December 10, 2016


(FOX, WB, September 13, 1993-November 14, 1998)

Amblin Entertainment, Warner Bros. Animation

Tress MacNeilleDot Warner, Hello Nurse, Sasha, Marita, Duanne Sewer, Ms. Flamiel, Vina Walleen, Dr. Jane Embryo, Mary Hartless, Mindy’s Mom, various
Frank WelkerRalph, Runt, Buttons, Chicken Boo, Flavio, Steven Spielberg, Thaddeus Plotz, Sodarn Insane, Pharfignewton, Walter Wolf (1st), Doug the Dog, Scout, Schnappsie, Rita (vocal effects), various
Maurice LaMarcheBrain, Squit, Myles Standish, Lene Hisskill, Godpigeon, William Shatner, Aristotle, Captain Kork, Mr. Spork, Paul Revere, John Adams, Frank Sinatra, Reggie Rockefeller, Count Laszlo de Almasy, Ed Sullivan, John Wayne, Spartacus, Larry Kling, Johnny Badnote, various
Tom Bodett – “Good Idea-Bad Idea” & “Mime Time” narrator
Colin WellsColin (the Randy Beaman Kid)

            With the success of Tiny Toon Adventures, Steven Spielberg and Jean MacCurdy, then-president of Warner Bros. Animation, turned to showrunner Tom Ruegger to create the next collaboration between Spielberg and Warner Bros. Reugger wanted to make a show with new characters, but Spielberg wanted a marquee name. Gaining inspiration from the water tower on the Warner Bros. lot, Ruegger found his marquee name—assuming Warner Bros. would approve the use of it (spoiler alert: they did)—and Animaniacs began to take shape.

The Warners' newsreel introduction.

            Where Tiny Toons was more of a standard show with relatively focused stories and plots, Animaniacs was approached as more of a sketch comedy show starring a variety of independent characters where anything could happen. The process for writing for the series was non-restrictive and open, meaning that any of the characters could appear at any time period doing anything, and largely inspired by the Looney Tunes theatrical shorts, the works of Chuck Jones and Tex Avery, and The Marx Brothers. Each episode of the series was broken up into several segments, many with their own theme music and opening sequences making them shows unto themselves. While the segments generally had a set cast of standard characters, characters from other segments could (and frequently did) cross over.

The original proposed duck forms for the Warners.

            The primary segments starred the Warner brothers (and the Warner sister). Yakko (Rob Paulsen), Wakko (Jess Harnell, impersonating John Lennon at a higher pitch) and Dot (Tress McNeille) were three (scaled down from four) anthropomorphic animal characters who were given the fictional backstory of having been created back in the 1930s. A black and white (except for their noses) faux newsreel opened up the series and many season one episodes detailing how the Warners’ crazy antics made their movies so incomprehensible that the studio (the actual Warner Bros.) locked them away in the water tower on their studio lot until they eventually escaped in the present. Although the Warners continued to live out of the tower, they would often be punished by being ordered locked up back in it for however brief a time (the tower also served as the inspiration for their family name). 

Revised concept for the Warners, including a 4th sibling.

The Warners’ personalities were based on Ruegger’s three sons (all of whom had roles in the series) who were “at an age where they could really be annoying.” Their basic black and white designs were inspired by the cartoon characters of the 1920s and 30s. While their final species was unspecified (sometimes referred to as “ink-blot characters”), initially they were imagined as platypuses taken from Ruegger’s student film at Dartmouth College, The Premiere of Platypus Duck. However, given that ducks had been done before, they were gradually revised and shifted to the characters they would become. The Warners were often used to bridge between segments in brief minute-long gags, and tended to end episodes by spinning the “Wheel of Morality” to decide what nonsensical lesson they learned in that episode (a satire of the FCC mandate for moral and educational value in children’s programming, and a way to fill up any remaining episode space with mostly stock animation).

The brothers go ga-ga over Hello Nurse while Dot and Dr. Scratchansniff's portrait look on in annoyance.

While the Warners were equal-opportunity annoyances, they most often proved thorns in the sides of Thaddeus Plotz (Frank Welker), the diminutively short-tempered, money-grubbing CEO of the studio; Dr. Otto Scratchansniff (Paulsen, inspired by Peter Sellers in Dr. Strangelove), a psychiatrist hired by the studio to attempt to curb the Warners’ antics; and Ralph (named for one of Ruegger’s childhood friends, and voiced by Welker reprising the role from Tiny Toons), the dim-witted studio guard often tasked with recapturing and locking up the Warners. Another frequent character was Hello Nurse (MacNeille), a buxom blonde studio nurse that often turned Yakko and Wakko’s heads, prompting the greeting “Hellooooooooooooooooooo, Nurse!” (Dot, despite rolling her eyes at her brothers when they did that, often did the same when she saw an attractive man). The joke behind her was that despite her looking like a stereotypical airheaded bombshell, she was actually an incredibly intelligent and competent individual (Ruegger would later reveal her real name: Heloise Nerz). There was also Dot’s pet: a giant, monstrous creature who lived in a small box kept in Dot’s pocket.

            One of the more popular segments was Pinky and the Brain. Pinky (Paulsen, using what he called “a goofy whack job” of a British accent) and the Brain (Maurice LaMarche, impersonating Orson Welles, which won him the role for the character) were two mice who lived in Acme Labs and were transformed as part of the lab’s experimentation. Pinky was dim-witted, often making noises such as “Narf!” or “Poit!”. Brain was given hyper-intelligence with a cranium to match, and a strong desire to conquer the world. Each segment focused on Brain’s insanely elaborate plots to take over the Earth; including becoming a singer to use hypnotic songs, becoming a stand-up comic to hypnotize audiences with his false teeth, infiltrating Santa’s workshop to get hypnotizing dolls out to the populace (hypnotism was his big thing). No matter how well thought-out the plot, or how well it seemed to succeed, something would always happen to derail it and put the mice back where they started with Brain undauntingly plotting for the next attempt. The segment proved so popular that it was eventually spun off into its own show, Pinky and the Brain, and continued to appear on Animaniacs. Their theme song was written by Richard Stone with lyrics by Ruegger, and was initially sung by the Warners with animation by AKOM. A second version was sung by a male and female chorus with animation by Tokyo Movie Shinsha (now TMS Entertainment). Ruegger modeled the characters after Tiny Toons producers Eddie Fitzgerald and Tom Minton, looking at them and pondering what would happen if they decided to get together and take over the world. Producer Peter Hastings served as the primary writer for their segments, coming up with all of the running gags and conventions that would continue on in all their appearances. In early concepts for the show, there was a segment called Bossy Beaver & Doyle that was cut because it was too similar to Pinky and the Brain; except this time Bossy was trying to make the “best damn dam ever” but was constantly foiled by Doyle.

            The next frequent segment was that of Slappy Squirrel (Sherri Stoner). Slappy was a grumpy cartoon veteran who lived in a tree with her contrastingly chipper nephew, Skippy (Nathan Ruegger). Slappy would often have to deal with everyday things that irked her or disturbed her trying to relax, old villains she frequently humiliated in her cartoons looking for revenge, or just begrudgingly joining in Skippy’s interests. Three versions of her theme were used, all sung by the Warners. The first, animated by StarToons International, LLC, featured the Warners outside her house, with Slappy poking her head out to shut them up. The second had the Warners off-camera and Slappy staying inside. The third was longer and mentioned Skippy, who got to sing a line at the end. Stoner created Slappy when fellow writer John McCann made fun of her career in TV movies playing troubled teenagers by saying she’d be playing those roles well into her 50s. She liked the idea of an older cartoon character who would “have the dirt” on other characters from having been around so long.

            The Goodfeathers followed a trio of pigeons: Squit (originally named Gary, voiced by LaMarche), Bobby (originally named Frankie, voiced by John Mariano) and Pesto (originally named Joey Z, voiced by Chick Vennera), each influenced by the characters portrayed by Ray Liotta, Robert DeNiro and Joe Pesci from Goodfellas. In fact, their segments tended to parody various mafia movies such as The Godfather or the works of Martin Scorsese (a statue of whom served as the trio’s home). Pesto was the leader of the group; however, he was short-tempered and often took Bobby’s harmless remarks as insults and proceeded to beat him to a pulp. Other characters who popped up included their boss, the Godpigeon (resembling Marlon Brando from The Godfather, impersonated by LaMarche in a raspy mumble only Bobby could translate), and the Girlfeathers comprised of their girlfriends Sasha (MacNeille), Lana (a parody of Cathy Moriarty’s character from Raging Bull, voiced by Gail Matthius) and Kiki (also MacNeille). Their theme song was sung using a Dean Martin impression to the tune of his song, “That’s Amore.”

            Rita and Runt starred Rita (Bernadette Peters, with vocal effects by Welker) and Runt (Welker, taking inspiration from Dustin Hoffman in Rain Man), a stray singing cat and dim-witted dog who traveled together in an effort to find a home. Because Peters was the highest-profile star of the show, she received a special credit at the end of her episodes (“and Bernadette Peters as Rita”). After the first season, the segment was dropped from the show as it became difficult to create a new song for Rita to perform in each of their appearances. The characters did make non-speaking cameos in other shorts from time to time. In the earliest stages of production, Rita and Runt were set to be the hosts of the show instead of the Warners.

Buttons and Mindy featured Buttons (Welker), a Rough Collie, who was tasked with taking care of his owners’ toddler, Mindy (Nancy Cartwright). Mindy was mischievous and often unknowingly got into trouble, which Buttons had to rescue her from and ending up being hurt in the process. All but one of their shorts ended with Buttons being scolded by Mindy’s mom (who was never seen from the neck up, voiced by MacNeille) for allowing Mindy to get into mischief. The Buttons and Mindy segments were almost cut from the show during development until one of Spielberg’s daughters saw a drawing of them and loved them. The segment’s opening was a parody of the opening of Lassie

Colin playing while telling a story about Randy Beaman.

Other segments featured a collection of one-joke characters. Chicken-Boo followed the adventures of a man-sized chicken who wore unconvincing disguises that would fool everyone into believing he was actually a man. Everyone would love Chicken in whatever occupation he was in until the discovery of his true nature. The Flame showed an anthropomorphic candle flame (Luke Ruegger) who bore witness to significant events in American history: such as Thomas Jefferson drafting the Declaration of Independence and Francis Scott Key writing what would become “The Star-Spangled Banner.”  The Hip Hippos showcased the wealthy and snobby married couple Flavio (originally John, voiced by Welker) and Marita (originally Martha, voiced by MacNeille) as they tried to keep abreast of the latest trends and new ways to keep entertained. Katie Ka-Boom centered on teenager Katie (Laura Mooney) who would grow angry over trivial things, turning into a monster (in a parody of Marvel ComicsHulk) and subsequently exploding; leaving her family’s house in ruins. Producer Nicholas Hollander based Katie on his stepdaughter, who tended to explode (though not quite as literally) over every little thing that went wrong. Good Idea, Bad Idea showed Mr. Skullhead from Tiny Toons taking part in an activity that was a good idea (such as doing your own yard work), followed by a comically exaggerated bad idea (such as doing your own dental work). Mime Time showed a mime performing a described action before he would be hurt by something, such as a falling anvil or a swarm of bees. Both segments were narrated by Tom Bodett. Colin shorts starred a boy named Colin (Colin Wells, son of writer Deanna Oliver) who told the audience quick tall tales about his unseen friend, Randy Beaman.

Minerva character study.

The final segment, and the first one discontinued, starred Minerva Mink (Julie Brown). Minerva, originally named Marilyn after Marilyn Monroe, was an extremely sexy anthropomorphic mink created by writer Paul Dini and Stoner. Minerva’s shorts were centered around her attractiveness and the Tex Avery-styled reactions of males who encountered her, while she would have no interest in them (although, when she spotted an attractive male, the opposite would happen). She borrowed elements from a variety of famous sex symbols; in particular Veronica Lake, who inspired Minerva’s hairstyle. Minerva was originally designed to be “naked” like Slappy, but given her human-like form it was decided it would be better if she were clothed. Minerva’s shorts ended up being dropped from the show due to their overtly sexual nature not really being appropriate for the intended audience, and attempting to “flip the script” on the cartoon male wolf characterization didn’t come through as planned with Minerva being portrayed as gold-digging and vapid. 

Spielberg and his favorite creations.

            Ruegger supervised the overall production and the writer’s room, while Stoner, Hastings, Rusty Mills and Rich Arons contributed scripts while serving as series producers. Other writers included Oliver, Paul Rugg, Liz Holzman, Nicholas Hollander, Charlie Howell, Gordon Bressack, Jeff Kwitny, Earl Kress and Randy Rogel, as well as McCann and Minton. The writers all came from a combination of cartoon and sketch comedy backgrounds. Extremely loose ideas were pitched and given the go-ahead, with the goal to make each other—especially Ruegger—laugh. Ruegger would also test jokes out on his children, using their reactions as a gauge. 

The hard-working animators.

            As with Tiny Toons, Spielberg insisted that Animiancs display the highest production quality possible. As a result, each episode used almost double the cel count of a standard cartoon in order to produce fluid and constant movement. To keep up with those requirements and a demanding schedule, the animation duties were farmed out to several different studios including TMS, StarToons, Wang Film Productions, Freelance Animators New Zealand and AKOM. A standard episode could contain work from different studios in each of the segments.

Wakko belching out the classics.

            Spielberg also insisted on using a full orchestra to create the music for the series. While it was an expensive proposition, MacCurdy noted that the sound set them apart from other shows. Animaniacs employed a 35-piece orchestra and utilized an original score for each episode. Composers Richard Stone, Julie and Steve Bernstein, Carl Johnson, J. Eric Schmidt, Gordon Goodwin and Tim Kelly were contracted to compose the series’ music. Ruegger, Rogel, Hollander and Oliver also contributed a lot of music to the show. Not only was the music done in a similar style to that of Looney Tunes composer Carl Stalling, but the orchestra used the same studio and piano that Stalling used. However, not all music was completely original; many times parodies of classical or folk music were used with new lyrics, such as Wakko singing about all the states and their capitals to “Turkey in the Straw” or the segment “Slippin’ on the Ice” to the tune of “Singin’ in the Rain.”

            Animaniacs debuted on FOX’s Fox Kids programming block on September 13, 1993. The series’ theme was composed by Stone with lyrics from Ruegger. FOX ordered a 65-episode first season up front due to the success they found with the earlier Tiny Toons effort. Animaniacs became a ratings success, falling second only to FOX’s Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. Animaniacs and Tiny Toons almost doubled the ratings of rival shows Darkwing Duck and Goof Troop

"Helloooooooooo, Nurse!"

The series relied on slapstick, parodies, caricatures of celebrities (the show did take place on a studio lot, after all) and cartoon violence that was balanced by educational segments. A lot of the humor, while enjoyable for children, was also targeted for adults and attracted a large following in that demographic. The large adult fanbase led to one of the first internet-based fandom cultures: the internet newsgroup was highly active with fans showcasing reference guides, fan fiction and fan art about the show. The show’s producers invited twenty of the newsgroup’s most active participants out to the studios in August of 1995 for a gathering the fans dubbed “Animania IV.” Still, a greater attempt was made to give the show more exposure with the production of the theatrical short “I’m Mad” starring the Warners. It aired before Thumbelina and was intended to be the first of many, but ended up being the only short produced and was later incorporated as part of the 69th episode.

            New episodes aired on FOX weekdays and Saturdays until the 1994 season. Such was the series’ popularity that Warner Bros. Animation was willing to invest in more new episodes of the show beyond the 65 they already had for syndication. However, they planned to bring Animaniacs over to their own network, The WB, launching the following year and, knowing this, FOX chose to just play the series in another year of reruns instead of ordering more episodes. The production did cobble together a short four-episode second season during this time, comprised of unused scripts, which were integrated into the FOX run. Once the FOX contract officially ended, the series moved over to the new network and become one of the launch programs for their new Kids’ WB programming block on September 9, 1995. New episodes debuted alongside its spin-off, Pinky and the Brain, and other Warner Bros. Animation series, Freakazoid!

            While the series continued to be successful on The WB, it wasn’t with the intended demographic that The WB and their advertisers were looking for. They wanted young children they could sell toys to, but instead the majority of the viewers ended up being adults. The WB expressed their dissatisfaction at this turn of events by gradually reducing their order for new episodes. Warner Bros. laid off over 100 artists at this time, choosing to rely on the backlog of Animaniacs episodes unless fans demanded more. After two final abbreviated seasons, Animaniacs aired its final episode on November 14, 1998 alongside Pinky and the Brain’s as part of the Ultimate Animaniacs Super Special. The final original Animaniacs production came with the direct-to-video film Wakko’s Wish

            Animaniacs continued to air on Kids’ WB as part of The Cat & Birdy Warneroonie Pinky Brainy Big Cartoonie Show; a compilation program that aired segments from various episodes of Animaniacs, The Sylvester & Tweety Mysteries, Pinky and the Brain and Pinky, Elmyra & the Brain. Initially the show also aired reruns of classic Looney Tunes shorts with new title cards until its hour and a half format was chopped down to half an hour to accommodate WB’s acquisition of anime series Pokémon. In 2016, Ruegger stated on his Reddit AMA account that the decline of original programming by Warner Bros. came about due to their ability to cheaply acquire and air other programs. Meanwhile, Animaniacs continued to air in syndicated reruns on various networks and was even released in its entirety on the Netflix streaming service where it gained a newfound popularity.

Hello Nurse keeps track of the show's awards.

During its run the series was nominated for and won multiple awards for its music, stars and content. The series’ first major award was a Peabody Award during its first season. The show was nominated for multiple Annie Awards, although it never won one, and took home eight Daytime Emmy Awards. With the Emmys came a record as the series was the most consistently nominated in the category of “Outstanding Achievement in Music Direction and Composition.”

Splash page to a Minerva story in the comics.

Coinciding with the series’ move to The WB, DC Comics began publishing an ongoing Animaniacs comic book series and two specials which followed a similar format to the show. Minerva got a second life in the comics, appearing in several issues and without as many restrictions as television imposed. Pinky and the Brain made cameo appearances due to the concurrent publication of their own comic series, but once it was cancelled they were merged into the Animaniacs book and took over half of the pages. The book was renamed Animaniacs Featuring Pinky and the Brain with #43 until the series was cancelled with #59.

            Animaniacs was adapted into several video games. Konami and Factor 5 released Animaniacs for the Super NES, Sega Genesis and Nintendo Game Boy in 1994 and 1995. The SNES version featured the Warners assigned by Plotz to retrieve the script to a new film from the Brain. The Genesis and Game Boy versions had the Warners going around the studio to collect memorabilia to sell in their new store and then retrieve them from the Brain. In 1997 Funnybone Interactive and Warner Bros. Interactive released Animaniacs Game Pack, which featured the characters in five arcade games. Saffire and ASC Games released a sequel to their bowling game, Ten Pin Alley, in 1998 for the Sony PlayStation starring the Warners, Pinky and the Brain. In 1999, EAI Interactive and SouthPeak Interactive released A Gigantic Adventure for the PC, which followed the Warners as they try to retrieve all of their films Plotz ordered Ralph to collect and hide. That same year, they also released Splat Ball! For the PC, which had the Warners participating in a giant paintball competition against other characters from the show. The Great Edgar Hunt was developed by Warthog and published by Ignition Entertainment in 2005 for the Nintendo GameCube, Xbox and PlayStation 2. The Warners had to collect 44 of 45 Edgars (a parody of the Oscars) stolen by frustrated director C.C. Deville. Lights, Camera, Action!, also by Warthog and Ignition, was released for the Game Boy Advance and Nintendo DS and has the Warners obligated to make three films to pay for damage they caused the studio. This was the last new appearance of the Animaniacs cast. In 1994, Tiger Electronics released Hollywood Hi-Jinx as part of their LCD handheld game line.

            As the show began during the early years of the Warner Bros. Studio Store, a wide variety of merchandise was made with the characters; including plush dolls, apparel, mugs, and other items. After Warner Bros. acquired the Hanna-Barbera library in 1998, merchandise related to the show gradually began to be phased out in favor of the new acquisitions. McDonald’s also included toys of the characters in their happy meals. In 2016, Funko released a collection of Animaniacs POP! figures. Warner Home Video released a random selection of episodes and bonus skits across several VHS volumes in the United States, United Kingdom and Australia between 1993 and 1994. In 1998, three volumes were released in Poland, the Czech Republic and Central Europe. The following year, Wakko’s Wish saw its first release onto VHS. In July of 2006, Warner released the first 25 episodes to DVD. Within the first week of its release, over half of the sets released sold, making it the fastest selling animation DVD sets that Warner ever released. It was quickly followed by the next volume that December. June 2007 saw the release of the third volume. It wouldn’t be until 2013 that the fourth and final volume with the remaining episodes would be released; however unlike the previous sets it contained no special features. Wakko’s Wish came to DVD the following year. In 2018, a complete series collection was released that included the film. Rhino Entertainment and Time Warner Kids released several albums collecting the various songs from the series between 1993 and 2003. The series was made available for streaming on Hulu.

Animaniacs Live tour logo.

              In 2014, Paulsen, MacNeille and Harnell reunited and performed the Animaniacs theme live with accompaniment by the Colorado Symphony in Denver’s Boettcher Concert Hall. In 2016, they reunited once again to announce a tour called Animaniacs Live!, where they would perform the various original songs from the series’ run. The most noteworthy one was a revamp of the show’s most memorable toon, “Yakko’s World,” where changes in the global landscape in the 20 years since its first airing would be incorporated. The accompanying orchestra was led by Rogel. 

            Because of the response to the show when it was on Netflix, Amblin and Warner Bros. decided to produce a revival of the series in 2017. Hulu became the official home, ordering two seasons up front to begin airing in 2020 with Wellesley Wild taking over as showrunner. Spielberg was heavily involved in the production phase, wanting to ensure the series was heading in the right direction and maintained as many elements of the original as possible. The focus of the revival was scaled down to just focus on the Warners and Pinky and the Brain with their respective actors all returning. The other characters were jettisoned in favor of creating new characters in line with modern sensibilities and audiences, such as new studio head Nora Rita Norita (Stephanie Escajeda). The Bernsteins returned to score the series with a 30-piece orchestra along with composers trained by Stone and Rogel. 

Season 1:
“De-Zanitized / The Monkey Song / Nighty-Night Toon” (9/13/93) – Dr. Scratchansniff recounts how he tried to use psychoanalysis on the Warners. / Dr. Scratchansniff sings about his relationship with the Warners. / The various characters are wished a goodnight.

“Yakko’s World / Cookies for Einstein / Win Big” (9/24/93) – Yakko sings about the nations of the world. / While selling cookies in Switzerland the Warners help Einstein discover the mass-energy conversion formula. / Brain competes on a trivia show to win money for his device to conquer the world.

“HMS Yakko / Slappy Goes Walnuts / Yakko’s Universe” (9/15/93) – Captain Mel tries to get the Warners off his beach. / Slappy needs to get past Dough the Dog in order to get the walnuts needed for Skippy’s snack. / Yakko sings about the vastness of the universe.

“Hooked on a Ceiling / Goodfeathers: the Beginning” (9/16/93) – Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel painting is fixed by the Warners, who were offended by all the nudity. / Squit must find the Godpigeon food in order to become a Goodfeather.

“Taming of the Screwy” (9/17/93) – Thaddeus Plotz assigns Scratchansniff with the task of training the Warners in manners so they can attend an important party.

“Temporary Insanity / Operation: Lollipop / What Are We?” (9/20/93) – Plotz accidentally hires the Warners to cover for his sick secretary. / Mindy pursues her lollipop that got stuck to the side of a truck. / When Scratchansniff fails at hypnotizing the Warners, he wonders what they are.

“Piano Rag / When Rita Met Runt” (9/21/93) – The Warners hide out at a piano concert. / Rita and Runt meet in a shelter and decide to break out to find a home.

“The Big Candy Store / Bumbie’s Mom” (9/22/93) – The Warners give Freeman Flaxseed a hard time at his candy store. / Slappy visits an old friend to show Skippy that she didn’t actually die in a movie he saw.

“Wally Llama / Where Rodents Dare” (9/23/93) – Wally Llama picked a bad time to stop answering questions, because the Warners want theirs answered. / Brain plans to freeze the world’s leaders at a conference in the Alps.

“King Yakko” (9/24/93) – Yakko inherits the thronw of Anvilania and has to protect it from the evil dictator, Umlott.

“No Pain, No Painting / Les Miseranimals” (9/27/93) – The Warners annoy Pablo Picasso into letting them paint. / Runt Val Runt helps cats escape being turned into pies during the French Revolution.

“Garage Sale of the Century / West Side Pigeons” (9/28/93) – Papa Bear has a garage sale, and the Warners want to buy his actual garage. / The Goodfeathers are squaring off with a group of sparrows when Squit falls for the sister of one of them.

“Hello Nice Warners / La Behemoth / Little Old Slappy from Pasadena” (9/29/93) – Running from Ralph ends up getting the Warners casted in a movie. / Flavio and Marita are forced to do housework for the first time when their maid quits. / Slappy drives all over town to deliver a letter.

“La La Law / Cat on a Hot Steel Beam” (9/30/93) – The Warners act as Scratchansniff’s lawyers when he fights a parking ticket. / Mindy follows a kitten into a construction site.

“Space Probed / Battle for the Planet” (10/1/93) – The Warners get abducted by aliens. / Brain plans to conquer by tricking people into believing aliens are invading.

“Chalkboard Bungle / Hurray for Slappy / The Great Wakkorotti: The Master and his Music” (10/4/93) – The studio hires a new teacher for the Warners. / Slappy’s old rivals plan to get revenge on her during a banquet. / Wakko belches The Blue Danube by Johann Strauss.

“Roll Over, Beethoven / The Cat and the Fiddle” (10/5/93) – The Warners annoy Ludwig van Beethoven into his fifth symphony. / In 1690s Italy, Stradivarius takes in Rita in order to use her for violin strings.

“Pavlov’s Mice / Chicken Boo-Ryshnikov / Nothing But the Tooth” (10/6/93) – Brain plans to conquer Russian by stealing the crown jewels. / Chicken Boo is performs as a ballet dancer. / The Warners serve as Rasputin’s dentists.

“Meatballs or Consequences / A Moving Experience” (10/7/93) – Yakko and Dot challenge Death to a game of checkers to save Wakko. / Flavio and Marita head to New York in search of a new dwelling.

“Hearts of Twilight / The Boids” (10/11/93) – Plotz sends the Warners out after a crazy director that’s way over budget. / The Goodfeathers are stunt birds in The Birds.

“The Flame / Four Score and Seven Migraines Ago / Wakko’s America / Davy Omelette” (10/12/93) – The Flame lights the room where Thomas Jefferson writes the Declaration of Independence. / Wakko answers questions about the 50 state capitols in song. / Chicken Boo helps pioneers being attacked by a bear. / The Warners help write the Gettysburg Address.

“Guardin’ the Garden / Plane Pals” (10/13/93) – Slappy saves Adam and Eve from the forbidden apple. / A computer error puts Ivan Blosky on an airplane seat next to the Warners.

“Be Careful What You Eat / Up the Crazy River / Ta Da Dump, Ta Da Dump, Ta Da Dump Dump Dump” (10/15/93) – The Warners sing the ingredients of ice cream and a candy bar. / Mindy follows a butterfly into a rainforest being chopped down. / The Goodfeathers help Pesto get his head out of a six-pack ring.

“Opportunity Knox / Wings Take Heart” (10/18/93) – Brain wants to steal the gold out of Fort Knox. / A moth and butterfly head to the city after falling in love.

“Hercule Yakko / Home on De-Nile / A Midsummer Night’s Dream” (10/21/93) – The Warners play detective to find Marita’s missing jewel on a cruise. / Rita is adopted by Cleopatra, and unknown to her is about to be sacrificed. / The Warners perform Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

“Testimonials / Babblin’ Bijou / Potty Emergency / Sir Yaksalot” (10/22/93) – Several movie starts share their encounters with the Warners. / Dot literally goes into the movies to find her ideal man. / Wakko needs a bathroom badly, and some privacy to go along with it. / King Arthur recruits the Warners to save Camelot from a dragon.

“You Risk Your Life / I Got Your Can / Jockey for Position” (10/25/93) – Yakko hosts a game show. / A soda can brings Slappy to war with her neighbor. / Brain enters the Kentucky Derby to win the funds needed for his plans.

“Moby or Not Moby / Mesozoic Mindy / The Good, The Boo and The Ugly” (10/26/93) – The Warners protect Moby-Dick. / Cavegirl Mindy gets into constant trouble. / Chicken Boo serves as a sheriff in a spaghetti Western.

“Hot, Bothered and Bedeviled / Moon Over Minerva / Skullhead Boneyhands” (10/28/93) – The Warners end up in Hades, but it’s not they who are tortured. / A full moon changes Minerva Mink’s feelings towards geeky Wilford Wolf. / Mr. Skullhead is adopted by a suburban family.

“Draculee, Draculaa / Phranken-Runt” (10/29/93) – Attempting to go to their ancestral home of Pennsylvania (since their parents were pencils) lands the Warners in Transylvania. / Rita and Runt are pursued by a mad scientist who wants Runt’s brain.

“O Silly Mio / Puttin’ on the Blitz / The Great Wakkorotti: The Summer Concert” (11/1/93) – When Madame Bruntvin destroys their stained-glass window the Warners get vengeance with their own versions of Carmen. / Rita and Runt help a little girl find her father as the Nazis invade Poland. / Wakko belches Dance of the Hours.

“Chairman of the Bored / Planets Song / Astro-Buttons” (11/2/93) – The Warners meet the most boring man ever at a party and he tortures them by continually droning on. / Yakko sings about the planets in the solar system. / In a space colony, Buttons has to chase Mindy into space when she goes after her ball.

“Cartoons in Wakko’s Body / Noah’s Lark / The Big Kiss / Hiccup” (11/3/93) – Cartoons inside Wakko cause him various illnesses. / The Hip Hippos are selected to board Noah’s ark. / Chicken Boo is the leading man in a romantic movie. / The Goodfeathers try to get rid of Squit’s hiccups.

“Clown and Out / Bubba Bo Bob Brain” (11/4/93) – Plotz hires a clown for Wakko’s birthday party, not knowing he’s afraid of them / Brain becomes a country-western star in order to use hypnotic suggestions to conquer the world, but Pinky fouls it up.

“Very Special Opening / In the Garden of Mindy / No Place Like Homeless / Katie Ka-Boo / Baghdad Café (aka Animaniacs Stew)” (11/5/93) – The Warners introduce this mixed-up episode. / Brain has to watch over Mindy and ends up eaten by Rita. / Runt and Pesto find a home with a pigeon hater. / Katie Ka-Boom discovers her boyfriend is really Chicken Boo. / The Warners (with Slappy in lieu of Dot) pay a visit to Sodarn Insane.

“Critical Condition / The Three Muska-Warners” (11/8/93) – Slappy gets revenge on critics Hiskel and Egbert for bad reviews of her films. / The Warners protect King Louis VIII from The Viper.

“Dough Dough Boys / Boot Camping / General Boo-Regard” (11/9/93) – The Goodfeathers are charged with delivering a message through a WWI battlefield. / The Warners end up in basic training instead of summer camp. / Chicken Boo leads the Southern Rebels in the Civil War.

“Spell-Bound” (11/10/93) – Pinky and the Brain hunt for the final ingredient needed for a spell to conquer the world.

“Smitten with Kittens / Alas Poor Skullhead / White Gloves” (11/11/93) – Rita and Runt find a litter of “puppies” that think Rita is their mother. / The Warners act out a scene from Hamlet. / Wakko’s gloves run away and have their own adventure.

“Fair Game / The Slapper / Puppet Rulers” (11/12/93) – The Warners compete on a quiz show and drive the host nuts. / An ad for a slapping device utilized by Slappy. / Pinky and the Brain join a kids puppet show in order to influence the baby boomers to follow them when they grow up.

“Buttermilk, It Makes a Body Bitter / Broadcast Nuisance / Raging Bird” (11/15/93) – An ad about why Slappy drinks buttermilk. / Dan Anchorman refuses to tip the Warners for his lunch. / Bobby trains for a fight in order to impress a girl.

“Animator’s Alley / Can’t Buy a Thrill / Hollywoodchuck” (11/16/93) – The Warners get stuck interviewing an old animator who keeps falling asleep. / The Hippos try to get a little excitement by going on a dangerous vacation. / Charlton “Baynarts” Woodchuck gets a job in Hollywood and ends up hurt.

“Of Nice and Men / What a Dump / Survey Ladies” (11/17/93) – Runt gets adopted and watches a rabbit farm. / Buttons chases Mindy through a landfill as she looks for her doll that was thrown away. / The Warners keep being harassed by survey takers at the mall while looking for a gift for Scratchansniff.

“Useless Facts / The Senses / The World Can Wait / Kiki’s Kitten” (11/18/93) – Yakko shares useless trivia. / The Warners sing about the senses. / Brain’s plans get put on hold so that he could try to win over the new female lab mouse. / Rita ends up adopted by a research gorilla.

“Windsor Hassle / …And Justice for Slappy” (11/19/93) – The Warners help restore Windsor Castle after the 1992 fire. / Slappy is tried for assault against Walter Wolf.

“Turkey Jerky / Wild Blue Yonder” (11/22/93) – Native American Warners have to keep their pet turkey from becoming Thanksgiving dinner. / A newly hatched bird believes a F-117A Nighthawk is his mother.

“Video Review / When Mice Ruled The Earth” (11/23/93) – Movie covers come to life at a video store. / Pinky and the Brain go back to the dawn of man to give mice an evolutionary advantage.

“Mobster Mash / Lake Titicaca / Icebreakers” (11/24/93) – The Warners get into it with Mafia boss Don Pepperoni. / The Warners sing about Lake Titicaca. / Rita and Runt end up in the Arctic and meet Ross Perot.

“’Twas the Day Before Christmas / Jingle Boo / The Great Wakkorotti: the Holiday Concert / Toy Shop Terror / Yakko’s Universe” (11/29/93) – Slappy tells Skippy how the studio plans to give the Warners their presents. / Chicken Boo works as a store Santa. / Wakko belches Jingle Bells. / The Warners run around a toy store. / Yakko sings about the vastness of space.

“A Christmas Plotz / Little Drummer Warners” (12/6/93) – The Warners play ghosts to Plotz’s Scrooge. / A retelling of the birth of Jesus featuring the Warners.

“The Warners and the Beanstalk / Frontier Slappy” (2/10/94) – The Warners try to save themselves from a hungry giant. / Daniel Boone wants to use Slappy’s tree to build his house.

“Ups and Downs / The Brave Little Trailer / Yes, Always” (2/11/94) – Wakko and Scratchansniff are trapped in an elevator for several hours. / A trailer avoids a steam shovel and protects his home from tornadoes. / Brain has a meltdown while trying to deliver a vocal performance.

“Drive-Insane / Girlfeathers / I’m Cute” (2/14/94) – The Warners crash Scratchansniff’s drive-in date. / The Goodfeathers refuse to let their girlfriends enjoy any time alone. / Dot’s brothers get sicker as she sings about her cuteness.

“Brain Meets Brawn / Meet Minerva” (2/15/94) – Brain steals Dr. Jekyll’s formula in order to take over the British Empire. / Minerva avoids a hunting dog who can’t decide between catching her and loving her.

“Gold Rush / A Gift of Gold / Dot’s Quiet Time” (2/16/94) – The Warners get revenge on a prospector who steals their wealth during the California gold rush. / The trials and tribulations of a piece of gold wrapping paper. / Dot tries to find a peaceful place to read.

“Schnitzelbank / The Helpinki Formula / Les Boutons Et Le Ballon / Kung Boo” (2/17/94) – The Warners sing the International Friendship Song with Professor Von Schnitzelpusskrakengescheitmeir. / Brain sells a formula through infomercials in his latest scheme. / Buttons chases Mindy in Paris as she chases a balloon. / Chicken Boo competes in a martial arts championship.

“Of Course, You Know This Means Warners / Up a Tree / Wakko’s Gizmo” (2/18/94) – An old film shows how the Warners helped during WWII. / Rita ends up stuck up a tree with acrophobia. / Wakko shows off his device that activates a whoopee cushion.

“Meet John Brain / Smell Ya Later” (2/28/94) – Brain runs for President. / Slappy faces an old rival to retrieve her nuts.

“Ragamuffins / Woodstock Slappy” (3/1/94) – An old Warners cartoon showing them working at a bakery and trying to eat everything in sight. / Slappy and Skippy end up in the middle of the Woodstock Music Festival.

“Karaoke-Dokie / The Cranial Crusader / The Chicken Who Loved Me” (3/2/94) – Willie Slakmer keeps the Warners from getting a turn singing karaoke. / Pinky and the Brain become superheroes in order to gain recognition. / Chicken Boo is an international super spy.

“Baloney & Kids / Super Buttons / Katie Ka-Boom: The Driving Lesson” (5/2/94) – The Warners are stuck on a kids show with Baloney the dinosaur. / Mindy and Buttons are superheroes. / Katie’s father lets her drive the car home.

“Scare Happy Slappy / Witch One / MacBeth” (5/3/94) – Slappy takes Skippy trick-or-treating on the block where her enemies live. / A Salem judge believes Rita is a witch. / Yakko translates as Dot, Hello Nurse and Slappy act out the Three Witches’ scene from MacBeth.

“With Three You Get Eggroll / Mermaid Mindy / Katie Ka-Boom: Call Waiting” (5/9/94) – Pesto chases his sister’s egg all over town. / Mer-Buttons chases Mer-Mindy under the sea. / Katie’s dad forgets to take a message for her.

“Lookit the Fuzzy Heads / No Face Like Home” (5/16/94) – Elmyra Duff drives the Warners crazy at a group therapy session. / Walter tries to mess with Slappy’s face when she goes for plastic surgery.

“The Warners 65th Anniversary Special” (5/23/94) – A special highlighting the long career of the Warners, although one person is eager to put an abrupt end to the celebration.

Season 2:
“Take My Siblings Please / The Mindy 500 / Morning Malaise” (9/10/94) – The Warners attempt to cross a troll bridge to get to a meadow. / Mindy follows a clown-painted car into the Indy 500. / The Warners challenge rude radio host Howie Tern to out-joke them.

“We’re No Pigeons / Whistle Stop Mindy / Katie Ka-Boom: The Broken Date” (9/17/94) – The Goodfeathers trick an owl into believing they’re not pigeons. / Mindy follows a train so she can blow its whistle. / Katie gets mad when her date is late.

“Miami Mama-Mia / Pigeon on the Roof” (11/5/94) – Pesto tries to get rid of his mother’s fiancé in Miami. / The Goodfeathers try to settle their relationship with the Girlfeathers, who ant different things than they do.

“I’m Mad / Bad Mood Bobby / Katie Ka-Boom: The Blemish / Fake” (11/12/94) – Yakko and Dot bicker while Scratchansniff tries to take them on a car trip. / Pesto and Squit try to cure Bobby’s bad mood. / Katie freaks out when she gets a zit. / The Warners try to prove that wrestling is fake to Scratchansniff.

Season 3:
“Deduces Wild / Rest in Pieces / UN Me” (9/9/95) – The Warners bother Sherlock Holmes to help with their scavenger hunt. / Walter uses his funeral as a ruse to get revenge on Slappy. / The Warners sing about the United Nations.

“Super Strong Warner Siblings / Nutcracker Slappy / Wakko’s New Gookie / A Quake, A Quake!” (9/9/95) – The Warners fight a giant bug destroying the studio. / Slappy and Skippy do whatever it takes to crack the last nut in their kitchen. / Wakko tries to come up with a new bizarre facial expression. / The Warners sing about the 1994 Northridge earthquake.

“Variety Speak / Three Tenors and You’re Out / Bingo” (9/16/95) – Yakko and Dot explain to Wakko how to read the headlines in Variety Magazine. / Slappy’s plans to take Skippy to a baseball game are thwarted by a concert being held at the stadium instead. / Wakko is the only player for Scratchansniff’s weekly bingo game.

“A Hard Day’s Warner / Gimmie A Break / Please Please Please Get A Life Foundation” (9/23/95) – The Warners have to evade their fans to get to a cartoon convention. / Slappy tries to get away from a movie set while on her day off. / The Warners star in a commercial telling their audience to “get a life” instead of going over every reference in the show.

“The Tiger Prince / All The Words in The English Language / The Kid in the Lid / Method to her Madness” (9/30/95) – A parody of the opening of Disney’s The Lion King. / Yakko tries to sing the entire dictionary. / The Warners cause chaos when visiting siblings Mary and Scooter. / Slappy turns a method acting class into a comical class.

“Gimmie The Works / Buttons in Ows / Hercules Unwound” (10/21/95) – The Warners, bored with the episode’s plot, walk off the show. / Mindy’s latest escapades take her and Buttons through Oz. / Pinky and the Brain plan to steal Zeus’ lightning bolt.

“This Pun For Hire / Star Truck / Go Fish / Multiplication Song” (11/4/95) – The Warners work as detectives protecting a mysterious statue from suspicious characters. / The Warners are beamed into their favorite show: Star Truck. / Wakko gets in a fight with himself over a game of “go fish”. / Yakko sings about multiplying 47 by 83.

“The Presidents Song / Don’t Tread On Us / The Flame Returns by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow” (11/11/95) – The Warners sing about all the US Presidents. / Brain plans to replace the Declaration of Independence with his Declaration of Obedience. / The Flame witnesses the writing of “Paul Revere’s Ride.”

“The Sound of Warners / Yabba Dabba Boo” (11/18/95) – Plotz hires nanny Prunella Flundergust to watch the Warners and her singing and personality gives them a hard time. / Chicken Boo attends a table reading for The Flintstones movie.

“My Mother the Squirrel / Oh! Say Can You See? / The 12 Days of Christmas Song” (1/27/96) – Slappy adopts a little bird. / Plotz tries to get himself invited to the Warners’ party, believing Spielberg is their surprise guest. / The Flame witnesses Francis Scott Key writing The Star-Spangled Banner. / A little bluebird sings The Twelve Days of Christmas—and all the gifts end up being turtledoves.

“Dot’s Entertainment / The Girl with the Googily Goop / Gunga Dot” (2/3/96) – Dot gets a role in a famous musical, but the director quickly becomes annoying. / The Warners appear in a Googi Goop cartoon. / Dot is the only one in a village with water, and everyone wants it since it’s hot out.

“Soccer Coach Slappy / Belly Button Blues / Our Final Space Cartoon, We Promise / Valuable Lesson” (2/3/96) – Slappy coaches Skippy’s soccer team, and Skippy keeps getting hit in the face with the ball. / Katie Ka-Boom is furious that her parents won’t let her wear what’s fashionable. / The Warners wake up from suspended animation on a spaceship controlled by computer AL5000. / The network censors visit the Warners over the level of violence in their cartoons.

“Wakko’s 2-Note Song / Panama Canal / Hello Nurse / The Ballad of Magellan / The Return of the Great Wakkorotti / The Big Wrap Party Tonight” (2/24/96) – Wakko proves to Scartchansniff that his 2-note song is real music. / Yakko sings on the Latin American waterway. / Wakko sings about Hello Nurse. / The Warners sing about Ferdinand Magellan. / Wakko compensates for laryngitis by performing with farting noises from his hands. / The Warners sing about their season-end wrap party.

Season 4:
“One Flew Over the Cuckoo Clock” (9/7/96) – Believing Slappy has gone insane from tabloid talk shows, Skippy has her committed to a cartoon character retirement home.

“Cutie and the Beast / Boo Happens / Noel” (9/7/96) – Beauty Dot is taken in by beast Tasmanian Devil. / Chicken Boo stars in Forrest Gump. / The Warners sing Noel.

“Jokahontas / Boids on the Hood / Mighty Wakko at the Bat” (9/14/96) – Dot stars in a parody of Disney’s Pocahontas. / The Goodfeathers get revenge on Plotz. / Yakko narrates a version of Casey at the Bat.

“A Very Very Very Very Special Show / Night of the Living Buttons / Soda Jerk” (9/21/96) – The Warners make an extremely politically correct cartoon in order to win a humanitarian award. / Mindy chases a frog through a graveyard, unaware of the zombies Buttons fends off. / Yakko and Dot try to cure Wakko’s hiccups.

“From Burbank With Love / Anchors A-Warners / When You’re Traveling From Nantucket” (9/28/96) – The Warners help Municipal Bond, Agent 0007, protect Fort Knox from Roy Blowfinger. / The Warners follow Scratchansniff on a cruise. / Yakko sings about time zones.

“Papers for Pappa / Amazing Gladiators / Pinky and the Ralph” (10/19/96) – Ernest Hemingway refuses to sign for his order, so the Warners chase him until he does. / The Hippos compete in a gladiatorial show. / A fictional preview of a spin-off starring Pinky and Ralph the Guard.

“10 Short Films About Wakko Warner / No Time for Love / The Boo Network” (11/2/96) – 10 short films of Wakko being himself. / A cuckoo clock bird falls for and tries to win over a real female bird every hour. / Chicken Boo works as a television network programmer.

“Pitter Patter of Little Feet / Mindy in Wonderland / Ralph’s Wedding” (11/16/96) – The Hippos are delivered a new baby: the Brain. / Buttons protects Mindy in Wonderland. / Ralph marries Chicken Boo.

Season 5:
“Message in a Bottle / Back in Style / Bones in the Body” (9/8/97) – The Warners find a message in a bottle while they’re lost at sea. / Plotz loans the Warners out to other studios to drum up some cash. / The Warners sing about the bones in the body with Mr. Skullhead.

“It / Dot – The Macadamia Nut / Bully for Skippy” (9/13/97) – Wakko is being chased by an unseen terror. / Dot sings about herself ala the “Macarena.” / Slappy faces an advocate against cartoon violence as Skippy is bullied at school.

“Cute First (Ask Questions Later) / Acquaintances / Here Comes Attila / Boo Wonder” (10/11/97) – Snow White decides to settle with Dot over who’s the cutest of all. / The Warners come to the US as immigrants and invade Friends. / The Warners sing about Attila the Hun. / Chicken Boo becomes Robin, the Chicken Wonder.

“Hooray for North Hollywood (Part 1)” (1/3/98) – The Warners crash a gala to try and pitch their movie script.

“Hooray for North Hollywood (Part 2)” (1/3/98) – When Plotz loses his job after the Warners’ movie becomes a hit, the Warners plot to get him his job back.

“The Carpool / The Sunshine Squirrels” (2/21/98) – The Warners drive their carpool buddies crazy. / Slappy and her old partner reunite to perform on TV.

“The Christmas Tree / Punchline (Part 1) / Prom Night / Punchline (Part 2)” (4/25/98) – Slappy’s tree is used for the Rockefeller Center tree. / Chicken Boo and others ponder: “Why did the chicken cross the road?” / Katie KaBoom argues with her parents about her prom night. / The characters ponder anew: “Which came first: the chicken or the egg?”

“Magic Time / The Brain’s Apprentice” (5/9/98) – The Warners are invited on stage during a magic act and cause chaos. / Brain almost conquers the world with his robots if not for Pinky’s bumbling.

“Birds on a Wire / The Scoring Session / The Animaniacs Suite” (11/14/98) – The Goodfeathers comment on a sunrise. / The Warners drive a composer crazy as he tries to score a cartoon. / A clip show revisiting all the episodes of the series.

“Wakko’s Wish” (12/21/99) – The Warners try to reach a crashed star that Wakko made a wish on before anyone else.

Originally posted in 2016. Updated in 2021.


Unknown said...

cool animaniacs facts

Tom Ruegger said...

Not only was Steven Spielberg not the head writer of the show, Steven didn't write a single word of a single episode of this show. This posting has massive fact-check issues.

Chris Buchner said...

The sources used for the initial writing of a bunch of older entries (believe it or not, NOT Wikipedia) turned out to be faulty in retrospect. I've been slowly working my way through them to fix these errors.