Nickname: The main character's full name is Winsome W. Witch, but everyone calls her "Winnie."
- Parody: "Wild Wild Witch" is an Affectionate Parody of The Wizard of Oz. Winnie is carried away to Wizardland by a tornado, follows a path to the Wild Wizard's castle, and helps the incompetent fellow land a television job as the world's funniest magician.
- Protagonist Title: The show segment is named after the title character.
- The Sheriff: Winnie finds herself on the side of the law in the Old West a few times.
- "Winnie the Sheriff" sees the witch named head lawman of Crooked Gulch by the town's cowardly residents. She manages to subdue the infamous Dalton Gang handily with witchcraft.
- While out broom riding in "Sheriff Winnie," the witch crash-lands into a Western town. The mayor decides to appoint her sheriff and sends her after the marauding Brushface Burns. She thwarts the bandit at every turn until he gives up his evil ways — and when he reforms, he decides to court Winnie!
- Three Shorts: As a part of The Secret Squirrel Show, Winnie's shorts were traditionally last.
- True Love's Kiss: In "Prince of a Pup," Winnie manages to put both Snow White and herself to sleep with a magic spell, neither of whom can be wakened up unless kissed by a prince. Played straight when a handsome prince kisses Snow White and awakens her — but subverted when Winnie is wakened when a dog named Prince licks her.