Follow TV Tropes

Following

YMMV / Looney Tunes

Go To

  • Archive Panic: Exactly 1,000 classic-era theatrical shorts, plus the SNAFU shorts and other bits of miscellanea—it's been estimated that watching a non stop marathon of them all would require a week without sleep—even getting through all the shorts already on DVD note  would take a considerable amount of time. At least there haven't been new Looney Tunes shorts regularly made since 1969. That would make the series even more grueling to get through (both in viewing it and for Warner Brothers Studios to actually put out all the classics — and not-so-classics — on DVD and/or Blu-Ray).
    • Amusingly, this video handles the problem. note 
  • Award Snub: Despite winning seven Oscars, almost no Looney Tunes productions has ever gained an Annie Award, which is an award ceremony exclusively for animation. The biggest letdown would've had to be Looney Tunes: Back in Action losing to Finding Nemo.
    • Then there was the famous incident in which A Wild Hare, the first Bugs Bunny cartoon (and the one that pretty much established the kind of cartoons Warner Bros. would put out in the years to come), as well as Puss Gets the Boot, the first Tom and Jerry cartoon, were passed up for an Academy Award for one of MGM Oneshot Cartoons, The Milky Way. It was also the first year no Disney shorts were nominated, no less!
    • Advertisement:
    • Happens in-universe in What's Cookin', Doc? Bugs loses the Oscar for "Best Actor/Actress" to James Cagney. He spends the entire cartoon trying to convince everybody that he really deserved that Oscar (even playing footage from Hiawatha's Rabbit Hunt - a cartoon that was itself nominated for an Oscar but lost. The whole cartoon was made as an in-joke by Bob Clampett to make fun of Friz Freleng for Hiawatha's Rabbit Hunt getting snubbed). The cartoon ends with Bugs being given his very own Oscar just to finally shut him up.
    • What's Opera, Doc? didn't get nominated, but it was submitted to the Academy for review. Which means the Academy viewed the short, but didn't think it was worthy enough for nomination. Just wrap your head around that.
      • Same for Duck Amuck.
      • Speaking of What's Opera, Doc? the 2002 Cartoon Network special The 1st Ever 13th Annual Fancy Anvil Awards Show Program Special (Live in Stereo) featured What's Opera, Doc? as one of the nominees for the Best Cartoon award. Unfortunately, it lost to the Dexter's Laboratory episode "The Mock 5." Although at least The Rabbit of Seville won the Best Original Song award.
  • Advertisement:
  • Awesome Music: Has its own page!
  • Badass Decay:
    • Daffy Duck changed from a Crazy Awesome prankster into a pompous Straw Loser for Bugs and other stars. Odd features remind us he's still capable of being a crazy little black duck, but he's still primarily a Butt-Monkey nowadays.
    • Tweety starts off as a Pintsized Powerhouse who actively fights back against his aggressors but gradually turns into a cutesy and somewhat more naive Distressed Dude who often depends on Granny to be saved from Sylvester (he can still be a Karmic Trickster when he wants to be, but only occasionally).
    • Milder case for Cecil Turtle. In his first two appearances, he was a clear cut Always Someone Better to Bugs, anticipating the latter's every move and having the full control usually adorned to the rabbit himself. In "Rabbit Transit" however, he is a more arrogant cheat, the short playing more as an Escalating War with Cecil even getting visibly frustrated at Bugs outsmarting him at times (Bugs actually beats him this time, though Cecil returns to form with a moral victory).
    • Advertisement:
    • Yosemite Sam started off as a Worthy Opponent for Bugs, to counter Elmer's pitiful streak, being more capable of genuinely menacing Bugs. As time passed however, the series' usual Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain formula took over him as well, and by the mid fifties he was actually less of a threat than Elmer (who could at least outsmart Bugs on rare occasions), just more of a prideful Asshole Victim about it.
  • Bizarro Episode: "Porky in Wackyland" and "Dough For The Do-Do" are extremely nonsensical, even by the standards of these cartoons.
    • The second half of "Hare Brush," where Bugs' and Elmer's usual roles are reversed.
    • "Rabbit of Seville". ALL OF IT. It's just a chain of Big Lipped Alligator Moments that could even make the most creative and crazy of people go: "Huh?"
  • Broken Base: Surprisingly heated arguments get started between Looney Tunes fans as to what the correct onomatopoeia is for Road Runner's vocalizations: "Meep Meep" vs. "Beep Beep" vs. the incredibly specific "Mwheep Mwheep!" Paul Julian, who provided the Road Runner's voice, said it should be "Hmeep, Hmeep!"
    • Which version of Daffy is better? The crazy, screwy Daffy of the 40s, or the greedy Daffy from the 50s onward?
    • Who the best director is. It really comes down to preference, but the debates still rage about whose cartoons were "objectively" better.
  • "Common Knowledge": Mel Blanc, as talented as he is, didn't voice every Looney Tunes character as is occasionally claimed. The series had a wide range of voice actors, but most of them went uncredited (June Foray, who voiced most lady characters like Granny and Witch Hazel, was usually the only other one whose name appeared in the credits, and even then, not until the early 1960s when the restrictions on voice actor credits eased up a bit).
    • Also of note, although not as recognized, is that Bugs Bunny, despite being the Face of the Band when it comes to the Looney Tunes cast, was not the leading star of the franchise at first; that role was previously assumed by Daffy Duck, who in turn took that role from Porky Pig, who in turn took that role from Buddy, who in turn took that role from Bosko, the Talk-Ink Kid. And, between Buddy and Porky, there was an incredibly short period where Beans Cat was the franchise's leading star.
  • Designated Hero: Bugs Bunny. Bugs Bunny, BUGS BUNNY. It was for this reason that a more vicious villain was made as his foe in the mid-forties (Yosemite Sam), to occasionally replace Elmer Fudd (who's much more affable), because Bugs was looking like an outright bully towards him. Eventually, Yosemite Sam was looking like an Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain as well, and therefore Marvin The Martian was created, a character who's calm and polite but a competent villain who could still pose a threat.
  • Designated Villain: Sometimes, Elmer Fudd (when outside antagonistic roles, keep that in mind) gets depicted as a villain simply for trying to get animals off his property for bothering him (Robot Rabbit, Pests For Guests). Granted, he calls for rather extreme measures to do so, but it's a little understandable seeing as how annoying they can be.
  • Dork Age: Most, if not all, cartoons produced in the 1960s after the WB animation studio initially closed its doors in 1964 are often considered as such.
    • Far earlier than that, the studio went through an early dork age during the period after Harman and Ising left during late 1933 to 1935, resulting in a huge downslide in quality, as well as the advent of the impossibly bland Buddy. Fortunately, Tex Avery and Frank Tashlin's arrival began pulling the studio out of this from 1936 and onward.
    • And a lot of cartoons made after Mel Blanc died and other voice actors were hired to replace him (that includes some TV shows like Baby Looney Tunes, Loonatics Unleashed, The Looney Tunes Show, and Wabbit: A Looney Tunes Production), like Greg Burson, Billy West, Jeff Bergman, J.P. Karliak, etc.
    • Arguably this could include the batch of 75 black-and-white Looney Tunes that were previously part of the Sunset Films/Guild Films packages which WB had sent to Korea in 1967 to be redrawn and painted in color. The trace jobs were sloppy, color schemes were off key and synchronization faltered in spots.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse:
    • The mynah bird, despite only appearing in a handful of cartoons (many of which are banned for also featuring a stereotypical African boy named Inki), is somewhat popular as a Memetic Badass.
    • The Dodo, who only appeared in one cartoon (and it's color remake) was popular enough he gained a son in Tiny Toon Adventures.
    • Michigan J. Frog, who despite appearing in one cartoon, was integrated into the main ensemble in the 1990's when he became the mascot of the WB Network.
    • Penelope garnered a following due to being an amusing yet sympathetic character as well as one of the few female Looney Tunes created prior to the 1990s.
    • Taz. Originally he was only going to appear in one cartoon but he was saved by fans requesting he make more appearances; he made 4 additional cartoons and a major role as a villain in the Christmas special, proving popular enough to get his own TV show. He is now part of the main character rosters and one of the most recognizable characters in the series.
    • Dr. Zarius from the webtoons became this as a result of a version of said character.
    • Marvin the Martian, despite appearing only five times, became popular due to his characterization as a comedic and friendly villain who also managed to pose a bigger threat than even Yosemite Sam.
    • Witch Hazel became popular due to being a Laughably Evil Large Ham.
    • Ralph Wolf and Sam Sheepdog
    • Marc Anthony and Pussyfoot
    • Owl Jolson from "I Love to Singa"
    • Lawyer Goodwill from "The Case Of The Stuttering Pig", the cause being, that he is one of the most intimidating villains to have ever appeared in a Porky Pig short. Scratch that, in Looney Tunes in general.
    • There's an unnamed, upright-walking, smart and soft-spoken bulldog who appears in a few of Robert McKimson's cartoons (see "Hippety Hopper", "Early to Bet", "It's Hummer Time", and "A Fox in a Fix") who was funny every time he appeared. Unfortunately, he was phased out and never became a major character.
  • Epileptic Trees: An imdb user named oscaralbert has written many tongue-in-cheek reviews of Looney Tunes cartoons, claiming they predicted the future and/or are social commentary about current/past events.
  • Ethnic Scrappy: Some fans see Speedy as this (in his early years), due to his tendencies to yell "Arriba! Andale!" and chase around his opponents not completely unlike a Troll. Granted, he's a Karmic Trickster, but it can still be pretty annoying.
  • Fandom-Enraging Misconception: The easiest way to annoy fans of the series is to misspell it as Looney Toons; ironically, even some official art or descriptions make this mistake.
  • Fanon Discontinuity: There are a large number of fans that tend to ignore most of the pre-1940's Looney Tunes shorts, as well as those who ignore most of the post-1964 shorts (though it's hard to ignore the cartoons made after 1964 when CBS and Nickelodeon used to air the Daffy Duck and Speedy Gonzales cartoons on their respective classic short block shows and you were alive when they were heavily featured).
    • Many fans go as far as ignoring any post theatrical era Looney Tunes property, especially Space Jam, The Looney Tunes Show, Baby Looney Tunes and especially Loonatics Unleashed. Not even the generally well received Back In Action is safe in some circles.
  • Fandom Rivalry: Looney Tunes fans opposed to Classic Disney Shorts fans, although there is a substantial bit of Friendly Fandoms thrown into the mix, as many cartoon fans love both of them.
  • Foe Yay: Bugs and Elmer (i.e., Rabbit of Seville, Bugs' Bonnets, What's Opera, Doc??), Bugs and Yosemite Sam (i.e., Hare Trimmed) ... Bugs and most of his adversaries at some point, really.
    • Daffy and Porky:
    Daffy Duck:: Have you got a marriage license?
    Porky Pig:: G-g-gosh no, I'm not married.
    Daffy Duck:: Aha! Not married eh? Well — *jumps into Porky's arms* — whaddya say you and me go steady?
  • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment: The Japanese getting bombed in "Tokyo Woes" and the end of "Hop And Go."
    • Beaky's Disney Death in "The Bashful Buzzard" (complete with his mother fretting over him) has a slightly tragic undertone, given Beaky's voice actor, Kent Rogers, died in action during the production of the short.
    • In "Often an Orphan", Charlie Dog laments that he doesn't want to go back to the city, and imagines a hypothetical scenario where "the towers, they're falling!" The short was released in 1949 so obviously this was meant to be a non-sequitur remark about how overwhelming and unforgiving the city landscape is, but hearing about "falling towers" is kind of eerie post-9/11.
    • Similarly, "Falling Hare" shows a plane on a collision course with a pair of boxy-looking skyscrapers, as its pilot (the Gremlin) laughs maniacally. Again, a bit jarring post-9/11.
  • Gateway Series: When asking someone what was their favorite cartoons or what inspired them to do animation, and it isn't a more contemporary work, it will be either Looney Tunes or Disney, or both.
  • Germans Love David Hasselhoff: Tweety is pretty popular in Japan. He even has a few volumes of DVDs titled "I Love Tweety" sold there. Japan's fondness for small, adorable creatures probably helped him out a lot.
    • Back in the Fifties, Tweety (and arch-nemesis Sylvester) had an immense fandom in France with comic books, toys, and various other merchandise.
    • Marvin the Martian also seems to be moderately popular in Japan; there's a good amount of Japanese fanart of him, and many Japanese fans, when making posts regarding him, will often mention how they think he's cute.
  • Growing the Beard: Initially, the Looney Tunes started as shameless ripoffs of Disney's success and Merrie Melodies was just made to sell Warner Studio's sheet music (it's the 1930s version of the music video). That all changed after Hugh Harman and Rudolph Ising parted ways with Leon Schlesinger, forcing him to assemble a new staff—many of them important in shaping the studio's future. While the shorts still remained Disney like in nature, Tex Avery and Bob began going against the status quo of animation, starting with Tex's landmark short "Gold Diggers of '49" where he started taking advantage of cartoons being able to do anything and use them as vehicles for gags. It's generally agreed that things vastly improved as a whole when Tex Avery and Bob Clampett began to direct, as they were both a big part of shaping the Looney Tunes sense of humor we know today. However, it's the '40s, combining the Avery-Clampett anything-goes mentality with Chuck Jones' educated sensibilities that are often seen as the high point in the studio's history (ironically, Avery had left WB in 1941, but his influence had already been established).
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: In "Tortoise Wins by a Hare," one of the headlines on the newspaper advertising the race between Bugs Bunny and Cecil the Turtle reads, "Hitler Commits Suicide." This cartoon was released in 1943, a mere two years before that actually happened. Talking about a person committing suicide after a piece of media joked about it would normally be Harsher in Hindsight, but this is Hitler we're talking about.
    • Some jokes about prices unavoidably get this, thanks to inflation. Daffy complaining about paying 25 cents for cab fare in "Show Biz Bugs" is one of the funnier examples. Most people nowadays would kill for fare like this.
    • In 1990's "Box-Office Bunny", Daffy complains about paying seven dollars to see a movie. Compare that to today where it can cost more than twenty dollars for just one person to get admission!
    • 1943's "Super-Rabbit" parodies the Superman Theatrical Cartoons of the 1940s, with Bugs as a Captain Ersatz version of Superman. A similar premise is used in "Stupor Duck" in 1956, only with Daffy instead of Bugs. Now, many years later, Superman and all of the other DC Comics superheroes are legal property of Warner Bros. This has enabled direct Shout Outs in later cartoons such as The Looney Tunes Show, where both Bugs and Daffy claim to be Batman and the batsuit and Bat Signal are both shown.
      • In "Tortoise Beats Hare," Bugs derogatorily calls Cecil Turtle "Superman."
    • Similarly, the 1967-1969 shorts Warner Bros. Animation produced under executive producer Bill Hendricks and ownership of Warner Bros. -Seven Arts tend to somewhat resemble Hanna-Barbera cartoons at times, complete with using some of the same Stock Sound Effects. Then three decades later, Warner Bros. would actually acquire Hanna-Barbera, and eventually fold the studio into Warner Bros. Animation.
    • Knowing the fact that Elmer Fudd always falls hard for Bugs in drag back in the day, and then everyone saying that Bugs makes an ugly woman in The Looney Tunes Show, is pretty amusing.
    • "Porky and Gabby" has the latter character climbing up two trees, one foot and hand on each tree. This would become a central game mechanic in Donkey Kong Jr.
    • In the 1955 short "Pizzicato Pussycat", it had the cat becoming popular for being able to play the piano (even though it's really a mouse doing all the work). Fast forward to 2007 with a certain viral Youtube video of a cat playing the piano.
    • The 1955 short "Roman Legion-Hare", the sacrifice to the lions is advertised with "Detroit Lions in Season Opener — Undefeated Lions out for First Taste of Victory". Back then, it referenced how the Lions were a powerhouse of the pre-Super Bowl era. After decades of the team being The Chew Toy of the NFL (even being the first to lose all games in a season), recent viewers can laugh thinking it mentions how the Lions are often struggling to win.
    • One of the villains in "A Cartoonists's Nightmare" is named "Dirty Dan".
  • I Am Not Shazam: The title Looney Tunes does not refer to the characters, be it individually or as a group, just to the no-continuity cartoons themselves.
  • Iron Woobie: Wile E. Coyote. After all he's been through, it's a mystery how he's even still alive. While all of the villains (and even some of the good guys) get screwed over time and time again, Wile E. is unique in never having gotten a single victory, and the closest he ever came was a Yank the Dog's Chain. He's also unusual in that his failures almost never have anything to do with his intended prey-the universe just goes out of its way to screw him over for no apparent reason. Still, he never even considers giving up on catching the Roadrunner.
  • It's Not Supposed to Win Oscars: Leon Schlesinger was quoted as saying about his cartoons "Let Disney make chicken salad and win awards. I'll make chicken shit and make money."
  • Jerkass Woobie: Some see Daffy as this.
    • Claude Cat in the Hubie and Bertie shorts. Wasn't a Jerkass in those shorts though.
    • Henry Bear, from the Three Bears shorts. He's tempermental and an abusive father, but he also suffers a lot, often due to Junyer's stupidity.
    • Charlie Dog often forces himself to be Porky Pig's pet and is a smart aleck and master manipulator but he's also clearly homeless and desperate for love and shelter.
  • Magnificent Bastard: Cecil Turtle is a seemingly timid tortoise who has the unique distinction of being the only character to have defeated Bugs Bunny on a consistent basis. Having been challenged to a race on three separate occasions, Cecil was able to outsmart Bugs every single time. In Tortoise Beats Hare, Cecil recruits the help of his identical-looking cousins to fool Bugs into thinking that he was in the lead throughout the race. He managed to sneak past the finish line and forced Bugs to fork over the ten bucks he wagered on their match. In Tortoise Wins by a Hare, Bugs challenged Cecil to a rematch, and he convinced Bugs that his shell was the key to his superior speed. Bugs dresses up as a turtle in order to beat Cecil, but is targeted by the rabbit mob who bet all their money for the rabbit to win. Cecil disguises himself as a rabbit and tricks the mob into helping him win the race. In Rabbit Transit, Cecil uses a jet engine hidden beneath his shell to gain the lead during their race. Bugs manages to cross the finish line first, but Cecil gets him to admit that he was going over the speed limit and has him arrested for speeding. With a perfect track record, Cecil is Bugs' only foe who could beat him at his own game.
  • Memetic Mutation: Enough to get its own page.
  • Mexicans Love Speedy Gonzales: The Trope Namer. Speedy Gonzales, despite being perceived as an Ethnic Scrappy by Cartoon Network and even banned from airing, was very popular with Latin Americans, Mexicans to be more specific.
  • Moe:
  • Most Wonderful Sound: Carl Stalling's iconic madcap arrangement of "Merrily We Roll Along," especially that slide-guitar sting at the beginning.
  • Newer Than They Think: As all the other songs in One Froggy Evening are from the late 1800's and early 1900's, one could be forgiven for thinking that "Michigan Rag" was also a vintage tune. But it was created specifically for the short by director Chuck Jones, writer Mike Maltese and composer Milt Franklyn.
  • No Problem with Licensed Games: The 'Looney Tunes racing game for the Sega Dreamcast, which was very well received. Desert Demolition and Bugs Bunny in Double Trouble'' are also fairly liked.
  • Popular with Furries: Especially Bugs Bunny, Wile E. Coyote, Pepe Le Pew and Sylvester.
  • The Problem with Licensed Games: Unfortunately, many of the other Looney Tunes tie-in video games range from mediocre (i.e. Bugs Bunny's Birthday Blowout) to outright terrible, most notably Bugs Bunny's Crazy Castle and Looney Tunes: Acme Arsenal, the latter of which was critically panned.
  • Retroactive Recognition: Jim Backus played the genie in the Bugs Bunny short "A-Lad in His Lamp". He is better known in the animation world for his role as Mr. Magoo, which debuted a couple years later.
  • Rooting for the Empire: Most of the shorts' antagonists are jerks, but utterly harmless and pitiful, usually getting maimed and humiliating to a sadistic degree by their far more competent foes. Chuck Jones implemented this trope deliberately with Wile E Coyote and the Road Runner and even lampshaded it in Adventures of the Road Runner.
  • Sacred Cow: People will open fire upon you if you openly declare your distaste for the 1940s shorts (or worse, say you like the post-70's shorts). That's not even getting into disliking the characters or any of the 90's television series directly descended from the theatrical series.
  • The Scrappy:
    • Buddy, the studio's main character from 1933—1935. Unusually for a Scrappy, he wasn't that annoying. In fact, he wasn't really anything at all — his problem was that he had absolutely zero personality, which was compounded by the dull, plotless cartoons that he starred in.
    • Gabby Goat, whom was Porky Pig's sidekick in three 1937 cartoons. He was introduced as a foil to the shy, good-natured Porky, but was often shown to be rather obnoxious and unlikable by fans. He only appeared in three shorts in 1937 before being dropped, and it took 80 years for him to make another appearance in the franchise where he appeared to have been Rescued from the Scrappy Heap while still remaining the same hot headed character, but now a Deadpan Snarker and is given a Take That, Scrappy! moment with Porky finally retaliating against Gabby for his obnoxiousness, something Porky never did before in the original cartoons with Gabby.
    • A lot of people feel that Tweety deserves this title too, although his original, violent incarnation is well liked.
    • Pepe Le Pew, not only because he is overly mushy but because his amorous pursuit of Penelope comes off as very creepy and/or gross in this era where Black Comedy Rape is becoming less and less funny.
    • Henery Hawk from the Foghorn Leghorn cartoons is practically the Ur-Example of a Scrappy due to Scrappy Doo's personality (both are belligerent, loudmouthed little pipsqueaks who picks fights with other characters many times bigger than them) and physical traits. The fact that Mark Evanier admitted outright he used Henery's character as a basis for Scrappy doesn't help at all.
    • The series introduced a whole army of Scrappies in the late 1960s, when the original creative staff was dumped and Alex Lovy took over the studio. In a desperate attempt to stay in the game, Lovy created some new characters to supplant the classic line-up, and we were treated to such memorable characters as Cool Cat, Merlin the Magic Mouse, and Bunny & Claude. The new characters proved unimaginative, unfunny and unmemorable, and it was soon game over for the original Looney Tunes series. One "Cool Cat" cartoon even went to the trouble to introduce "Spooky", a seriously dull ghost character, with a mention in the opening titles. A case of hitching your wagon to a sinking ship there. By this point the few original characters still present in the shorts were considered Scrappies as well. Daffy and Speedy in particular due to personality changes and a questionable teamup of the two, though granted outside this era they are Ensemble Dark Horses more than anything else.
    • For those who Root For The Coyote, Road Runner is pretty hated for always winning.
    • Cecil Turtle isn't very well beloved to those who believe his victories over Bugs to be unearned. Perhaps in response to this, he's depicted as an outright villain in The Looney Tunes Show.
    • Sylvester Jr. is this to many fans who find him an annoying brat and being from the fan unfavorite Hippety Hopper shorts, hence why he is rarely used in modern incarnations.
  • Seasonal Rot: The period in which the quality of the shorts goes downhill varies for everyone (similar to how people argue about the quality going downhill on such shows as Saturday Night Live, The Simpsons, and Family Guy), but it's generally agreed that when duties moved to DePatie-Freleng in 1963, things took a turn for the worse and, outside of a few exceptions, never really recovered.
    • There are some who argue that while DePatie-Freleng's cartoons were a big step down from the studio's heyday, they were still better than 95% of what the other animation studios at the time were producing. However, even DePatie-Freleng fans generally admit that the quality of the cartoons totally bottomed out when the Warner Bros.-Seven Arts era began in 1967, and that while things did improve when Robert McKimson returned for one last spell during the studio's final year, it was too little too late.
  • "Seinfeld" Is Unfunny:
    • Given these are some of the popular, influential cartoons in the history of animation, it's very easy to take for granted just how groundbreaking and unique these shorts were for their time.
    • When Bugs Bunny first said, "What's up, Doc?" in the 1940 short, A Wild Hare, it was a shock in ways modern audiences simply can't imagine or appreciate. In 1940, audiences saw the hunter (Elmer Fudd, of course), heard the hunter say he was hunting wabbits (er, rabbits), and then they saw the rabbit. 1940 audiences were expecting that rabbit to scream, run, pick a fight, play dead, anything except strike up a casual conversation with the guy trying to kill him. So, when Bugs did that, he brought the house down - a response that led to it becoming his Catchphrase. Nowadays, not only does nobody find, "What's up, Doc?" funny, most people don't even realize it was ever supposed to be funny in the first place. It's just that thing Bugs always says in every freakin' cartoon he's in.
    • Another case is Bugs' reference to Elmer as "a poor little Nimrod." It was originally a sarcastic reference to a king mentioned in The Bible as a mighty hunter. However, between the king's relative obscurity (some interpretations place Nimrod at the center of prominent events like the building of the Tower of Babel, but there is dispute on those) and the fact that Bugs is being obviously insulting, most people think that "nimrod" is generally used to mean "stupid" rather than "capable hunter," and, just like above, most people aren't even aware that calling Elmer "Nimrod" is supposed to be a joke.
  • Serial Numbers Filed Off: Foxy the Fox, an early character who was initially planned to headline the Merrie Melodies, is a shamelessly transparent copycat of Mickey Mouse, right down to having a Pluto-like dog in one of shorts, and a Minnie Mouse-esque girlfriend—so such so, that the characters title card even adorns the Captain Ersatz page. Walt Disney was not amused at this plagiarism, and ordered Foxy's creator, Rudy Ising, to stop using the character after just three shorts.
  • Some Anvils Need to Be Dropped: Even forgetting all the anvil gags, the studios could definitely do this. Best demonstrated in "Chow Hound," when the titular dog ended up getting a heaping serving of Just Desserts for what he forced the cat and mouse to do at their own risk and for the benefit of no one but himself.
  • Song Association:
    • The theme songs for the Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies were actually not made for them, but were originally standalone songs, "The Merry Go Round Broke Down" and "Merrily We Roll Along", but because of them being the themes of both series for decades and heard virtually nowhere else, they will always be associated with the Looney Tunes franchise.
    • Likewise, Raymond Scott's "Powerhouse", a music track originally made in 1937, is a music cue that is often known because of its recurring use in Looney Tunes shorts.
  • Superlative Dubbing: The Mexican Spanish dub, to the grade that Warner Bros. normally excludes anything related to the Looney Tunes (even stuff like Loonatics Unleashed) from being dubbed in Venezuela (due to internal politics in WB and also for cost reasons), possibly due to the complains when they tried to dub some shorts in Venezuela and due the way they were voiced in Tiny Toon Adventures. In fact, when some of the Looney Tunes' shorts appears as cameos in other Venezuelan-dubbed series like Animaniacs, WB decided to keep the Looney Tunes' voices in English rather than being voiced in Venezuelan Spanish.
  • Suspiciously Similar Song: At the very end of "Hare Brush", Elmer does a victory dance to a tune that is very similar to the (then) recently-created "bunny hop" dance.
    • The beginning and end of "The Last Hungry Cat" feature a melodic parody of the theme to "Alfred Hitchcock Presents", aka "Funeral March of a Marionette" by Charles Gounod.
    • Bugs Bunny's cameo in the Paramount George Pal Puppetoon Jasper Goes Hunting is introduced with an ersatz rendition of the Merrie Melodies theme.
  • Tastes Like Diabetes: The pseudo-Disney Looney Tunes made around the mid 30's, especially the Merrie Melodies of that period. They tried to emulate Disney's cutesy fare and failed miserably. The arrival of Tex Avery by late 1935 soon pulled them out of this phase.
    • However, most of Chuck Jones's early work (like the earliest Sniffles cartoons), made during the 1938-1941 period when he was still heavily influenced by Disney's Silly Symphonies shorts, tend to suffer from this. Sniffles the Mouse was one of Warner Bros' few attempts to create a cutesy Disney-like character.
  • Tear Jerker: You'd never expect it from these cartoons, but the ending to What's Opera, Doc? defiantly invokes this. But then again, who expects a happy ending from an Opera anyway?
    • Feed the Kitty also unintentionally is a tear jerker for some. Chuck Jones said it was meant to be funny, but something about how heartbroken Marc Anthony the bulldog gets when he thinks his pet kitten is being baked into a batch of cookies (when the audience is shown that this is not the case) just kind of tugs at the heartstrings, as silly as the situation is.
      • "Feed the Kitty" was an exercise in personality animation and how Chuck Jones could elicit emotions from audiences by using the characters' expressions. That, coupled with the music by Carl Stalling, was why that scene with Marc Anthony crying over his baked kitten was so heart-wrenching.
    • "Porky's Romance" probably deserves mention, after a love struck Porky gets rejected by Petunia, he becomes heartbroken to the point of suicide.
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks!: The Warner Bros.-Seven Arts regime in the late 60s axed all the original Looney Tunes characters — save for Daffy and Speedy — and introduced a bunch of new forgettable ones such as Rapid Rabbit, Merlin Mouse and Cool Cat. Needless to say, the new characters only lasted three years.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character:
    • Beans was the first real example of The Prankster in the series, and a refreshing change from the characters who had gone before him. After his first few cartoons however, the animators started depicting him in much the same way as Buddy, meaning that while he at least outlasted some of the other characters from that period, in the long term he was completely eclipsed by Porky.
    • Gabby Goat from the '30s, who was basically a Captain Ersatz of Donald Duck, could have been a great star if they had bothered to have any chemistry between him and Porky.
    • The series actually ran on this. The studio was constantly attempting to find new stars that the audience would take to, with many previous bit players or one shots given a test in center spotlight. Porky, Daffy and Bugs were among those that took on and became the series' Breakout Characters. The likes of Beaky Buzzard, Charlie Dog and The Three Bears however ran only a brief stint of shorts before becoming mostly forgotten extras.
  • Tough Act to Follow: With only a handful of exceptions, not a single revival has been able to live up to the spirit of the original shorts, the biggest reason being that the creators simply left very big shoes to fill, not to mention worked in a specific environment conducive to that creative process (you could say Animaniacs was Steven Spielberg buying that environment).
  • Unintentionally Sympathetic:
    • Several of the reoccurring antagonists. Jerks or not, it was hard not to eventually feel for them after their millionth painful fail. Especially when it came to characters who were just hunting for prey out of instinct, like Wile E. and Sylvester. Friz Freleng outright admitted to this difficulty in making shorts with Elmer Fudd, claiming Bugs was more liable to look like a bully against him.
    • It's really hard not to feel sorry for Sylvester in Canned Feud. Here, he is left home alone while his owners go on vacation to California, and they didn't leave any food out for him. Sylvester is understandably afraid that he'll starve, but fortunately there's a lot of canned food for him to eat. The one problem is that a Jerkass mouse has swiped the can opener and spends the rest of the short tormenting Sylvester with it. Sylvester, mind you, has done NOTHING to provoke this mouse and doesn't even attempt to eat him at any point in this short, he just wants the can opener so that he doesn't starve. And yet the mouse STILL comes out on top in the end.
    • "Museum Scream" is another short where it's hard not to sympathize with Sylvester. The short begins with him digging through trash cans desperately trying to find something to eat, then he sneaks into a museum at night to eat Tweety, who's part of an exhibit. Yeah, you can't blame Tweety for not wanting to be eaten, but Sylvester is throughout the short attacked by a snake AND a wasp, has his head bitten by a baby dinosaur, gets sliced to pieces by a buzzsaw and impaled by an iron maiden (which then EXPLODES for no reason whatsoever), and goes through a digestive tract display. We're apparently supposed to find this funny, but a common complaint about the short is how needlessly over-the-top the violence towards Sylvester is.
    • In the Daffy Duck/Speedy Gonzales series of cartoons, Daffy could sometimes come across as this. For example, in "Daffy's Diner", he's simply trying to protect himself from a vicious bandito cat who threatens to blow Daffy's brains out if he can't produce an authentic mouse-burger for him. Even if Daffy tried to cheat his customers with rubber mice, he didn't deserve THAT. And yet, even though the cat is the real villain of the cartoon, it's Daffy who loses in the end. While, in "Feather Finger," Daffy's a homeless street rat who's just trying to earn enough cash to survive and gets conned into chasing Speedy by Mayor Katt - and yet STILL winds up being the big loser.
    • Daffy is also this in "Attack of the Drones". He did nothing wrong in this short aside from acting like an arrogant idiot and created the drones to defeat a pack of ferocious, sharp-toothed aliens. He didn't know they would go on a rampage afterwards, and certainly didn't deserve to be screamed at by the head of the council, threatened with being fired if he didn't tame the drones, blasted in half, impaled by a lightsaber, and have his front half eroded. And then when he finally thinks that he's been able to destroy the drones, it turns out that the drones found the cloning machine that Daffy used to create them in the first place and have started making MORE drones. The cloning machine, and the building that it's in, eventually explodes after filling up with drones, who then overrun the city. The short ends with Daffy clinging to the top of a building as the drones snap at him from below. So basically, Daffy spends the entire short being violently punished for attempting to defeat an alien menace.
    • Porky Pig is this in "My Generation G... G... Gap". He's afraid that his daughter will get into trouble at the rock concert that she's attending and tries to sneak in to get her out. Apparently, that's justification for his getting sliced into three by power lines, smashed around like a guitar, electrocuted several times, and finally humiliated. Good luck trying NOT to feel any sympathy for him by the end.
  • Unpopular Popular Character: Daffy.
  • Values Dissonance: A number of the old Looney Tunes shorts can't be shown on TV anymore, due to overt racism, sexism, smoking, drinking or other topics that are no longer considered acceptable to show to young audiences. In particular, many of the old racial stereotype jokes are no longer considered funny in a post-Civil Rights world.
  • Vanilla Protagonist: Porky Pig's not a Flat Character, but he's also not very interesting either (especially compared to the other major characters, Daffy Duck in particular). He's just a nice guy with flipflopping luck and stuck constantly playing straight man to characters more shaded, assertive and weird than he is. Even the directors admitted they didn't like using Porky because of how inflexible his character was.
  • "Weird Al" Effect: A lot of the characters (particularly Pepe Le Pew and Foghorn Leghorn) are based on near-obscure celebrities that people these days wouldn't recognize without thinking of the Looney Tunes. Pepe Le Pew is based on French actor Charles Boyer, while Foghorn Leghorn is based on Fred Allen's "Senator Claghorn" character
    • Pete Puma is copied from Frank Fontaine's John LC Silvoney/Crazy Gugenheim character, which was well known at the time his cartoon came out. Pete Puma is still a well liked and memorable one shot character- only fans of Jack Benny and Jackie Gleason remember Frank Fontaine these days.
    • Much of Carl Stalling's soundtrack for the 40s and 50s shorts consisted of then popular tunes or folk songs that these days less researched fans would likely recognise as "Looney Tunes background music". Many would likely be unaware that both the Looney Tunesnote  and Merrie Melodiesnote  title jingles have full arrangements, let alone lyrics.
  • We're Still Relevant, Dammit!: Much of WB's use of the characters from the 1970s to now can be seen as a form of this.
    • It started even before that: Due to the fact that Looney Tunes was a Long Runner, many advances in technology took place during the original theatrical run. By the late '50s, characters were shown watching TV Note , which is ironic for two reasons: A) These cartoons were originally shown in theaters, and B) Theatrical studios, including WB, were petrified of TV when it became mainstream in the early '50s, due to the concern that the ease of staying home for entertainment would heavily cut in their profits.
  • What an Idiot!: It's a wonder Private Snafu wasn't declared 4F due to mental incompetence.
    • That was Snafu's purpose in existing, however. The Private Snafu shorts were basically animated versions of the 'Loose Lips Sink Ships' posters, using humor to get across the point that a soldier needed to be careful what he said and who he chose to fraternize with. As a result, they used much raunchier humor that Bugs and the gang would never have been able to get away with, to help them be more memorable.
    • A lot of Looney Tunes characters' behavior comes off as this, but only because the story wouldn't be funny or have much in the way of plot without the characters acting or doing something stupid (the Road Runner and Wile E. Coyote cartoons, the 1953 Pepe Le Pew cartoon "Wild Over You," and any cartoon where Bugs Bunny is hunted by Elmer Fudd or Yosemite Sam would definitely suffer if not for this trope and the Idiot Ball)
  • What Do You Mean, It's Not for Kids?: A lot of people (particularly the ones who grew up seeing the Edited for Syndication broadcasts of the Looney Tunes on Saturday morning TV, after school on weekday afternoons [or weekday mornings before school, depending on local station scheduling], or on Cartoon Network and have never seen the cartoons made before 1948, including the World War II-era shorts and the Private Snafu cartoons) will be surprised to discover that the Looney Tunes has a lot of humor that is either not appropriate for children or will fly over the heads of children and those who know nothing of the pop culture or history at the time. In that regard, the Looney Tunes can be seen as The Simpsons or Family Guy if either show was a 5-7 minute short shown exclusively in theaters before a feature film, right down to the fact that all three are or have been shown on TV with jokes and scenes cut for time and/or content and are readily available on DVD or online with these "offending" scenes intact.
    • It should be noted pop culture remembrance has gone in phases, more recently if you are raised in the era the internet took off you may be surprised how much more pop culture before your time people only a few years older than you got from just watching tv in the late 80s and early 90s. When you had to do it yourself on the web due to Network Decay, it's became a lot harder.
    • In interviews with each of the main directors when asked this question they reply that they never had kids in mind when making their cartoons.
      • The shorts originally played before anything in the WB library (which could include gritty crime dramas aimed at older audiences), so yeah, they weren't for kids. It's just that due to edgier material that has come out since its heydey (as well as the aforementioned airings on Saturday mornings), a lot of the content seems tame today. Also, due to the Hays Code being in effect from 1934 until the late 1960s all Hollywood movies could be watched by a family audience in theaters.
  • The Woobie: There's a surprising number of characters whose suffering isn't meant to be entirely comedic:
    • The alien in "Martian Through Georgia" who just wanted to make friends from another civilisation and exchange but was instead labeled a monster and chased away.
    • Penelope Pussycat, especially if you consider the hints that she actually does like Pepe.
    • Porky Pig, while his abuse is usually Played for Laughs, there are sometimes you really have to feel sorry for him, especially considering, unlike most other Butt Monkeys in the series, he rarely brings it on himself. Taken to poignant levels in "Porky's Romance".
    • Also the big, friendly dog from Dog Collared who became obsessed with becoming Porky's pet to the point of sobbing uncontrollably when Porky slapped him and shooed him away and even considered suicide.
    • The little chihuahua in Scentimental Over You is laughed at by the other dogs for not having a fur and when she finally wears one she chooses a skunk's one driving every single person away from her. The scene where she cries dejectedly in a park bench says it all. And that's before Pepe shows up.
    • Beaky Buzzard tries to live up to his "Killer" moniker, however in reality he's a shy, clumsy imbecile, making him one of the most wrathless antagonists in the series (except in "The Lion's Busy", where he's oddly depicted as screwy).

Top

How well does it match the trope?

Example of:

/

Media sources:

/

Report