Originally a supporting character on The Huckleberry Hound Show, Yogi Bear was one of the most popular early Hanna-Barbera characters. Most episodes revolved around Yogi's attempts to do things that other Jellystone Park bears didn't do (or weren't allowed to do): make money, fly, dodge hibernation, escape—or simply relieve tourists of their pic-a-nic baskets. Yogi's sidekick, Boo-Boo, would often warn Yogi that "the ranger isn't going to like this!" Indeed, Yogi would invariably be scolded by Ranger Smith.
Basically, the premise was that Yogi and Boo-Boo would steal picnic baskets from visitors to Jellystone National Park, and hilarity would ensue.
The character was popular enough to headline his own series in 1961. Supporting segments on The Yogi Bear Show featured Snagglepuss and Yakky Doodle. In 1964, Hanna-Barbera released its first animated feature, Hey There, It's Yogi Bear!, through Columbia Pictures. In the 1970s and 1980s, Yogi and his contemporaries appeared in several Crossover series. There were also a few prime-time specials, the best-remembered of which is probably the TV movie Yogi's First Christmas.
- The Huckleberry Hound Show (1958-1960 Syndication)- The series in which the Yogi Bear shorts debuted.
- The Yogi Bear Show (1961-1962 Syndication): Yogi's Spin-Off series.
- Hey There, It's Yogi Bear! (1964): A theatrical feature film in which Yogi and Boo Boo go on a road trip to rescue Cindy Bear from a circus.
- Yogi's Gang (1973 ABC): An extremely politically correct crossover series in which Yogi, Boo Boo, and various other Hanna-Barbera stars travel around in a flying ark and do good deeds. Preceded by a television special, Yogi's Ark Lark.
- Laff-A-Lympics (1977-1979 ABC): A massive crossover series with just about every popular Hanna-Barbera character around at the time. Yogi, Scooby-Doo, and Mumbly lead rival teams in a parody of "Battle of the Network Stars."
- Yogi's Space Race (1979 NBC): A cross between Wacky Races and Laff-a-Lympics, Recycled INSPACE.
- Galaxy Goof-Ups (1978-1979 NBC): A spin-off of the previous series in which Yogi, Huckleberry Hound, a poor man's Daffy Duck, and an easily frightened fill-in for Boo Boo act as space rangers and hang out at a disco.
- Casper's First Christmas (1979 Syndication): A half-hour Christmas Special crossing Casper the Friendly Ghost with Yogi and his Hanna-Barbera cohorts.
- Yogi's First Christmas (1980 Syndication): A TV movie recycling many of the songs from the previous special.
- Yogi Bear's All Star Comedy Christmas Caper (1982 CBS): A half-hour Christmas Special packed with cameos by other Hanna-Barbera characters.
- Yogi's Treasure Hunt (1985-1988 Syndication): Another crossover series, in which Yogi, Boo Boo, Ranger Smith, and other popular HB stars hunt for treasure. Known for fourth wall breaking Self-Parody.
- Yogi's Great Escape (1987 Syndication): A TV movie in which Yogi and Boo Boo escape Jellystone Park with three adopted bear cubs.
- Yogi Bear And The Magical Flight Of The Spruce Goose (1987 Syndication): A TV movie in which Yogi, Boo Boo, and their fellow HB stars go for a ride on the famous Spruce Goose.
- The Good, the Bad, and Huckleberry Hound (1988 Syndication): A TV movie featuring cameos by Yogi and Boo Boo.
- Yogi and the Invasion of the Space Bears (1988 Syndication): A TV movie in which Yogi and Boo Boo get kidnapped by aliens and are replaced by a mob of robot clones. Daws Butler's final performance as Yogi.
- The New Yogi Bear Show (1988 Syndication): A new batch of cartoons, with Greg Burson replacing the deceased Daws Butler as the voice of Yogi.
- Fender Bender 500 (1990-1991 Syndication): A ReBoot of Wacky Races in which Dick Dastardly and Muttley race against several classic Hanna-Barbera characters, including Yogi and Boo Boo.
- Yo Yogi! (1991 NBC): Yogi and his radical Hanna-Barbera buds are now teenagers that hang out at Jellystone Mall and work as junior detectives.
- Yogi the Easter Bear (1994 Syndication): An Easter Special in which Yogi and Boo Boo search for the Easter Bunny.
- Scooby-Doo in Arabian Nights (1994 TBS): Yogi and Boo Boo play a couple of genies in a Gender Flip retelling of Aladdin. Don Messick's last performance as Boo Boo.
This series provides examples of:
- Accidental Ventriloquism: In Hey There, It's Yogi Bear!, when Yogi commandeers the Ranger's phone.Yogi: Hello? Hello? Is this the White House?
Ranger Smith: Yogi!
Yogi: Hey, the President knows my name.
- Adaptation Dye-Job: Cindy Bear was blue furred in the original shorts, though became light brown in later interpretations. Ranger Smith's uniform also changes color throughout the early series while Yogi's original design had light colored highlight around his eyes.
- Ageless Birthday Episode: Two of them: one for Ranger Smith and one for Yogi, and The New Yogi Bear Show had another one for Yogi.
- An Aesop: Primarily in Yogi's Gang.
- Animation Bump: The New Yogi Bear Show is a bit more fluid than the original 1960s episodes.
- Hey There, It's Yogi Bear is also noticeably higher budget, bringing Hanna-Barbera back up to the standard of their later Tom and Jerry shorts.
- Bears Are Bad News: Well, they sure make Ranger Smith's job a lot harder.
- Beary Funny: That's Yogi in a nutshell.
- Big Damn Movie: Hey There, It's Yogi Bear!
- Big Eater: Yogi, of course.
- Big Guy, Little Guy: Both bears walk around on their hind legs, and Yogi is as tall or taller than the humans, while Boo Boo is the size of a child.
- Bragging Theme Tune: Two, the original...Who is always on the spot? Who is? Yogi Bear!
Who keeps cool when things are hot? Who does? Yogi Bear!
Who believes the world's a dream and falls for some fantastic scheme
But always winds up on the beam? Yogi Bear!!
Yogi Bear is smarter than the average bear,
- ... and The Yogi Bear Show has one that's equal this and Expository Theme Tune.
Yogi Bear is always in the ranger's hair.
At a picnic table you will find him there,
Stuffing down more goodies than the average bear.
He will sleep till noon, but before it's dark,
He'll have every picnic basket that's in Jellystone Park.
Yogi has it better than a millionaire,
Just because he's smarter than the average bear.note
- Call of the Wild Blue Yonder: One episode featured Yogi helping a baby eagle who couldn't fly. After many attempts, the young eagle finally succeeds when he saves Yogi.
- Can't Live With Them, Can't Live Without Them: The majority of times Yogi or Ranger Smith leave Jellystone Park, the other ends up pining for them. The key plot point of "Home Sweet Jellystone".
- Captain Ersatz: Quack-Up from Yogi's Space Race and Galaxy Goof-Ups is Daffy Duck with white plumage. Mel Blanc even does almost the exact same voice for him.
- Catch-Phrase: "Smarter than the average bear!" Also Boo Boo's oft-repeated line, "Mister Ranger isn't gonna like this, Yogi!"
- Deadpan Snarker: Boo Boo has become this in the most recent update.
- Depending on the Artist:
- In the original series, Ranger Smith's design changed frequently between episodes; they eventually decided upon his permanent design in Hey There, It's Yogi Bear!.
- As if that weren't enough, though, his appearance on Yogi's Gang gave him blond hair. Although he could have dyed it.
- Yogi himself had his mussel fur expanded around his eyes initially.
- Cindy Bear was also initially just a female Yogi with a dress and blue fur before being redesigned to look more feminine.
- Delayed Reaction: In Hey There, It's Yogi Bear!, Yogi comes out of hiding when he learns that Cindy is missing. He tells Ranger Smith he'll stay at the Ranger Station while Ranger Smith drives away to find her. Then he turns around when he realized it's Yogi.
- Early Installment Weirdness: Ironically, the original shorts themselves. As noted above, the characters' designs varied between shorts. The designs created for Hey There, it's Yogi Bear would eventually be used from that point on.
- On a more plot basis, several older Yogi shorts feature him trying to escape Jellystone Park, or episodes where he and Boo Boo aren't even in Jellystone Park. The particulars weren't fully hammered in until the spinoff.
- The Film of the Series: Hey There, It's Yogi Bear, and Yogi Bear (2010).
- Fractured Fairy Tale: Yogi once found himself and Boo Boo accidentally into the story of the Three Little Pigs.
- Half-Dressed Cartoon Animal: Cindy Bear wears a skirt but no top other than a scarf.
- Have a Gay Old Time: In "Booby Trapped Bear", the chief of the Ranger arrives to assess the situation because he was informed that a ranger was "molesting a bear." (in the sixties, Molest meant "Pester and harass", as opposed to, well...)
- Hero Antagonist: Ranger Smith, depending on your point of view.
- Loophole Abuse: When the Ranger demands Yogi follow the rule book, Yogi reads it to find all the loopholes he can.
- Lovable Rogue: Yogi to a tee.
- Minimalist Cast: Aside from a few campers, tourists and forest animals, the only characters we see in the Jellystone Park are Yogi, Bobo, Cindy, and Ranger Smith. And Ranger Smith appears to be the only ranger working at Jellystone Park. Though Hey There, It's Yogi Bear! shows two other rangers, and the live-action movie has others as well.
- The Movie: Hey There, It's Yogi Bear!
- Mythology Gag: The two gangsters in the 1958 episode "Big Brave Bear" were first used the season prior on The Ruff & Reddy Show as outlaws Killer and Diller.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: The plot of the Hey There, It's Yogi Bear! film is kicked off thanks to this, with Yogi attempting to bluff Ranger Smith into thinking he's willing to leave the park and get transferred to the zoo unless he bends the "Do Not Feed the Bears" rules. The Ranger calls it and prepares to have him shipped to San Diego, which leads to a chain of events that ultimately end up with Cindy Bear trapped in a circus forced to perform for a cruel ringmaster and Yogi and Boo-Boo having to go and save her and then find their way back home.
- No Celebrities Were Harmed: Yogi's voice was based on Art Carney's character on The Honeymooners; further, Yogi Bear's offbeat philosophy (and name) was allegedly meant to remind people of baseball star Yogi Berra (William Hanna and Joseph Barbera denied it).
- Phrase-Catcher: In Yo Yogi!, whenever Yogi finishes kicking ass or his friends come to the rescue, his friends exclaim, "Yo Yogi!"
- Punny Name: Jellystone Park, an obvious pun on Yellowstone National Park. Yogi's own name is a play on baseball great Yogi Berra, though Bill and Joe claim that this was unintentional.
- Random Events Plot: Hey There, It's Yogi Bear! begins with the bears waking up from hibernation with Yogi beginning his usual picnic basket-stealing routine. The entire movie starts to kick in when Yogi had enough of Ranger Smith bossing him around, so he demands him to lift the rules or he wishes to be transferred out of the park. So Ranger Smith sends to the San Diego Zoo after getting a call from them asking for a bear. Yogi tricks another bear in his place and hid for a while, unbeknownst to Boo-Boo and Cindy, leading the latter to have herself transferred out to be with him. Unfortunately, she's being sent to the St. Louis Zoo instead. She gets lost in the way and captured by crooked circus owners. Yogi comes out of hiding when he finds out about Cindy's disappearance, so he and Boo-Boo go off to find her. After rescuing her the three try to journey back to Jellystone, only to end up in the city, where Ranger Smith finds out from the news and brings them home.
- Ring Around the Collar
- Running Gag: In Hey There, It's Yogi Bear!, people keep running away from the sight of Yogi, Boo-Boo and Cindy.
- Say My Name: In Hey There, It's Yogi Bear!, Boo-Boo calls out Cindy's name as he tries to tell her she's being sent to another zoo instead of San Diego where Yogi is supposedly at.Boo-Boo: Cindy! Yogi isn't in St. Louis! CINDY! CIIIIIIINDYYY!!
- Scenery Porn: Jellystone Park in Hey There, It's Yogi Bear!.
- Sentimental Music Cue: Played surprisingly straight on both The Yogi Bear Show in the early-1960's and The New Yogi Bear Show from 1988, such as in Slap Happy Birthday, when Yogi and Boo Boo are in their cave talking about Ranger Smith's birthday (for a double whammy, the exact same music is re-used at the end of the episode when Yogi reveals their surprise party to the ranger).
- Sidekick: Boo-Boo.
- Spin-Off Babies: Yo Yogi!
- Spin-Off: The Yogi Bear Show is one of The Huckleberry Hound Show, where Yogi originated from.
- Talking Animal: Both Yogi And Boo-Boo can communicate with the Ranger in English.
- Three Shorts: Traditionally the opener on The Huckleberry Hound Show. Then became the opener of his own show.
- Worthy Opponent: Yogi admits this about Ranger Smith in "Home Sweet Jellystone", outright becoming an Antagonist in Mourning after he leaves the park, losing any sense of competition in stealing picnic baskets anymore.
- You Say Tomato: Yogi's famous pronunciations of "av-a-redge" and "pic-a-nic". He also says "diff-a-rent" in the movie.
- Zany Scheme: Any and all of his attempts to steal "pic-a-nic baskets". It even says so in the theme song (for some of the early shorts) itself.