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"I'm smarter than the av-a-rage bear!"
Yogi Bear

Originally a supporting character on The Huckleberry Hound Show, Yogi Bear was one of the most popular early Hanna-Barbera characters.

Yogi and Boo-Boo Bear live in Jellystone National Park. Wise-cracking, gluttonous, and "smarter than the average bear", Yogi would come up with all sorts of schemes to steal the "pic-a-nic baskets" of those visiting the park, and hilarity would ensue every time. Boo-Boo would often warn Yogi that "the ranger isn't going to like this". Indeed, Yogi would invariably be scolded by Jellystone's Ranger Smith, who does his best—but always fails—to keep Yogi in line.

The character’s name was based on New York Yankees baseball player Lawrence Peter "Yogi" Berra, and modeled to an extent after Art Carney in voice and character. He 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.


Daws Butler served as the voice of Yogi for the first 30 years of the character's existence, while Boo-Boo and Ranger Smith were normally played by Don Messick during that period.

A live-action/CGI Yogi Bear feature film, with Dan Aykroyd as the voice of Yogi and Justin Timberlake as the voice of Boo-Boo, was released in December 2010.

Check the character sheet. Also see the memes page.



Let's take a look at what tropes they've got on this web-a-site!

  • Accessory-Wearing Cartoon Animal: Yogi wears a collar, tie, and hat, while Boo-Boo sports a bow tie.
  • Accidental Ventriloquism: When Yogi commandeers Ranger Smith's phone in Hey There, It's Yogi Bear!, he thinks the Ranger's invocation of his name originated from the phone instead.
    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 occur in the original series, both of the Surprise Party variety: one for Ranger Smith ("Slap-Happy Birthday") and one for Yogi ("Yogi's Birthday Party"). The New Yogi Bear Show had another such episode for Yogi.
  • Amazing Technicolor Wildlife: The earliest versions of Cindy Bear show her with blue fur. No real-life ursine has a pelt that shade.
  • An Aesop: Episodes of the show Yogi's Gang often feature an underlying object lesson for kids.
  • Animation Bump:
    • The visuals of The New Yogi Bear Show are rendered a bit more fluidly than those of the original 1960s episodes.
    • Hey There, It's Yogi Bear is also noticeably higher budget, bringing Hanna-Barbera back up to the visual standards of their later Tom and Jerry shorts.
    • This was also the first Hanna-Barbera show in which characters had a distinct walk cycle.
  • Beary Funny: Yogi Bear's bad behavior is invariably Played for Laughs.
  • Big Damn Movie: The full-length animated feature film Hey There, It's Yogi Bear! is a big-time step up from Yogi's standard seven-minute shorts that precede it, dealing with heavier topics than the original show usually did.
  • Big Eater: Yogi, of course. In the episode "Gleesome Threesome," he sits down at a hotel restaurant and says, "I'm not too hungry tonight, garçon, so uh, just bring me everything on the menu — twice!"
  • 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!!
    • ... and The Yogi Bear Show has one that's equal this and Expository Theme Tune.
      Yogi Bear is smarter than the average bear,
      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: The episode "High Fly Guy" depicts Yogi helping a baby eagle who can't fly. After many attempts, the young eagle finally succeeds when he saves Yogi.
  • The Cameo: Yogi Bear appears briefly in the Augie Doggie and Doggie Daddy episode "Pop's Nature Pup." He's seen driving their car at the end of the short.
  • 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 him. It's a 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.
  • Catchphrase:
    • Yogi frequently characterizes himself as being "Smarter than the average bear!" He often says "Hey, Hey, Hey!" and frequently addresses Ranger Smith obsequiously as "Mr. Ranger, sir!"
    • Boo-Boo frequently warns his pal not to cause trouble by saying "Mr. Ranger isn't gonna like this, Yogi!"
  • Civilized Animal: Yogi and Boo-Boo contain animal and human traits. They are both an Accessory-Wearing Cartoon Animal, walk bipedally, share a bed, and can converse with humans in English. However, they live in a cave located in a National Park, are not gainfully employed, and (at least in theory) are supposed to be foraging for nuts and berries instead of stealing food from tourists. Later spinoffs have them as Funny Animals instead.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Boo-Boo is depicted as whimsically sarcastic in the 2010 movie update, a departure from his usual low-key conscience role.
  • 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, The Ranger's appearance on Yogi's Gang shows him with blond hair. Perhaps he dyed it?
    • Yogi's muzzle fur originally expanded around his eyes.
    • Cindy Bear initially looked like a female version of Yogi (with a dress and blue fur) before being redesigned to look more feminine.
    • No two versions of the Jellystone Park entrance are ever alike, even in shows (and movies) that were made after the original shorts.
  • 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 Smith drives away to find her. The Ranger turns around when he realizes it's Yogi.
  • Disguised in Drag: In "Disguise and Gals," two bank robbers hide out in Jellystone park dressed as little old ladies.
  • Dub Name Change: Yogi was known as Kumagoro in Japan, although Boo Boo and Ranger Smith retained their original names (with Smith usually referred to as "Smith-san," roughly the equivalent of "Mr. Smith").
  • Early Installment Weirdness:
    • Ironically, the original shorts themselves have several unsettled-upon quirks. The characters' designs varied notably between shorts. From Hey There, it's Yogi Bear and following, the characters were portrayed in a more consistent manner visually.
    • On a more plot-driven basis, several older Yogi shorts feature him trying to escape Jellystone Park, or episodes where he and Boo Boo aren't even in the park at all. A few features even omit Boo-Boo altogether (e.g., "Slumber Party Smarty"). There were even a couple spot gag cartoons in the first season, such as "Baffled Bear" and "The Stout Trout." The particulars weren't fully codified until the spinoff movie.

  • Expy: Some episodes from the Huckleberry Hound Show era, such as "Rah Rah Bear", feature different rangers in the place of Ranger Smith. In most cases, they're voiced by Yogi's voice actor, Daws Butler.
  • Filching Food for Fun: Yogi Bear, a Civilized Animal living in Jellystone National Park, steals picnic baskets as a major defining trait. He's by no means a malicious character, though, and there's no evidence he lacks sufficient bear-appropriate food (though he finds the usual ursine diet of nuts and berries unappetizing). He seems to be doing it mostly for fun.
  • The Film of the Series: Yogi Bear (2010) qualifies, being a live-action re-imagining of the animated cartoon series.
  • Flanderization: By the third season of The Huckleberry Hound Show, Yogi's love of picnic baskets was heavily flanderized, to the point that whole episodes were devoted to Yogi stealing them and Ranger Smith coming up with elaborate schemes to stop him (such as planting a number of booby-trapped baskets around the park in "Booby Trapped Bear", having a doctor convince Yogi that he has a disease called "Picnic-itis" that forbids him from eating food from picnic baskets, etc.).
  • Fractured Fairy Tale:
    • In "Oinks and Boinks," Yogi and Boo Boo accidentally find their way into the story of the The Three Little Pigs.
    • "Hoodwinked Bear" tosses Yogi and Boo-Boo into the world of Little Red Riding Hood.
    • The characters from Snow White continually disturb Yogi and Boo-Boo's hibernation in "Snow White Bear."
  • 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 Head Ranger arrives at Jellystone Park to investigate a ranger who is "molesting a bear." (In the sixties, "molest" usually meant "pester and harass," as opposed to, well...)
  • Hero Antagonist: Depending on your point of view, Ranger Smith can qualify, given that he represents park law-and-order and is a constant thorn in Yogi's side. The Ranger sees Yogi as just an antagonist, though, especially in later productions.note 
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: Yogi and Boo-Boo qualify, at least in theory — though a few observers consider it, er, significant that they share a bed together.
  • Holiday Pardon: In Yogi's First Christmas, Herman and Snively are let off the hook after they realize they were wrong about Christmas being "for dum-dums."
  • Limited Animation: One of the earlier examples made for television. The only reason Yogi was given a collar and tie was so that the animators wouldn't have to draw below the neck for every frame.
  • Loophole Abuse: When the Ranger demands Yogi follow the park's rule book, Yogi reads it to find all the ways he can work around them.
  • Lovable Rogue: Yogi is a mostly harmless mischief-maker, and plenty likeable despite this.
  • Minimalist Cast: Aside from a few campers, tourists, and forest animals, the only characters we see in Jellystone Park are Yogi, Boo-Boo, Cindy, and Ranger Smith, with this last often appearing to be the only ranger working at Jellystone Park. Though both Hey There, It's Yogi Bear! and The New Yogi Bear Show, as well as the episode "Gleesome Threesome," show two other rangers (the last depicting a ranger who appears to be Smith's supervisor). The live-action movie has others as well.
  • The Movie: Hey There, It's Yogi Bear! is a heavily-expanded, animated Big Damn Movie version of the TV series that could potentially serve as a mega-episode.
  • 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 kicks into high gear when Yogi attempts 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 his bluff and prepares to have him shipped to San Diego, which leads to a bizarre chain of events that ultimately end up with Cindy Bear trapped in a circus and forced to perform for a cruel ringmaster. Yogi and Boo-Boo have 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, his offbeat philosophy (and name) were allegedly meant to suggest baseball star Yogi Berra's eccentric nature (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!"
  • Poor Communication Kills: In "A Bear Pair," Ranger Smith wishes Yogi and Boo-Boo good luck on their trip to Paris by declaring them "good will ambassadors from Jellystone Park." When the flight attendant asks for Yogi and Boo Boo's names, Yogi innocently mangles Ranger Smith's sentiments by declaring him and Boo Boo "the ambassadors from Jellystone Park." Hilarity Ensues.
  • Protagonist Title: The show is named after the title character.
  • Punny Name: Jellystone Park is an obvious pun on Yellowstone National Park. Yogi's own name is a play on that of 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 film kicks into high gear when Yogi has had enough of Ranger Smith bossing him around, demanding that he either lift the rules or transfer Yogi out of the park. Ranger Smith calls his bluff by sending the bears to the San Diego Zoo after getting a call from them asking for a bear. Yogi tricks another bear to take his place and hides — unbeknownst to Boo-Boo and Cindy, who are transferred out to be with Yogi. Unfortunately, Cindy gets sent to the St. Louis Zoo instead, getting lost on the way and subsequently being 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. Ranger Smith finds out from the news where the ursine trio are and brings them home.
  • Red Riding Hood Replica: The episode "Hoodwinked Bear" played out like the tale.
  • Ring Around the Collar: Conspicuously, Yogi wears a shirt collar with his green tie, but no shirt. Boo-Boo wears only a bowtie, but oddly enough, in some cartoons the bow seems to be pinned directly on his neck with no visible strap.
  • 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 located.
    Boo-Boo: Cindy! Yogi isn't in St. Louis! CINDY! CIIIIIIINDYYY!!
  • Scenery Porn: Jellystone Park in Hey There, It's Yogi Bear! is mighty scenic.
  • 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 is Yogi's ubiquitous companion.
    • Some of the new Yogi shorts from the late-80's had Ranger Roubideux as one for Ranger Smith.
  • Sliding Scale of Idealism vs. Cynicism: There's a surprising amount of cynicism peppered into the early Yogi Bear shorts. The park's tourists are generally portrayed as rich and irresponsible slobs, who litter the park and even neglect their own children. Ranger Smith, at least in the first two seasons, is portrayed as bitter and jaded, not only because of Yogi but also because of the general stress of dealing with the park's tourists. And so on.
  • Species Surname: Yogi's and Cindy's last names are also that of their species.
  • Spin-Off Babies: Yo Yogi! transforms Yogi and his pals into adolescents, not babies.
  • Spin-Off: Yogi was spun off The Huckleberry Hound Show into his own program.
  • Tempting Fate: At the end of "A Bear Pair," Yogi dismisses Boo-Boo's concern that Ranger Smith wouldn't take the havoc Yogi wreaked in Paris very well. Unbeknownst to Yogi, Ranger Smith was keeping up with the corresponding news reports and behind Yogi during the whole conversation. Cue an instant Oh, Crap! reaction from the bear when Smith reveals himself to Yogi armed with a baseball bat.
  • Three Shorts: Yogi was traditionally the opener on The Huckleberry Hound Show. Then he became the opener of his own show.
  • Tuckerization: In "The Buzzin' Bear", the rangers' names are Bill and Joe (as in Hanna and Barbera).
  • Verbal Tic: Yogi's unique pronunciations of "av-a-redge" and "pic-a-nic" qualify. He also says "diff-a-rent" in the movie.
  • Worthy Opponent: Yogi admits that he respects his nemesis Ranger Smith in "Home Sweet Jellystone." The bear outright becomes an Antagonist in Mourning after Smith leaves the park, losing his sense of competitive joy in stealing picnic baskets entirely.
  • Zany Scheme: Yogi's attempts to steal "pic-a-nic baskets" are often elaborate and eccentric. In "Batty Bear," he uses a flying bat costume to swoop down on unsuspecting tourists and steal their picnic baskets. In another example, Yogi poses as a health inspector in "Booby Trapped Bear" in order to confiscate tourists' supposedly subpar picnic baskets. This loony approach to getting free eats is even referenced in the show's theme song (for some of the early shorts) itself:
    "Who believes the world's a dream, and falls for some fantastic scheme, but always winds up on the beam? Yogi Bear!"