Woody Woodpecker is an iconic cartoon star, the mascot and most successful cartoon series of the Walter Lantz and Universal studios, from his breakout debut in the Andy Panda short "Knock Knock" note , in 1940, to the end of his theatrical run in 1972, lasting for 198 shorts, supplemented by appearances in comics, merchandise, a long-running TV anthology show, a short-lived contemporary TV revival, and a live-action/CGI feature film and a late 2018 YouTube revival, thus establishing him as an animation Long Runner. In 2020, the character turns 80 and a second season is released.
He is famous for being a prominent example of the Heckler-Screwball type cartoon character, up there with masters like Daffy Duck and, of course, Screwy Squirrel himself. He has starred in many remarkable cartoons, most notably The Barber of Seville, which made it onto the list of The 50 Greatest Cartoons, along with his first solo short, The Cracked Nut, which made it as a runner-up.
During this time, director, animator and writer Ben "Bugs" Hardaway, fresh off of working on Looney Tunes, arrived at Lantz's studio and began work there, and with his help, Lantz created a brand new star in an attempt to give his studio the kick in the pants it needed badly initially appearing as the villain of the Andy Panda short Knock Knock in 1940 (with Andy himself playing a minor role compared to him), Woody Woodpecker was an instant success — being a hybrid of Classic Daffy Duck's troublemaking, eccentric and over the top persona with the wiseacre attitude of Bugs Bunny, and initially combined with the vocal talents of Mel Blanc, the character quickly earned his own series the following year, starting with 1941's "The Cracked Nut".
However, the series got off to a rocky start, and it's easy to see why — in Walter Lantz and Alex Lovy's attempts to imitate the fast paced slapstick of directors like Tex Avery and Bob Clampett, they missed the mark — the gags were often very derivative and juvenile (particularly the abundance of wordplay humor), the timing was floaty and mushy, and the animation, due in part to bad inkers and lousy inbetween work, was some of the sloppiest of any cartoon from the Golden Age. Lovy's haphazard direction and even pacing often undermined many gags, and kept the series from establishing a true identity for itself—and after the first couple shorts, Mel Blanc was forced to step down from the role of the Woodpecker upon getting an exclusive contract to Warner Bros cartoons, prompting Lantz to replace him with other voice actors, eventually settling on Ben Hardaway for years. Fortunately, matters improved when Lovy quit the studio and James "Shamus" Culhane, an established Fleischer and Disney animator, took over directorial duties, and improved the shorts considerably over Lovy's—the animation and staging got notably better with the aid of animation greats such as Grim Natwick and Emery Hawkins (although the shorts were still hampered by sloppy inkers and bad inbetween work), Woody's characterization became clearer, and the gags and pacing were improved, with the series starting moving away from being a Looney Tunes clone to being more of a chase and slapstick cartoon in the vein of series like Tom and Jerry, resulting in classics like The Barber of Seville, Who's Cookin Who and Chew Chew Baby. Also of note is was Culhane often abandoning the traditional storybook like watercolor backgrounds of earlier shorts in favor of minimalist, flat colored backgrounds—a very unique concept for shorts of the time. The only genuine criticism of his works would be that Woody was more prone to acting like a Jerkass than he did in the past.
Then the series then took another change in direction when ex-Disney veteran Dick Lundy arrived at Lantz, and starting with Bathing Buddies as his first Woody short, took over direction of the series from 1947 to 1949. While his cartoons lack the brutal comedy and richer personalities of the previous shorts, Lundy's shorts received a considerable upgrade not only in terms of animation and design, but also faster timing, resulting in classics like "Solid Ivory," "Smoked Hams", "Banquet Busters" and "Wet Blanket Policy." After the end of the 1940s and the brief shutdown and reopening of the Lantz studio between 1949 and 1951, Woody Woodpecker was gradually softened as a character to downplay his previous heckler persona and play up more childlike, heroic qualities in him instead (with in and out returns to his previous qualities, if in much subdued form). Despite these changes, the series stayed extremely popular among theatergoers.
In fact, Woody was so popular among theatergoers that he managed to have a much longer track record than most theatrical cartoon series, his run lasting all the way up to 1972, straight into The Dark Age of Animation, about 30 years in work note , lasting even after his competition had long since faded away and/or branched out to television this is due to the fact that the Woody Woodpecker cartoons were made on much lower budgets than most animation studios worked with at the time to begin with, so the series had little problems adjusting to the rise of The Dark Age of Animation with rising production costs and the fallout of popularity with theatrical cartoons. It helped matters that the bird even had a hit TV series which debuted in the 1950s, guest-starring Walter Lantz in live action segments, running at the same time he was still appearing in theaters. In fact, Lantz claimed the reason he stopped making Woody shorts was not because they weren't popular, but rather because theatrical shorts had become completely unprofitable by that point!
Woody also has a Motion Picture Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on 7000 Hollywood Boulevard. He's also starred in many comic books, including one story that was done by Pogo creator Walt Kelly. He's also had an occasional game tie-in.
In 1999, Universal wanted to cash in the character again, so they put together an all-new show for Woody Woodpecker and his friends, called The New Woody Woodpecker Show, animated by their in-house studio (most famous for Exosquad), and aired on Fox Kids until the block's demise in 2002. Woody was voiced by Billy West, and the shorts actually had some top talents working on it, including former The Ren & Stimpy Show staff members Bob Jaques and Mike Fontanelli. The show was rife with censorship and Executive Meddling, as the former staff members can attest to. As a result, this revival was ultimately a failure (however the show still has its fan base), barely lasting around 50 episodes, some of which weren't even aired in the US (save for a brief release of the entire series on Netflix); currently, only 13 episodes are on Hulu, and only one episode of the series has been released on DVD.
Despite this setback, his theatrical serials are still fondly remembered by classic animation fans and he is still the official mascot of Universal Studios to this day.note The series lingered in a state of hiatus for several years until a new CG feature-length Woody Woodpecker feature was made by Universal in 2017, getting a theatrical release in Brazil and getting a direct-to-video and Netflix release in the US. A new YouTube-exclusive webseries revival of the character is also due to release in late 2018.
His character trademark has always been his unique, skull-splitting laugh, supplied by legendary voice actor Mel Blanc (and later, Lantz's own wife, Grace Stafford), which is up there with iconic sounds like the Wilhelm Scream and the Super Mario Bros. theme, known and recognized even by people who haven't even seen any of the Woody Woodpecker cartoons.
Many of the theatrical Woody Woodpecker shorts up to the late 1950s have been compiled into a two-volume set of DVD collections called The Woody Woodpecker and Friends Classic Cartoon Collection: The Walter Lantz Archive which also includes shorts starring other Universal cartoon character shorts, such as Andy Panda, Chilly Willy and Walter Lantz Oswald the Lucky Rabbit cartoons. To date, exactly one Woody Woodpecker short has fallen into the public domain, "Pantry Panic", and it is considered a staple of many bargain bin VHS and DVDs.
On a side note, Lantz told an apocryphal story that he got the idea for Woody from a real woodpecker that was pestering him and his wife when they were staying in a log cabin on their honeymoon. But its obvious that this was a fabricated story to draw attention from the fact that Woody was, so to speak, "inspired" by the likes of Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck. Another hole in the story is that Lantz's honeymoon didn't take place until a year after Woody's debut in "Knock Knock" took place!
Has a Character Sheet.
- Knock Knock (Alex Lovy - no onscreen credit / Andy Panda cartoon): Woody's debut, where he acts as the villain of the picture, harassing Poppa and Andy Panda. While technically an Andy Panda short, the amount of screentime Woody gets in contrast to Andy Panda makes this a blatant pilot for his series. The ending is ripped almost wholesale from "Daffy Duck and Egghead"—no surprise, since the storyman for this short, Ben Hardaway, was a former Looney Tunes writer/director.
- Woody Woodpecker / The Cracked Nut: Woody's first solo entry. One reissued print renamed it "The Cracked Nut", which is what this short is usually called nowadays to avoid confusion. Runner-up on The 50 Greatest Cartoons list.
- The Screwdriver: Woody's second solo outing, and a prime example of his early screwball days. The short is notable for Woody getting away with harassing a police officer and winding up getting the guy thrown in a mental home—especially strange for the time period, when Karma Houdinis, not to mention disrespect of authority figures, were strictly taboo in the film industry due to The Hays Code.
- Pantry Panic: Only Woody Woodpecker cartoon in the Public Domain. A particularly violent short, with a starving Woody trying to cook a vagrant cat alive (although to be fair, said cat was trying to eat HIM as well...) The short also establishes Woody's role as a Big Eater, something that would expanded upon in later shorts.
1942 (All cartoons directed by Alex Lovy.)
- The Hollywood Matador (co-directed by Lantz - no onscreen credit): Woody's first short where he is portrayed sympathetically. Kent Rogers voices Woody here.
- Ace in the Hole: A Wartime Cartoon, being set on a military airbase.
- The Loan Stranger
- The Screwball (Lovy)
- The Dizzy Acrobat (Lovy/Lantz/Hardaway - no onscreen credit): First Woody Woodpecker short to be nominated for the Academy Award.
- Ration Bored (Schaffer/Hawkins): First short where Woody dons his White Gloves. Last short to use the original Woody Woodpecker design. The animation slowly starts improving around this time, being a tad less mushy than the earlier shorts. Woody is presented as more rationalized (no pun intended) here than before, with him actually having a motive to go about his deeds (stealing gas in a time when it was heavily rationed), a step up from the mindless heckler he was in previous outings.
1944 (All cartoons directed by James Culhane.)
- The Barber of Seville: Shamus Culhane's first Woody Woodpecker short. One of The 50 Greatest Cartoons. Also the last Woody with green eyes until 1947. Woody's jerk tendencies were played up considerably from here on out, with sheer determination replacing his previously nutty, haphazard nature. He also recieved a major design overhaul in this short, doing away with his original ghoulish look in favor of a more streamlined, slicker design.
- The Beach Nut: Wally Walrus' debut. Ben Hardaway becomes Woody Woodpecker's voice actor from here on out.
- Ski for Two: Co-starring Wally Walrus.
1945 (All cartoons directed by James Culhane)
- Chew-Chew Baby: The first of Woody's recurring cross-dressing escapades. Culhane expands on Woody's character by showing a more cunning, selfish side of him. Co-starring Wally Walrus.
- Woody Dines Out
- The Dippy Diplomat: Co-starring Wally Walrus.
- The Loose Nut
- Who's Cookin' Who? (Culhane): Semi-Remake of Pantry Panic. Like that short, this is a particularly violent cartoon, with some very painful gags used throughout. One of two shorts that feature Wolfie Wolf.
- Bathing Buddies (Dick Lundy): Dick Lundy's directorial debut on the series. Co-starring Wally Walrus.
- The Reckless Driver (Culhane): Similar plot to "The Screwdriver". Co-starring Wally Walrus.
- Fair Weather Fiends (Culhane): Last Woody cartoon directed by Shamus Culhane. Second of two shorts with Wolfie Wolf.
1947 (All cartoons directed by Dick Lundy.)
- Musical Moments From Chopin: A Musical Miniature Cartune, starring both Woody Woodpecker and Andy Panda. Woody was redesigned again in this cartoon by Disney veteran Fred Moore, looking even softer than he did in the past. Second Woody cartoon to be nominated for the Academy Award.
- Smoked Hams: Co-starring Wally Walrus.
- The Coo Coo Bird: A rare solo Woody cartoon. This short is suspiciously similar in story to the 1941 Donald Duck short "Early to Bed".
- Well Oiled: Co-starring Wally Walrus.
- Solid Ivory: Solo Woody short, featuring him going up against an overprotective hen.
- Woody the Giant Killer
1948 (All cartoons directed by Dick Lundy.)
- The Mad Hatter: Solo Woody short with a brief appearance from Wally Walrus.
- Banquet Busters: Co-stars Andy Panda and Wally Walrus.
- Wacky-Bye Baby: Co-starring Wally Walrus.
- Wet Blanket Policy: Debut of Buzz Buzzard. Academy Award nominee for Best Song, "The Woody Woodpecker Song".
- Wild and Woody!: Co-starring Buzz Buzzard
- Drooler's Delight (Lundy): Last Lantz cartoon made before brief shutdown. Last short fully directed by Dick Lundy. Notable for being animated entirely by Ed Love. Co-starring Buzz Buzzard.
- Destination Moon: Makes an appearance in a brief animated segment, explaining rocket propulsion. Here we get a glimpse at Woody's fourth redesign, making him punier and cuter than before.
1951 (All cartoons directed by Walter Lantz - no onscreen credit)
- Puny Express (co-directed by Lundy / first appearance of the redesigned Buzz Buzzard, with reddish head, though a black Buzz Buzzard would still appear twice, in Buccaneer Woodpecker and Hot Noon (or 12 O'Clock For Sure).
- Sleep Happy: Co-starring Wally Walrus.
- Wicket Wacky
- Slingshot 6 7/8: Co-starring Buzz Buzzard.
- The Redwood Sap: Another remake of Pantry Panic.
- The Woody Woodpecker Polka: The last theatrical cartoon appearances of Andy Panda and Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, who makes a cameo. Last time Mel Blanc's original recording of the Woody Woodpecker laugh would be used. Lantz made this short in an attempt to make lightning strike twice, so to speak, by trying to replicate the success of The Woody Woodpecker Song with this shorts song. Unfortunately, it was not successful. Co-starring Wally Walrus.
- Destination Meatball: Co-starring Buzz Buzzard.
- Born to Peck (Lantz - no onscreen credit): One of the grimmest shorts in the series, featuring a elderly, dying Woody as he reminesces about his youth.
- Stage Hoax (Lantz - no onscreen credit): Co-starring Buzz Buzzard.
- Woodpecker in the Rough (Lantz - no onscreen credit)
- Scalp Treatment (Lantz - no onscreen credit): Co-starring Buzz Buzzard.
- The Great Who-Dood-It (Don Patterson): Co-starring Buzz Buzzard.
- Termites from Mars (Patterson)
- What's Sweepin' (Patterson): Wally Walrus' final speaking appearance
- Buccaneer Woodpecker (Patterson): Co-starring Buzz Buzzard.
- Operation Sawdust (Patterson): Wally Walrus' final appearance in a Woody Woodpecker cartoon. Co-starring Buzz Buzzard.
- Wrestling Wrecks (Patterson)
- Belle Boys (Patterson): Co-starring Buzz Buzzard.
- Hypnotic Hick (Patterson): Only 3-D Woody Woodpecker cartoon. Co-starring Buzz Buzzard.
- Hot Noon (or 12 O'Clock For Sure) (Paul J. Smith): Co-starring Buzz Buzzard.
- Socko in Morocco (Patterson): Co-starring Buzz Buzzard.
- Alley to Bali (Patterson): Co-starring Buzz Buzzard.
- Under the Counter Spy (Patterson)
- Hot Rod Huckster (Patterson)
- Real Gone Woody (Smith): Winnie Woodpecker's sole appearance in a classic-era cartoon. Co-starring Buzz Buzzard.
- A Fine Feathered Frenzy (Patterson)
- Convict Concerto (Patterson - no onscreen scredit)
- Helter Shelter (Smith)
- Witch Crafty (Smith)
- Private Eye Pooch (Smith): Professor Dingledong's first appearance.
- Bedtime Bedlam (Smith)
- Square Shootin' Square (Smith): Dapper Denver Dooley's first appearance.
- Bunco Busters (Smith): Last cartoon with Woody designed with green eyes, and also Buzz Buzzard's last appearance until 1969's Tumble Weed Greed
- The Tree Medic (Lovy): First cartoon with Woody redesigned with black eyes, although he still has green eyes in the opening titles.
- After the Ball (Smith)
- Get Lost (Smith): Knothead and Splinter's first appearances.
- Chief Charlie Horse (Smith)
- Woodpecker from Mars (Smith)
- Calling All Cuckoos (Smith)
- Niagara Fools (Smith)
- Arts and Flowers (Smith)
- Woody Meets Davy Crewcut (Lovy)
- Red Riding Hoodlum (Smith): Co-starring Knothead and Splinter.
- Box Car Bandit (Smith): Co-starring Dapper Denver Dooley.
- The Unbearable Salesman (Smith)
- International Woodpecker (Smith): Co-starring Knothead and Splinter.
- To Catch a Woodpecker (Lovy)
- Round Trip to Mars (Smith): Co-starring Professor Dingledong.
- Dopey Dick the Pink Whale (Smith): Co-starring Dapper Denver Dooley.
- Fodder and Son (Smith): C-starring Windy and Breezy, who would star in their own cartoons afterwards.
- Misguided Missile (Smith): Co-starring Dapper Denver Dooley.
- Watch the Birdie (Lovy)
- Half Empty Saddles (Smith): Co-starring Dapper Denver Dooley.
- His Better Elf (Smith)
- Everglade Raid (Smith): Gabby Gator's first appearance, as "Ali Gator".
- Trees a Crowd (Smith)
- Jittery Jester (Smith): Co-starring Dapper Denver Dooley.
- Tomcat Combat (Smith): Co-starring Inspector Willoughby, who usually starred in his own cartoons.
- Log Jammed (Smith)
- Panhandle Scandal (Lovy): Co-starring Dapper Denver Dooley.
- Woodpecker in the Moon (Lovy): Co-starring Professor Dingledong.
- The Tee Bird (Smith): Dapper Denver Dooley's final appearance in a Woody Woodpecker cartune.
- Romp in a Swamp (Smith): Co-starring Gabby Gator, still identified as "Ali Gator".
- Kiddie League (Smith): Co-starring Inspector Willoughby.
- Billion Dollar Boner (Lovy)
- Pistol Packin' Woodpecker (Smith)
- Heap Big Hepcat (Smith)
- Ballyhooey (Lovy)
- How to Stuff a Woodpecker (Smith): Co-starring Professor Dingledong.
- Bats in the Belfry (Smith)
- Ozark Lark (Smith)
- Southern Fried Hospitality (Jack Hannah): Co-starring Gabby Gator, who finally receives his permanent name.
- Fowled Up Falcon (Smith)
- Poop Deck Pirate (Hannah)
- The Bird Who Came to Dinner (Smith)
- Gabby's Diner (Hannah): Co-starring Gabby Gator.
- Sufferin' Cats (Smith)
- Franken-Stymied (Hannah)
- Busman's Holiday (Smith)
- Phantom of the Horse Opera (Smith): Co-starring Sugarfoot the Horse, who originally starred in his own cartoons.
- Woody's Kook-Out (Hannah): Co-starring Gabby Gator.
- Home Sweet Homewrecker (Smith)
- Rock-a-Bye Gator (Hannah): Co-starring Gabby Gator.
- Room and Bored (Smith): Chilly Willy's co-star Smedley's co-stars with Woody.
- Rocket Racket (Hannah): Co-starring Gabby Gator.
- Careless Caretaker (Smith): Co-starring Smedley.
- Tragic Magic (Smith)
- Voo-Doo Boo-Boo (Hannah): Co-starring Gabby Gator.
- Crowin' Pains (Smith)
- Little Woody Riding Hood (Smith): Co-starring Gabby Gator.
- Greedy Gabby Gator (Sid Marcus): Gabby Gator's final appearance.
- Robin Hoody Woody (Smith)
- Stowaway Woody (Marcus)
- The Shutter Bug (Smith)
- Coy Decoy (Marcus)
- The Tenant's Racket (Marcus)
- Short in the Saddle (Smith)
- Tepee for Two (Marcus)
- Science Friction (Marcus)
- Calling Dr. Woodpecker (Smith): Miss Meany's first appearance.
- Dumb Like a Fox (Marcus)
- Saddle Sore Woody (Smith)
- Woody's Clip Joint (Marcus)
- Skinfolks (Marcus)
- Get Lost! Little Doggy (Marcus): Co-starring Miss Meany.
- Freeway Fracas (Smith)
- Roamin' Roman (Smith)
- Three Little Woodpeckers (Marcus): Co-starring Knothead and Splinter.
- Woodpecker Wanted (Smith): Co-starring Sugarfoot.
- Birds of a Feather (Marcus): Co-starring Miss Meany.
- Canned Dog Feud (Smith)
- Janie Get Your Gun (Smith): Co-starring Miss Meany.
- Sioux Me (Marcus)
- What's Peckin' (Smith): Co-starring Professor Dingledong.
- Rough Riding Hood (Marcus)
- Lonesome Ranger (Smith)
- Woody and the Beanstalk (Smith): Co-starring Miss Meany.
- Hassle in a Castle (Smith)
- The Big Bite (Smith)
- Astronut Woody (Smith)
- Practical Yoke (Smith): Co-starring Miss Meany.
- Monster of Ceremonies (Smith): Co-starring Professor Dingledong.
1967 (All cartoons directed by Paul J. Smith.)
- Sissy Sheriff: Co-starring Sugarfoot.
- Have Gun, Can't Travel: Co-starring Sugarfoot.
- The Nautical Nut
- Hot Diggity Dog
- Horse Play: Co-starring Sugarfoot.
- Secret Agent Woody Woodpecker
- Chilly Chums: Woody Woodpecker makes a cameo in this Chilly Willy cartune.
1968 (All cartoons directed by Paul J. Smith.)
- Lotsa Luck: Co-starring Sugarfoot.
- Fat in the Saddle: Co-starring Sugarfoot.
- Feudin Fightin-N-Fussin'
- Peck of Trouble
- A Lad in Bagdad
- One Horse Town: Co-starring Sugarfoot.
- Woody the Freeloader
1969 (All cartoons directed by Paul J. Smith.)
- Hook, Line and Stinker
- Little Skeeter
- Woody's Knight Mare: Co-starring Sugarfoot.
- Tumble Weed Greed: Buzz Buzzard's first appearance since Bunco Busters, ending a 14-year hiatus, something other secondary characters never achieved.
- Ship A'hoy Woody: Co-starring Buzz Buzzard.
- Prehistoric Super Salesman: Professor Dingledong's final appearance.
- Phoney Pony: Co-starring Sugarfoot.
1970 (All cartoons directed by Paul J. Smith.)
- Seal on the Loose: Co-starring Miss Meany.
- Wild Bill Hiccup: Co-starring Sugarfoot.
- Coo Coo Nuts
- Hi-Rise Wise Guys
- Buster's Last Stand
- All Hams on Deck
- Flim Flam Fountain: Co-starring Buzz Buzzard.
1971 (All cartoons directed by Paul J. Smith.)
- Sleepy Time Chimes
- The Reluctant Recruit
- How to Trap a Woodpecker
- Woody's Magic Touch
- Kitty from The City
- The Snoozin' Bruin
- Shanghai Woody
1972 (All cartoons directed by Paul J. Smith.)
- Indian Corn
- Gold Diggin' Woodpecker: Sugarfoot's final appearance.
- Pecking Holes in Poles
- Chili Con Corny: Co-starring Miss Meany.
- Show Biz Beagle: Co-starring Buzz Buzzard.
- For the Love of Pizza: Co-starring Miss Meany.
- The Genie with the Light Touch: Buzz Buzzard's final appearance in a Walter Lantz cartune
- Bye, Bye, Blackboard: The last regular Woody Woodpecker cartoon and last Walter Lantz cartune. It was Woody's and Miss Meany's last appearance on a Walter Lantz cartune.
- Who Framed Roger Rabbit: Makes a cameo in the ending.
- Woody Woodpecker: A CGI/Live-Action film, originally released in Brazil on October 5, 2017 with an international release in 2018
Tropes Related to the Original Theatrical Cartoons:
- Abandoned Mine: Woody once found one and decided to see if there was any gold left. An outlaw named Joe claimed the mine as his by writing his name on the Abandoned Mine sign. Woody got the gold but it was fool's gold and the assays officer threatened to shoot the next one to bring it. At least Woody had a good laugh by luring Joe into being the next one.
- Abhorrent Admirer: Gorgeous Gal in A Fine Feathered Frenzy, a female bird who fell in love with the Woodpecker instantly. Woody on the other hand was turned off by her weight and age despite her riches and va va vavoom voice. Gorgeous Gal flirted, kissed him many times, chased after him and tried to seduce him wearing different outfits. Finally Gorgeous Gal trapped Woody and arranged for a priest to marry them.
- Abnormal Ammo: In Wild and Woody, Woody's gun appears to be powered by gasoline, of all things.
- Also, a can opener on a slingshot in Slingshot 6 7/8.
- Acrophobic Bird: Depends on the short Woody is in.
- Alliterative Name: Take a wild guess.
- Angrish: Frequently spouted by some villains whenever one of their plots to outsmart/get rid of Woody falls flat. A frequent offender is Dirty McNasty, the rustler from some of the late 1960s shorts.
- Animated Anthology: The original Woody Woodpecker Show followed this format.
- Animated Show: Woody has had two of them.
- Animation Bump: The early shorts by Lantz and Lovy had very sloppy, off-model prone animation. The animation improved to a degree when Shamus Culhane joined the studio, but his efforts were still undermined by bad inkers and sloppy in-between work. By 1948, increased budgets (owing to a shift in distributors from Universal to United Artists) and the direction of Culhane's replacement Dick Lundy finally smoothed the shorts' animation out to a more slick, graceful aesthetic (no doubt aided by the hiring of top-flight Disney and MGM animators such as Ed Love, Fred Moore and Ken O'Brien) but then started to deteriorate again after the studio's temporary shutdown in 1949. The animation quality remained acceptable (if spartan and budget-constrained) under Lundy's replacement, Don Patterson, upon the studio's re-opening in 1950, but grew steadily worse and worse when Patterson left and was replaced by Paul J. Smith and the returning Alex Lovy. Surprisingly enough the animation (albeit not Smith's direction) did improve near the end of the studio's life, when Smith recruited some better animators (such as Disney veterans Volus Jones and Al Coe) in 1971—72, but it was really too little, too late.
- Anthropomorphic Shift: Woody started off looking like a deranged bird◊ to looking like a standard issue funny animal.◊
- Anti-Hero: Woody varies between this and a Villain Protagonist.
- Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: In an episode of The New Woody Woodpecker Show, Woody is trying to get a police officer to come arrest Buzz Buzzard. At first, this trope is inverted, with Woody listing Buzz's crimes starting from the least severe like cussing and littering, and going up to the most severe with bank robbery. When the donut-munching officer still refuses to think of Buzz as worth arresting at that point, Woody says that Buzz is parked in a red zone, at which point the officer lets out a Big "WHAT?!" and rushes to arrest Buzz on the spot.
- Art Evolution: Woody went through several redesigns as the series ran its course. He started off looking like a ghoulish, needle-nosed ragdoll in his first batch of shorts, but his original design became a little softer starting with Ace in the Hole. His buck teeth began to disappear, as Lantz realized this feature was extraneous. In addition, the beak and feet colors became slightly brighter and more vibrant. He also does not have a big chin anymore. "Ration Bored" also tweaked his design a little by making his hands colored white, so they would read better. His first (and most famous) redesign came around in the short "The Barber of Seville" This design◊ was much more streamlined (just look at the The Coo Coo Bird title card!) and cuter looking than the previous one, and Woody even got gloves! Come the late 40s, Fred Moore from Disney briefly worked at Lantz and supplied Woody with a third, more handsome tweak◊ on his design. Yet another redesign◊ came around by the 1950s, this time streamlining Woody's design down to its bare essence, and making him incredibly tiny as well. The rest of the theatrical cartoons would stick with variations on the "Tiny" design, while contemporary appearances of Woody tend to settle for his mid-40s design.
- Artistic License Military: * The 1971 cartoon The Reluctant Recruit has Woody tricked into joining the Foreign Legion. There are two errors in the cartoon:
- Woody is tricked into joining the Legion when a recruiting office, presumably in the United States, makes him think it's a travel agency with free tropical vacations. The Foreign Legion does NOT recruit soldiers in their homelands. One has to travel to France to enlist.
- The sergeant in the cartoon constantly trying to stop Woody's escape? While his uniform is mostly correct, his rank chevrons point upside down. They should be pointing upwards.
- Ascended to Carnivorism: In both "Pantry Panic" and "Who's Cooking Who", a starving winter-locked Woody gets into fights with hungry predators out to eat him by trying to eat them instead. In the former, Woody and the cat team up to eat a wandering moose together before going back to fighting at knife-point over who gets to eat who. In the latter, it turns out to be all just a dream... so Woody goes and captures the wolf he was fighting with in order to have him ready to eat when winter comes.
- Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: The short Woody the Giant Killer.
- Balloon-Bursting Bird: Woody did this, when opponents used balloons.
- Baseball Episode: The Screwball and Kiddie League.
- Based on a Great Big Lie: Done in the intro of the short Under the Counter Spy:"The following story is a big fat lie. No names have been changed to protect anybody!"
- Beak Attack: Woody uses his beak in much the same way real woodpeckers do, to peck on trees, but he's not above pecking the heads of adversaries just for the hell of it.
- Berserk Button: Woody doesn't like cheesecake. The Loan Shark from The Loan Stranger learned this the hard way.
Woody: You're not going to pull that old gag on me, are you, son? (puffs up as he speaks) Do you know what I DID TO THE LAST GUY THAT TRIED THAT?! WHY, I TORE HIM LIMBFROMLIMB! And then he promptly walks off, playing his beak like a flute and deflating himself in the process.
- Also, in the short Knock Knock, Woody pulls this on Andy Panda when he first tries to salt him:
- Big Eater: Woody's desire to get a quick meal (usually on the cheap) is the source for many of the plots.
- Bigfoot, Sasquatch and Yeti: In an issue of an old Woody Woodpecker comic, Woody goes with his niece and nephew over to Asia to film the abominable snowman. His camera is taken by a band of thieves using the legend of the snowman to scare people into giving them gift to appease them. And then the real deal come along and scares the band away.
- Bizarre and Improbable Golf Game: Played straight at the beginning of The Loose Nut, in which Woody launches a golf ball...from a very high, thin mound of land.
- Blatant Lies: Lantz's phony origin story for Woody, which was for a while perceived as fact.
- Bloodless Carnage: Very prevalent in Pantry Panic (in which Woody and the cat he's fighting eat a moose near the end, and its carcass is shown onscreen - lots of bones and the moose's decapitated head) and Who's Cookin Who?.
- Booby Trap: Pulled in the short Drooler's Delight, in which a cross-dressing Woody allows Buzz Buzzard to reach into the top of the dress...only to have a bear trap clamp down on his hand.
- Born in the Theatre: In the short "Who's Cookin' Who?", at one point where Woody is deprived of food, he asks the audience if somebody could "please go up to the lobby and get me a candy bar?"
Woody: "No coaching from the audience, please!"
- Also, an example appeared earlier in The Screwdriver, when Woody is quizzing the cop he is harassing:
- The Cracked Nut ended with Woody sitting in the theater in which his own cartoon is being watched, commenting on the action and annoying the people next to him ( "I like cartoons! Do you like cartoons?")
- Bragging Theme Tune: The opening song from his first solo cartoon, "Woody Woodpecker" AKA "The Cracked Nut". It appeared again in The Screwdriver and Hot Rod Huckster, in both instances with the lyrics adapted to car-driving.
- Breakout Character: Woody actually got his start as the antagonist of the Andy Panda short "Knock Knock". Needless to say, he had so much more personality and charisma than the actual protagonists of the short that he quickly rose in popularity and inevitably got his own series soon after, and the rest is history.
- Bull Seeing Red: In the short The Hollywood Matador, the bull flies off the handle when he sees Woody's (then) red hide.
- Wrestling Wrecks plays with this, when Woody gets on the ring near the end of the short to fight Bulldozer. He dons bullfighter attire and swings a red cape before him, and he starts behaving like a true bull about to ram the cape (they even superimpose a bull image over him as he's rubbing his hand against the mat!).
- The Bus Came Back: Buzz Buzzard, after spending 14 years in limbo starting in 1955, abruptly returned to the series around 1969, and even makes an appearance in the series second to last theatrical cartoon.
- Butter Face: Socko in Morocco. Subverted, however.
- Butt-Monkey: Wally Walrus would more often than not wind up as this, with him being at the mercy of Woody's antics.
- Canon Immigrants: Knothead and Splinter, Woody's nephew and niece respectively, originally appeared in an old Woody Woodpecker comic book for several issues, but were later brought into the cartoons as time went on.
- Captain Ersatz: Woody was (initially) one of the early Daffy Duck, and the "prototypes" of Bugs Bunny from the shorts "Porky's Hare Hunt" and "Hare Um Scare Um", both of which were directed by Ben Hardaway. The rabbit in the shorts not only shares the same actor as Bugs and Daffy, but even uses a laugh almost identical to Woody's, albeit not sped up.
- Buzz Buzzard, a character director Dick Lundy added to the Woody cartoons shortly after his arrival at Lantz's studio, seems to be one of Ben Buzzard, a character Dick Lundy made for the short "The Flying Jalopy", a Donald Duck cartoon Lundy worked on when he was at Disney.
- The Cameo:
- Destination Moon of all things. In an animated short within the film, the narrator explains to the doubting Woodpecker how a rocket could get to the Moon.
- Woody (or what we're to assume is a stuffed toy version of him) makes a brief appearance in the first Universal Swing Symphonies short "21 Dollars a Day (Once a Month)."
- Woody appears among the crowd of cartoon characters at the end of Who Framed Roger Rabbit.
- Characterization Marches On: Woody was initially a literally crazy Cloud Cuckoolander in the vein of Daffy, but after the early batch of shorts, he shed these traits to become more of an aggressive heckler or sometimes an Anti-Hero.
- Chaste Toons: Woody has a niece and nephew names Splinter and Knothead; see Canon Immigrants above.
- Chekhov's Gun: In Knock Knock, it starts with Andy Panda asking his dad if you can really catch a woodpecker by pouring salt on his tail.note Andy does try to do this on Woody twice early in the short, but Woody is too smart to fall for it. The third time is the charm though, when Andy catches Woody laughing on the ground, and applies a big lump of salt on his tail that traps him in place.
- Chick Magnet: He's had plenty of women, particularly human women fall for him instantly. In "Belle Boys" the beautiful French actress Ga Ga Gazoo tries to kiss him on the lips the second she meets him. A Mexican woman gives him two gigantic smooches in "Hot Noon (Or 12 O'Clock For Sure)." Princess Salami of "Socco in Morroco" kisses him only moments after they've met and the cartoon ends with the two making out.
- With few exceptions such as his girlfriend Winnie Woodpecker this seems to work against his favor with other female animals though, with them becoming Abhorrent Admirers. Gorgeous Gal of "A Fine Feathered Frenzy" had a lovely voice but was an overweight and elderly dowager bird. When Gorgeous met Woody Woodpecker she batted her eyelashes, gave him a giant wink and clicked her heels in excitement. She wanted to make love to him right away even though he was not interested. She even offered to bathe with him! Eventually she got him to marry her with their honeymoon starting a second later. Woody also caught the fancy of a gigantic female pink octopus in "Alley To Bali" who kissed him on the cheek twice.
- Chronically Crashed Car: Woody's beat-up old car, presumably a scaled down 313 type car◊, was very unstable in its early appearances.
- Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: Woody's two major foes, Wally Walrus and Buzz Buzzard suffered this. Wally was Woody's initial hapless foe for several shorts, but was gradually demoted to a recurring extra by 1948—he reappeared for one 1951 short and two more times in 1953, before he permanently vanished from the series without explanation. Buzz Buzzard, Woody's other recurring antagonist, barely had it any better, vanishing from the series in 1955 and stayed in limbo for fourteen years before finally returning in a 1969 short, and he would even appear in the second to last theatrical short of the series.
- Close-Call Haircut: At one point in "Solid Ivory".
- Also a Running Gag in "International Woodpecker".
- Cloud Cuckoolander: Woody veered between being this and The Prankster in the earliest shorts.
- Comedic Underwear Exposure:
- In the featurette, "Janie Get Your Gun" (with Ms. Meany appearing here as Calamity Jane), near the end of it, when Woody is carrying a train attached to Calamity Jane's hat at the wedding reception, he falls into a hole and somehow even though the train isn't attached to her dress, the dress still gets pulled off. She's left in her pink bloomers/pantalets and is mortified.
- In "Witch Crafty", when the witch flies on her magical broom (which is not actually her own, but one she picked up by mistake from the factory) into a tree at one point, the broom is stuck there and she falls out of her purple mini dress (which also gets stuck and is left high on the tree). As she notices the audience getting a view at her pink corset/bustier and white bloomers or pantalets, she coyly attempts to cover up by grabbing some bushes and leaves the scene.
- Woody's underwear exposed in "Wet Blanket Policy".
- Comes Great Insanity: If you value your life, do not, under any circumstances, give Woody the position of a barber. He will go completely nuts with the position.
- Comically Cross-Eyed: In his earliest cartoons Woody often took on a goofy, cross-eyed expression, complete with Fish Eyes and/or a Maniac Tongue.
- Confusing Multiple Negatives: In "Get Lost", written on an extra-long dynamite stick:YOU CAN'T HARDLY GET THEM THIS SIZE NO MORE
- Cool and Unusual Punishment: In the end of the short Ace in the Hole after Woody ejects himself and the Sergeant who is chasing him from a plane, all but completely crippling the Sarge of the military airport that employed Woody at the time, he is forced to tediously shave all of the hair off a very, very long line of horses, one by one, under the threat of a shotgun aimed at him by his sarge.
- Cross-Dressing Voices: Walter Lantz's wife, Grace Stafford Lantz, succeeded Mel Blanc and Ben Hardaway as Woody's voice actor. She claimed that she slipped in a recording of her own impression of Woody's voice around the time Walter Lantz was looking for Woody's new voice.
- Death Glare: Used by Evil Woody in this comic◊ to get gang members under his control.
- Department of Redundancy Department: When some of the older shorts were aired on TV in the 60's via the Woody Woodpecker show, extra dialogue was dubbed over by Grace Lantz to the shorts which read clearly visible, readable signs. (i.e. In the TV cut of the short The Loan Stranger, when we first see the Sympathy Loan Company the new Woody Woodpecker dialogue reads out the large, plainly visible words on the buildings signs.) Apparently this was so younger viewers watching the cartoons back then (and possibly not literate ones) would be able to understand the signs. Fortunately, the DVD collections use the unaltered prints.
- Deranged Animation: Some bits of it sneaked into Culhane's shorts. "The Loose Nut" particularly features some in the ending where Woody sets off an explosive near the construction worker.
- Deserted Island: Used in the short Fair Weather Fiends.
- Deus ex Machina: The end of "Born to Peck" uses this; when Woody throws himself off a cliff due to his old age, the animator steps in and hastily paints a Fountain of Youth where Woody's grave would have been, which rejuvenates Woody back to normal.
- Digital Destruction: The two DVD sets suffer from some nasty DVNR damage, terrible color correction issues, as well as some digital compression issues.
- Diminishing Villain Threat: Buzz Buzzard was a genuine menace in his earliest appearances, intended to be the perfect foil for Woody's antics—but in the fifties, he quickly degenerated into a hapless foe for Woody (they're even co-workers in "Operation Sawdust" and "Belle Boys").
- Disaster Dominoes: The ending of "The Beach Nut", where Wally Walrus ties Woody to an anchor and throws him at the sea. Thing is, the anchor's rope was tied to the pier and, after Woody was thrown, the weight of the anchor tore up the pier plank by plank, eventually destroying even the amusement park next to it.
- Disney Death: Woody deliberately pulls this at the end of The Loan Stranger in order to get the Loan Shark who was harassing him throughout the short to tear up the loan out of sheer guilt: he placed a vase on his head before the loan shark punched him, and then pretended he had broken his skull.
- Disproportionate Retribution: In The Dizzy Acrobat, a lion eats Woody's hot dog when Woody is looking away. Without a second thought, Woody gets back at him by putting the lion's tail into the hot dog buns, and tricks the lion to thinking that it's another hot dogprompting the lion to bite his own tail off.
- Does Not Like Spam: Four words: I don't like cheesecake!.
- Dolled-Up Installment: Woody Woodpecker in Crazy Castle 5, even though the previous four Crazy Castle games had Bugs Bunny as the lead star.
- Dragged Off to Hell: Happens to O'Toole the leprechaun at the end of "His Better Elf", when Woody uses his third wish to tell him to "Go to blazes!"
- Drill Sergeant Nasty: The general from "Ace in the Hole".
- Driven to Suicide: An elderly Woody attempts this in the climax of "Born to Peck" only for the animator to step in and save the day.
- Early Installment Weirdness: The pre-Culhane and Lundy shorts, what with Woody's original ghoulish design and Lantz's attempts at imitating Looney Tunes style comedy.
- Era-Specific Personality: The early 40s Cloud Cuckoolander Woody, the mid-to-late 40s jerk Woody, and the more conservative, less screwy Woody from the 50s and onward.
- Every Car Is a Pinto: Woody has gone through several cars over the years, his earliest one being so unstable that it sometimes either blew itself out or, exploded if it so much as bumped into something like a lamp-post—going at not even five MPH no less.
- Evil vs. Evil: Woody VS. the Cat in "Pantry Panic", and Woody VS. The Wolf in "Who's Cookin Who" and "Fair Weather Fiends".
- Extra! Extra! Read All About It!: Used in this Woody Woodpecker comic.◊
- Also in "Hot Noon (Or 12 o'Clock for Sure)", when Woody delivers to Buzz Buzzard the newspaper he just printed with the headline announcing Buzz's demise.
- Eye Scream: The beginning of "The Screwball", where a policeman uses his nightstick to poke the eyes of people outside the ballpark through holes on the fence.
- Faking the Dead: See Disney Death earlier.
- Feathered Fiend: Buzz Buzzard.
- Feather Fingers: Woody in his pre-Barber of Seville appearances.
- Finger in a Barrel: In "Wet Blanket Policy" and "Under The Counter Spy".
- Fluffy Cloud Heaven: Woody and a policeman wind up there in the end of "Ration Bored".
- Forgot I Could Fly: There's one Woody Woodpecker cartoon where Woody falls from a great height, starts flying, and admits, "Hey, I forgot I was a bird!"
- Fountain of Youth: In the short Born to Peck this is added in at the last minute by the animator to save the life of an elderly, suicidal Woody Woodpecker.
- Four-Fingered Hands
- Funny Animal
- Gag Dub: A poster on YouTube, who has also done several Looney Tunes gag dubs (no longer on YouTube, however) was apparently making a gag dub series using footage of the older Woody Woodpecker cartoons. For unknown reasons, he has ceased production of them for a long time now. Here is the trailer for it: 
- Gone Behind the Bend: In one short, Buzz Buzzard wants to kill Woody to collect ten thousand dollars from Woody's life insurance. There's a moment where they run in circle and Woody steps out of the way. Once Buzz notices this, they resume the chase until Buzz steps out of the circle and catches Woody.
- Gonky Femme: Gorgeous Gal is a huge elderly featherless bird who wore a green dress, lots of jewelry and a white wig in the Woody Woodpecker short "A Fine Feathered Frenzy". She was so unattractive that when Woody saw her he turned white as a ghost. Despite her appearance, she has a lovely voice and her personality is flirty and romantic.
- Green Around the Gills: In "Socko in Morocco", when Woody and Buzz Buzzard are inhaling smoke from a bong (or a hookah), their faces turn green momentarily.
- Growing Up Sucks: The plot of "Born to Peck".
- Halloween Special: The original Woody Woodpecker TV show had one-in fact, it was the ONLY episode of that series that was original material-everything else was just re-airings of Woody's earlier theatrical cartoons. If you're looking to find it, it's included as an extra on Vol. 1 of the Woody Woodpecker collection mentioned earlier.
- HeelFace Revolving Door: Whether Woody is a villain (for the given value of a villain) or the "hero" of the cartoon depends on the situation and who is writing it.
- Hitchhiker's Leg: One cartoon set in The Wild West has Woody Disguised in Drag as a Miss Kitty expy so as to get a ride aboard a passing stagecoach. Woody pulls up his dress's hemline to reveal a mannequin's shapely leg, which causes the stage driver to stop on a dime and invites Woody aboard for free.
- Hollow-Sounding Head
- Horde of Alien Locusts: "Termites from Mars". They can eat through anything... Except adhesive tape.
- Humanlike Foot Anatomy
- Hypocritical Humor: In "Ace in the Hole", when the Drill Sergeant gets angry at Woody:"Take it easy, sarge... I want to fly like a bird!" (cue Woody's laugh)
- Improbable Aiming Skills: Slingshot 6 7/8.
- Inevitable Waterfall: The subject of Niagara Fools. Woody wants to go down the falls in a barrel. An officer tries to stop him, only to repeatedly end up inside the barrel and take the trip numerous times.Crowd: ''HOORAY!''
Main officer: Now, before we proceed: is there anyone here without a barrel?
- The most ridiculous extreme is when Woody drives a truck full of barrels to do this, and the officer calls his companions to stop him. When they arrive, Woody dumps the barrels on them, so we have 20-30 officers going down the falls.
- Informed Species: Woody is supposed to be an acorn woodpecker, but more closely resembles a pileated woodpecker. He resembles the Roadrunner, The Aracuan bird, and Panchito Pistoles from The Three Caballeros.
- Wally Walrus is intended to be... well, a walrus. He looks more like a bald human with tusks.
- Buzz Buzzard's resemblance to an actual buzzard is completely nonexistent, since he has black feathers on his head and an oversized beak. His design starting with 1951's "Puny Express" is even worse since he now lacks feathers on his head.
- Instant Flight: Just Add Spinning!: Dooley accidentally accomplishes this by spinning the whip he tries to flay Woody with.
- Instant Roast: Done in the short "The Hollywood Matador", by Woody simply running headfirst into a charging bull.
- Insurance Fraud: In one short, Buzz Buzzard coerces Woody into signing a life insurance that will grant Buzz a sum of ten thousand dollars in case of Woody's accidental death.
- Interspecies Romance: Done between Woody and a rather shapely senorita in Hot Noon.
- Iris Out: A Walter Lantz short from the Woody Woodpecker family ended with a shrinking iris decapitating the character. But it was Played For Laughs.
- Jerkass: Pre-Flanderization Woody, especially in the Culhane-directed shorts. Also, Ms. Meany.
- Just for Pun: Every single title of each short used this trope.
- Karma Houdini: Woody would more often than not get away with a lot of the trouble he causes without getting his proper comeuppance, especially in the case of The Screwdriver. Averted on occasion, however, in early shorts like Ace in the Hole and Ski For Two, and when Lundy takes over, the world finally begins to get the better of him—especially in Smoked Hams, when Wally Walrus delivered a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown to Woody via his "Tit-fer-Tat" machine. By the late 1960s this trope became more and more averted. His last cartoon ever, Bye Bye Blackboard, ended with Woody being spanked.
- Knife-Throwing Act: Happens at one point in The Dizzy Acrobat, while Woody is spending the day at a circus. Per Rule of Funny, he walks by the target unaware, and goes unscathed.
- Large Ham: Woody loves the scenery's taste obviously.
- Leitmotif: Parts of Woody's theme tune pop up throughout the cartoons. It even survived all the way up to The New Woody Woodpecker Show
- Limited Animation: The cartoons from late in the series' life.
- Loan Shark: Woody encounters this in the short The Loan Stranger, where his car crashes and goes kaput, so Woody manages to get a loan of one dollar from the nearby Sympathy Loan Company—but it later escalates to $365 in interest, not including the dollar he had yet to pay back. (justified, as Woody simply forgot to pay the loan back after 30 days.) The Loan Shark in question (who is a wolfnote ) tries everything in his power to get Woody to pay back the loan. Woody tricks him into calling off the loan when he thinks he smashed Woody's head—only for Woody to pop up and ask for a loan on his cuckoo clock, much to his chagrin.
- Loophole Abuse: In the short Ski For Two, Woody attempts to enter a lodge owned by Wally Walrus, only to be rejected due to the lodge only allowing those with reservations to stay there. So Woody promptly gives him lots of reservations...or rather, reservations Woody has made to other resorts and lodges. Wally is immediately on to Woody's sham and tosses him out right away.
- Mad Doctor: In "The Cracked Nut", Woody, told he's crazy by his fellow Woodland Creatures, goes to seek help...from a psychologist who's even more nuts than he is. Hilarity (and much Ham-to-Ham Combat) Ensues.
- Mad Hatter:So I'm crazy, what what what can I do?
- Make It Look Like an Accident: One story features Buzz Buzzard trying to kill Woody to collect insurance. Because of the policy's terms, Woody's death must be ruled as an accident otherwise Buzz won't collect even if he's not proven to be the killer.
- Market-Based Title: Known as Pica-Pau in Brazil.
- Massive Numbered Siblings: In "Born to Peck", Woody is shown to have seven older sisters, although their mother takes off with them before he's hatched.
- Meat-O-Vision: The shorts "Pantry Panic", "Who's Cookin' Who?", "Fair Weather Fiends" and "Everglade Raid".
- Mobile Shrubbery: Attempted by the witch in "Witch Crafty" to enter the building Woody is guarding, by hiding herself in a package. Woody dosen't buy it for a second.
- Moby Schtick: "Dopey Dick the Pink Whale"
- Negative Continuity
- Necessarily Evil: In the beginning of Ration Bored, Woody flat out admits that he is a necessary evil.
- No Fourth Wall: As mentioned at the top of this page. In that same short, as if to drive the point home, Woody did it again when he literally joined the audience that was watching the short.
- Noodle Incident: In International Woodpecker, when Woody is telling Knothead and Splinter about the roles woodpeckers played in history. He suddenly lets slip something about France, and decides to leave that part aside. However, this is ultimately averted when the kids get curious and insist that he tell, and Woody does so.
- Off-Model: Very, very frequent in the pre-Shamus Culhane and Dick Lundy shorts, and even in those shorts the artists would sometimes take liberties with how they draw the characters time and time again. "The Screwball" notably has Woody with his buck teeth in one scene, even though that part of his design had been abandoned already.
- In the opening of "Smoked Hams", Woody's pillow inexplicably disappears for a few seconds!
- Once an Episode: Here's a little challenge for you—try to find an episode of Woody Woodpecker where he (or someone else in his place) does not use his trademark laugh. And no, laughing in the opening titles does not count.
- Pantry Panic is one.
- Pain-Powered Leap: Happens to Wally Walrus in Chew Chew Baby and The Dippy Diplomat.
- Painfully Slow Projectile: In "The Screwball", Woody throws an incredibly slow moving baseball that none of the players can hit.
- "Misguided Missile" involves a villain being chased by a guided missile originally meant for Woody but is now, thanks to Woody's tampering, aimed at him. Said missile crawls through the air at a snail's pace, alerting its victim with its Terrible Ticking.
- Paper-Thin Disguise: Used by Woody in shorts like "The Dippy Diplomat" and "The Woody Woodpecker Polka."
- The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything: A story portrayed Wally Walrus as a "Billionaire Bubble Gum Baron" but Wally wasn't seen doing anything related to bubble gum. In fact, aside from the newspaper article where his job was stated, we never saw anything suggesting he wasn't an Idle Rich.
- Please Wake Up: Done by the loan shark at the end of The Loan Stranger when he thinks that he killed Woody with a single punch.
- Police Are Useless: Played stupidly straight in this comic.◊
- Popcultural Osmosis: Woody Woodpecker's laugh is so infamous, it alone overshadows the popularity and knowledge of the actual cartoons and is a ripe subject for Shout Outs and parodies.
- The Prankster: One of the earliest popular characters that played pranks on others for no apparent reason.
- Precision F-Strike: A G-rated one — Woody's third wish to the annoying leprechaun: "GO TO BLAZES!"
- Public Domain Animation: The short "Pantry Panic" is a classic staple of Public Domain cartoon collections.
- Public Domain Soundtrack:
- "Largo Al Factotum" from The Barber of Seville, and The Woody Woodpecker Polka is a shameless mock-up of ''The Philadelphia Polka".
- A good chunk of "Banquet Busters" is built around an excerpt of Louis-Ferdinand Hérold's "Overture to Zampa".
- Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: Occurs near the end of the short "The Loan Stranger":Woody: I don't like CHEESECAKE! (throws the cake into the loan shark's face)
- See Berserk Button above for an early example of Woody doing this.
- Punny Name:
- Dr. Horace N. Buggy ("Horse 'N Buggy") from Woody's first solo short.
- Early in "The Loan Stranger", the front door to the Sympathy Loan Company shows the company presidents name is Hudson C. Dann (the joke being that its a play off of the Hudson Sedan car, and Woody is seeking a loan on his unstable car).
- Also, the ambassador Woody disguises himself as in "The Dippy Diplomat," is called Ivan Awfulitch ("I've an Awful Itch"), which is also a pun on Leo Tolstoy's The Death of Ivan Ilyich.
- Red Eyes, Take Warning: In the opening of "Ration Bored", Woody dons this kind of look when informs the audience he is a "necessary evil".
- Remake: Pantry Panic must have been a favorite of the studio, since it got remadetwiceas Who's Cookin Who? and The Redwood Sap.
- Roger Rabbit Effect: Done in some of the live action segments of The Woody Woodpecker Show. There are only a handful of times where Walter Lantz and Woody are in the same shot however, and they never directly interact.
- Rogues Gallery Transplant: Two early 1960s Chilly Willy shorts had Wally Walrus showing up.
- Running Gag: Pulled in Niagara Fools, in which the officer trying to stop Woody from going over keeps going over the falls himself by accident.Crowd: ''HOORAY!''
- Scavengers Are Scum: One of Woody's biggest enemies is Buzz Buzzard, a sleazy Con Man with a gangster-like Joisey accent and red eyes.
- Schmuck Bait: In Woody Dines Out, Woody is lured into a taxidermist's shop under the impression that it's a place that serves food. (He saw the sign outside which read We Specialize in Stuffing Birds - he just didn't realize what kind of "stuffing" was done there.)
- Seldom-Seen Species: Woody, of course.
- Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness: This and It Runs on Nonsensoleum are combined in this Woody Woodpecker comic in the moment Woody turns evil:
- Shared Universe: With Andy Panda and other Lantz characters. Andy even co-stars with Woody in one short, "Musical Moments from Chopin".
- Interestingly enough, and copyright issues aside, the Woody comics written and drawn by Freddy Milton are revealed to take place in not only the same universe, but the same city as Milton's own Gnuff comics (which were ran as a backup feature in the Scandinavian Woody Woodpecker magazine). Though Woody and the Gnuffs never met, and their shared universe was never mentioned in so many words, plot threads would occasionally run through both comics, on occasion the Gnuffs' car was seen driving past in the Woody stories, and certain supporting characters — most notably the Affably Evil J. P. Phrogg — appeared in both comics.
- In "The Screwball", the worm that resides in an apple Woody throws screams in a manner very similar to Joe E. "Big Mouth" Brown, a famous star of the time period.
- In "Who's Cooking Who", Woody has a short encounter with a grasshopper who is toiling to gather food alongside some ants, who asserts he has "learned his lesson" about not preparing for the winter. Combined with his verbal tic of spitting chewing tobacco, it's obvious to animation fans that this is a reference to the 1934 Disney Silly Symphonies short "The Grasshopper and the Ants", based on the titular story from Aesop's Fables. Furthermore, before he slams the book of that story closed, the picture of the winter-logged grasshopper is taken from that self-same short.
- In "The Dippy Diplomat", Woody disguises himself as a Russian ambassador named Ivan Awfulitch, a reference to Leo Tolstoy's story The Death Of Ivan Ilyich.
- Sitting Sexy on a Piano: The Mexican girl from the opening of Hot Noon.
- Smooch of Victory: Woody gets one at the end of Hot Noon and Socko in Morocco.
- Sounding It Out: Lot of kids' cartoons do this to benefit those that can't read yet. In fact, when the cartoons started airing on TV they often dubbed in Woody reading signs because of this. Even in cartoons he wasn't in.
- Species Surname: The trope is in full effect with names like Woody Woodpecker, Winnie Woodpecker, Wally Walrus, and Buzz Buzzard.
- Stairway to Heaven: Done in the end of Wild and Woody Buzz Buzzard has just been blown up, and he arrives at a lobby with elevators to both heaven and hell with Woody as the doorman: one opens and the angelic operator says "Going up?" and Woody forces it closed, the other opens and the demonic operator says "GOING DOWN?!" and Woody gives Buzz Buzzard a kick in the rear, forcing him into the elevator. This also happened earlier, at the end of the short Ration Bored.
- Stock Footage: Footage from the short Wild and Woody was later recycled for the later short Puny Express, as well as three more future shorts.
- Supporting Protagonist: Wally Walrus, Woody's later established rival.
- "Take That!" Kiss: From Square Shootin' Square (in fact this is also seen in two later shorts, Box Car Bandit and Dopey Dick, the Pink Whale featuring the same characters):Dooley: I hate you!
Woody: I like you! (smooch)
- Talking Animal
- Temporarily a Villain: Woody had some qualities of one in his cartoons, but he wasn't evil per se. The Woody Woodpecker comic "Woody Woodpecker in The Evil Genius" has Woody unwittingly becoming an evil genius by drinking an odd formula, which is probably the only time he's explicitly presented as a bad guy instead of a prankster.
- The Twelve Principles of Animation: The early cartoons superficially tried to copy them, but the animators lacked the knowledge and skills to do so, resulting in very sloppy animation. Shamus Culhane upped the ante somewhat during his tenure, and Dick Lundy brought the real deal to the shorts during his tenure.
- The Voiceless: Some of the later cartoons were done entirely in pantomime.
- The Worst Seat in the House: Woody had a good seat during a baseball match. Until a guy wearing a huge hat takes the seat in front of him. Woody then asks the man to take the hat off, only to learn his hair is long enough for it. Woody then used a lawnmower to get rid of it and watch the game.
- They Killed Kenny Again: They Killed Buzz Again in "Wild and Woody" and "Buccaneer Woodpecker".
- Three-Dimensional Episode: "Hypnotic Hick" was originally released in theaters as a 3-D cartoon, right at the height of the 3-D movie craze. The DVD collection uses a 2-D print of the film, so the only way to see it in its intended form is to try and find original prints of the film.
- Through a Face Full of Fur: In "Alley To Bali", Woody turns brown after Buzz kisses him when he thought he was kissing the Balinese seductress; a man-eating plant goes from being green to turning brown after Buzz gets trapped in it and in addition to that reaction, the plant festers or wilts, freeing him; a gray gorilla turns the same color after kissing Buzz and sinks back down a pot; and a blue-eyed female octopus (whose tentacles were mistaken by Woody and Buzz for the multiple arms of another Balinese seductress) kisses both Woody and Buzz with her giant red lips. She only turns from peach to brown after kissing Buzz on the lips however.
- In "A Fine Feathered Frenzy", Woody Woodpecker thinks Gorgeous Gal is attractive after she convinces him to marry her on the phone just with her sexy voice alone. Once Woody spots her on top of an escalator he realizes that Gorgeous Gal is a fat old featherless white-haired widow bird desperate to remarry. She thinks the Woodpecker is cute, winks at him and is eager to begin their romance. Woody's entire body turns white in fear and he passes out. Gorgeous doesn't take the hint, acts like she just won the jackpot and takes the escalator down ready for their first kiss while the lily-white Woody is still out cold.
- In another short, Woody drinks some multi-colored beverage and this causes a side effect of him completely changing into rainbow colors as he hiccups.
- Toothy Bird: More obvious in his early appearances when he had visible buck teeth, but he can still spawn a mean set of teeth if the situation calls for it.
- Traumatic Haircut: Anytime Woody is involved as a barber, and even Woody has been on the receiving end of this occasionally.
- Unsympathetic Comedy Protagonist: Woody's original portrayal, but he got toned down as time went by, starting with Dick Lundy's rule upon taking the directorial reins that Woody cannot go crazy without being given a legitimate reason to, and being completely averted by Woody's flanderized portrayal from the 50s cartoons.
- Verbal Tic: This one unnamed cop character who appears in the third Woody Woodpecker short The Screwdriver.. Said cop suffers from one particularly funny one in which he emphasizes greatly every single word he speaks at the end of each SENTENCE. (i.e. I'm lookin' for spee-ders.)
- Vile Villain, Saccharine Show: Most of Woody's earliest foes were incompetent Asshole Victims to Woody's constant heckling such as Wally Walrus. Buzz Buzzard however made his mark by being an outspokenly sleazy and malicious villain, his first appearance starting off with him conning Woody into a phony insurance policy and then attempting to kill him to claim the profits. Buzz was toned down in later shorts, but remained one of Woody's most belligerent foes.
- Villainous Breakdown: Woody goes through this in "Knock Knock" when Andy traps him in place by pouring salt on his tail.Woody: It works! They got me! Get me out of here! Let me out of here! Get me out of here, help! Help! Help!
- Villainy-Free Villain: The Loan Shark Woody deals with in "The Loan Stranger". While he's a somewhat shady chatacter, since Woody took out a 1$ loan from him and forgot to pay it back, the interest quickly bloats up to a few hundred dollars 30 days later (a paltry sum today, but big money back in the early 1940's), justifying him heckling Woody to get his money. The closest thing he does to outright villainy is breaking and entering into Woody's house, and the only reason he resorted to that was because Woody kept egging him on while thwarting his attempts to get him to pay back the loan.
- Villain Protagonist: Woody constantly veers in and out of this and being an Anti-Hero, depending on the short. Many shorts portrayed him as causing trouble for others around him, be it knowingly (stealing gas, heckling poppa panda by tearing holes in his roof, breaking into a hotel owned by Wally Walrus, etc.) or just out of carelessness or ignorance. However, it would be a stretch to call him evil—he is rarely portrayed as malicious, and more mischievous and playful to his foes, and he rarely instigated the conflicts in the first place.
- Vocal Dissonance: Occasionally, Woody's voice would inexplicably revert back to a non-sped up version of his voice.
- Knock Knock: His very first line, in fact, is Mel Blanc's normal speaking voice!
- Pantry Panic: The ending, when he says "Yeah, well, so am I..."
- The Loan Stranger: When he fakes being killed by the Loan Shark.
- This also happens with the earlier Lantz shorts that had Grace Lantz, Woody's third voice, add new dialogue to read signs.
- Wartime Cartoon: Many of the 40s cartoons have references to home front conditions or the wartime rationing of that time period. Ration Bored also parodies wartime rationing that was going on with the U.S. at the time period the short was made. The title is even a pun on the Ration Board. The end of the short also asks the audience to buy war bonds. A running gag in some of these shorts is the slogan "Is this trip really necessary?"Woody: Sure it's necessary! I'm a NECESSARY EVIL!
- Weaksauce Weakness: How Woody is defeated in Knock Knock; Andy Panda catches him cackling after smashing Poppa Panda through the roof, which gives him time to pour a lump of salt onto his tail, thus literally trapping him in place.
- The eponymous insects from "Termites From Mars" can eat almost anything, with the sole exception of adhesive tape.
- Wham Episode: "Born To Peck" sticks out like a sore thumb compared to the rest of the series due to its surprisingly depressing content.
- Just to develop, Woody starts as an old Woodpecker who can't peck anymore and he starts remembering everything. When he arrived as an egg, his mom left him and his father. Then, he was born and was completely out of control for his dad to handle. Then, he starts aging until he tries suicide. Tear Jerker doesn't even starts to describe it.
- When the Clock Strikes Twelve: Woody decides to check his driver's license and finds out it'll expire at noon.
- White Gloves: Yellow in some of the 1940s shorts.
- Wholesome Crossdresser: The Woody Woodpecker Polka. But that was not the first time he did it (Chew-Chew Baby) and wouldn't be the last (Stage Hoax, Real Gone Woody, Tumble Weed Greed).
- With Lyrics: "The Woody Woodpecker Polka" is the classic theme "The Philadelphia Polka" with altered lyrics added. Became a minor breakout hit.
- Your Size May Vary: Woody Woodpecker's height throughout the cartoons has never been very consistent.
Tropes Related to The New Woody Woodpecker Show:
- Abhorrent Admirer: The tradition continues for Woody in "Date With Destiny". This time it's even worse, because it's a male badger with a raspy voice that was struck with a cupid's arrow. Woody fares a little better when a speckle headed spring footed woodpecker falls for him in the short "Woody Watcher", but he was not attracted to her. She still grabs him and kisses him on the cheek several times.
- Affectionate Parody: The episode Surviving Woody had Woody competing in a Survivor-type game on a volcanic island.
- Alternative Foreign Theme Song: The Japanese version had a different opening theme, sung by Woody's Japanese voice actress, Kumiko Watanabe. It also had a different ending theme as heard here.
- A.I. Is a Crapshoot: The episode Automatic Woody runs on this, depicting the utter misery Woody goes through just to get a bar of Butterscotchy from a vending machine (the Shout-Out below included).
- Animation Bump: The opening to the show, animated by the great Mark Kausler, has splendid, fluid hand-drawn animation, and is a far cry from the Limited Animation used throughout the show.
- Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: At the end of "Pinheads", when Woody finds Buzz's wanted poster, he calls the police for the reward. But with the bowling alley where they are being 500 miles away from the nearest civilization, the officer on the other end initially doesn't pay him any mind despite the wanted poster. Then Woody mentions that Buzz's car, the car that Woody just bet and lost against him, is parked in a Red Zone. One Big "WHAT?!" and two seconds later, the police have Buzz surrounded.
- Art Evolution: Season 3 saw the show switch to digital ink and paint.
- Ascended Extra: Woody Woodpecker's girlfriend Winnie Woodpecker was only shown in one classic Woody Woodpecker cartoon called Real Gone Woody (and in a very one-dimensional role), but became a recurring character in the comics. It wasn't until this show that she became an active member of the series, with a personality similar in silliness to Woody, though showing a more developed sense of dignity.
- Bad Ol' Badger: The badger who is a recurring character. He's very aggressive and vicious with an intimidating appearance."Hiya buddy."
- Bedlah Babe: A girl dressed this way shows up as Woody's servant while he is Genie of the Lamp in "Mirage Barrage".
- Chez Restaurant: In "Wally's Royal Riot," Wally Walrus is the snobbish owner of Chez Wally that doesn't serve anything or anyone common, and Woody is the common woodpecker who, after being kicked out for no other reason, cons his way to free food with a few disguises.
- Cloning Blues: The episode Two Woodys, No Waiting.
- Genie in a Bottle: The central plot point of "Mirage Barrage", where Woody frees Wally the Walrus Genie from the lamp and antics ensue.
- Goo Goo Getup: In "Baby Buzzard", Buzz reads an ad in the newspaper saying that Woody is starting a babysitting service for rich and famous couples. Buzz dresses himself in a bonnet and booties and acts like a baby as part of his plan to get Woody to babysit him so he can rob his house when he's not looking.
- I Heard That: From "Party Animal":Woody: I know! I'll throw a Bagpipe Appreciation Day party! (Scottish accent) The likes of which the Scottish have never seen!Miss Meany: (barges in) WOODPECKER, I HEARD THAT! Your lease specifically says "no parties!"
- Improvised Diaper: In "Baby Buzzard", when Buzz acts like a baby so he can rob Woody's house behind his back, Woody at one point has to change Buzz's diaper. Since Woody forgot to buy clean diapers before he started his babysitting service, he resorts to using a piece of wallpaper as a diaper, then the living room curtains when the former doesn't work.
- Intercontinuity Crossover: Another Lantz creation, Inspector Willoughby, popped up in one episode.
- Never Trust a Trailer: There was a foreign Cartoon Network trailer for The New Woody Woodpecker Show which consisted entirely of classic Woody Woodpecker cartoon clips, and thought that CN was going to put more classic toons on, a reverse of the trend which had seen classics dwindled to just Tom and Jerry. Instead, it turned out to be a modern revival of Woody.
- No Celebrities Were Harmed: A recurring doctor was named Doug Knutts; he looks and sounds like Don Knotts.
- Paper-Thin Disguise: As in previous shorts, Woody does this often. A recurring one is Lord Crinkle the upper-class polo player, usually complete with mallet.
- Private Eye Monologue: Parodied (along with other Hardboiled Detective tropes) in "Winnie, P.I.".
- Scotland: Woody shows in several episodes that he loves Scottish culture, playing bagpipes, playing golf, wearing kilts, and sometimes adopting a Scottish accent.
- Shout-Out: In the episode Automatic Woody, the ATM from which Woody is trying to get money suddenly dons the persona and quotations of Hal 9000.
- The Renaissance Age of Animation
- Tertiary Sexual Characteristics: Aside from wearing a skirt and having her hair (feathers) bent forward, Winnie is almost indistinguishable from Woody.
- The Thing That Would Not Leave: Buzz Buzzard in "Woody's Roommate" begs and blackmails Woody to let him stay in his house after his former landlady Miss Meany kicks him out. And even by the end of the episode, Woody ends up unable to make him leave the house, so he leaves instead and sells the house to Miss Meany, much to Buzz's horror.
- 30 Minutes, or It's Free!: One episode featured Woody trying to delay a pizza delivery so he could get the pizza for free. Despite Woody's tricks, Dooley managed to deliver it on time. The pizza was ruined, but it was Woody's fault and Dooley replied that he guaranteed delivery, not satisfaction. Not having money to pay for the pizza, Woody had to work as a delivery boy to pay for the debt.
- Three Shorts
- We Want Our Jerk Back: He Wouldn't Woody.
- Who's on First?: In "Queen of De-Nile" after Winnie finds the lost tomb of King Tut's court jester, Izzy Watsupwithat, she gets into this with archaeologist Wally:Winnie: (pointing at the mural on the front of the pyramid) Ooh, look, professor! Is he the court jester?Wally: Yah, Izzy.Winnie: I asked you first, who is he?Wally: No, Izzy.Winnie: That's what I'm asking you, is he the court jester?Wally: He's the court yester, Izzy!Winnie: Yeah, is he? What's up with that?Wally: EXACTLY! Izzy Vatsupwithat! Yeepers...
- Wily Walrus: The Swedish Wally Walrus is one of Woody's stuffy archnemeses who constantly tries to put an end to Woody's fun, but unlike Miss Meany, Wally is usually minding his own business before Woody starts a conflict.
- The Worst Seat in the House: Woody had to take the worst seat in a baseball stadium because all others had already been sold before he had a chance to buy one. Then Dooley tried to steal it.
Tropes Related to the 2018 YouTube series :
- Adaptational Villainy: Chilly Willy is given antagonistic roles in Baby It's Cold Outside and The Pen Is Flightier Than The Sword.
- Author Powers: The Pen Is Flightier Than The Sword.
- The Bus Came Back: Andy Panda returns after being absent in The New Woody Woodpecker Show.
- Continuity Nod: Blame It On Rio De Janeiro takes place right after Quest for the Jade Jaguar as Woody is still on vacation in Rio and is friends with Luiz. On second season, Luiz returns in Birds of a Feather and Fall Guy.
- Inevitable Waterfall: Like Niagara Fools, in Fall Guy, Woody tries to drop the falls in a barrel, this time in Iguazu Falls, Brazil.
- Mythology Gag: Woody becomes the 1940 version in Winnie's Wish. In Time Warped, Woody travels in time and Wally Walrus appears as mayor, as well as in the European stories made by Freddy Milton.
- The Pollyanna: This incarnation of Andy Panda is always cheerful.
- Related in the Adaptation: Knothead and Splinter appear to be related to Winnie instead of Woody in this series. Subverted in second season where they're Woody's nephew and niece again.
- World of Funny Animals: Unlike the original cartoons and 1999 series, the series take place in a world inhabited by anthropomorphic animals.