Do the monkey with me!
One of Cartoon Network's first original characters, Johnny Bravo was based partly on Elvis Presley and partly on Henry Winkler's character from Happy Days. Johnny takes a little too much pride in his appearance, and has little, if any, success at romance or anything else he tries - not that this fazes him much. He also tends to run into celebrities, including Farrah Fawcett, Donny Osmond, Adam West and the cast of Scooby Doo.
In seasons 2 and 3, Cartoon Network retooled the series without creator Van Partible's input. They also lost the writing contributions of both Butch Hartman and Seth MacFarlane. The series reverted to its old style for the last few episodes of the 65-episode run (which took place between July 14, 1997 and August 27, 2004).
The show is notable for the major changes the style in its humor experienced during the 65 overall episodes. In the pilots and first season, the humor was more mature and Johnny was portrayed as a loser and more socially lacking than stupid. The retooled series, however, was more aimed more at the show's younger audience: the amount of slapstick increased, and Johnny's stupidity was greatly emphasized.
The other main characters are Johnny's mother, Bunny Bravo, and the neighbor girl, Suzy. Other characters include Carl, a Hollywood Nerd who insists he's Johnny's best friend, and Pops, mentor to Johnny and owner of a local diner and quite possibly a few other, sketchier business ventures.
In the last few years of the shows run Johnny also had a spin-off program called JBVO. In it, Johnny was the host who accepted requests via mail, phone or online for any Cartoon Network shorts that weren't too long to be played. It didn't last too long.
In 2011, as a co-production with Cartoon Network Asia, Johnny Bravo received a comeback special in the form of Johnny Bravo Goes to Bollywood.
- Adam Westing: In addition to the Trope Namer himself there's Donny Osmond, Don Knotts, "Weird Al" Yankovic, and Shaquille O'Neal.
- Affectionate Parody: Of Mary Poppins, The Twilight Zone (specifically, "It's a Good Life" and "Nightmare at 20,000 Feet"), Green Eggs and Ham, and plenty of other things. A pair of such parodies actually aired together: one of Schoolhouse Rock (with Jack Sheldon) and one of Scooby Doo (with the cast of characters, too).
- Aliens Steal Cable: In one episode, Johnny becomes king of a planet of Green-Skinned Space Babes, and tells them to install cable. The women comply, only to see Mel Gibson on the screen and lose interest in him.
- All There in the Manual: Cartoon Network's website said that Carl was Johnny's best friend back when he (Johnny) was a scrawny loser. After he grew up and became a macho man looking for ladies, he no longer wanted anything to do with Carl. This isn't really shown anywhere in the show.
- Amazon Brigade: The Tall Amazon Women in "Johnny Bravo and the Amazon Women".
- Animated Series
- Art Shift: The art style, like Dexter's Laboratory and The Powerpuff Girls, became cleaner and flash-based as the series drew to a close.
- Berserk Button: "I'm only gonna tell you once. Don't - touch - the glasses."
- Big No: Johnny every other episode.
- Boot Camp Episode: Johnny accidentally joins the Army instead of the Dodgeball Camp.
- Brawn Hilda: Johnny orders a mail order girl friend and gets a burly European woman who happens to have the same (lowbrow) interests as he does.
- British Royal Guards: Johnny once confused a mall security cop for one of these guys, who as it turns out was just bored.
- Camp Straight: Richard Simmons appeared in one episode. Also, Carl seems to enjoy dressing up like a woman in a few episodes, and thinks beautiful women in dreams counts as Nightmare Fuel.
- Captain Ersatz: At a wrestling match, Johnny faces off against dead ringers for The Genius and Irwin R. Schyster.
- Casanova Wannabe: Johnny.
- Crossover/Continuity Cameo: With Scooby-Doo, leading to severe lampshading of commonly questioned Scooby-Doo tropes (e.g. "what does Freddie do when he goes off on his own with Daphne?) and much hitting on Daphne to no avail. Later seasons saw Johnny crossing paths with The Flintstones, Huckleberry Hound and Blue Falcon.
- Catch Phrase: "Right. What did I say?" Johnny almost always says this when he mistakes one or more characters as someone/something they're not... in a typical Johnny fashion.
- When bad things happen:
Johnny: This won't end well.
- Also, "Whoa, mama!" and "Wiggy!"
- Celebrity Star: Several, including Adam West, Donny Osmond and Schoolhouse Rock singer Jack Sheldon.
- One of the most interesting things about the episode in which Adam West guest starred is that the two writers who wrote that episode, Seth MacFarlane and Butch Hartman, have a huge interest in Adam West. In fact, when they split up to create their own shows, they still show that huge interest in him: Adam West plays himself as the Mayor in Family Guy, and he makes guest appearances in some of the episodes of The Fairly OddParents.
- How about Mr. T and Richard Simmons... in the same episode!
- Would Luke Perry also count?
- The final episode of the series featured major appearances by Don Knotts, "Weird Al" Yankovic, Shaquille O'Neal and Seth Green.
- Charlie and the Chocolate Parody: Combined with a plot inspired by Soylent Green.
- Chew Toy: Carl became this during the show's last season.
- Cleveland Rocks: From the Wonderful Life parody, where Lil' Suzy is exactly the same except that she has somehow become on par with a James Bond villain.
Alt. Lil' Suzy: So, will you give in to my demands? [raises detonator] Or must I destroy Cleveland?
- Conspiracy Theorist: Adam West.
- Creator Cameo: At the end of the Scooby-Doo crossover, the ghost gets several masks pulled off before her true identity is revealed. The masks include one-shot characters and monsters from the original Scooby-Doo cartoons, Don Knotts, and finally Joe Barbera.
Johnny: "Who's that?"
- Cute Bruiser/Pint-Sized Powerhouse: Jungle Boy.
- Dark-Skinned Redhead: The girl in "Buffoon Lagoon".
- A Day in the Limelight: Lil' Suzy gets one in "The Great Bunny Book Ban".
- Deadpan Snarker: As dumb as Johnny is, he still fills this role.
- Demoted to Extra: In the last season, Pops was lucky to get a brief cameo. Carl fared slightly better with actual dialogue, but he appeared less often.
- Diabolus Ex Machina: Ties into...
- Did Not Get the Girl
- Disproportionate Retribution: Inverted; Johnny's punishment for stealing his mother's car to use in a race was... chores for a week. Carl, who added illegal technology to it, had to help him.
- Dropped Glasses: In the Scooby-Doo crossover, he accidentally collides with Velma:
Velma: My glasses! I can't see without my glasses!
- Dumbass Has a Point: Every now and then Johnny would get it.
- Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas: Downplayed - Johnny's not so much "bad" as "obnoxious".
- Even Narcissists Have Standards: Johnny may be obnoxious, self-absorbed and shallow, but he'd think twice before ever lying to a woman with false sincerity.
- Exactly What It Says on the Tin:
- In "Talk to Me, Baby", supermodel/talk show host Vendela Kirsebom changes into a superhero costume and fights her sumo wrestler cameraman during a commercial. She then turns to the audience and remarks, "They don't call us 'supermodels' for nothing!"
- In "The Hansel and Gretel Project", Carl finds the fabled witch's cookbook. "Here's a recipe for German Chocolate Cake: Chocolate, cake... Germans?!"
- Like the character from the source material, the boy in the parody of It's a Good Life threatens to send Johnny to "The Cornfield" if Johnny displeases him... as in a literal cornfield just outside his house.
- Express Lane Limit: In "Johnny's Inferno", one of the evil deeds that a demon makes Johnny do is going slightly over the checkout lane limit. The cashier doesn't have a problem with this, though, much to his disappointment.
- Failure Is the Only Option: Johnny almost never gets the girl.
- He did in the Valentine's Day episode, but she was a secret agent and she decided it might not work out due to her job... so she erased all his memories of her.
- In one episode, Johnny meets a short, balding, chubby guy—the aforementioned Jack Sheldon—who has no trouble getting girls. Johnny asks him how he does it, and the guy sings songs about being sensitive and getting in touch with your feminine side... but at the end, he finally tells Johnny that he can just fake it and get girls just as easily like Sheldon does. "I'd tell a woman I could turn lead into gold if it would get her to date me!" Of course, some of the girls overhear this and they are not amused.
- Technically, he did get the girl in that one episode with the werewolf chick. Unfortunately, before anything could happen, it was revealed that it just happened to be the same day that she changes into a bald, nerdy fat guy who loves collecting stamps and showing them off. So... yeah.
- In the Titanic parody episode, he successfully got a woman to like him, but in the end he screws it up by accidentally flushing a really awesome looking decoder ring that he was letting her [[Insistent Terminology|borrow, not keep.[[ She seemed to lose interest in him randomly, implying that it was just a fling brought about by his rustic, lower-class "charms." Interestingly, she brought him into the captain's quarters to be alone, which he assumed meant letting him play with the helm. It appears that even if Johnny got the girl, he wouldn't know what to do with her.
- This is, however, after the Flanderization set in, and at that point interest in women was an badly-fitting artifact of the original design.
- In one episode, Johnny was thrown into a volcano as a virgin sacrifice. Seeing as the volcano spat him out with so much disgust that it exploded the island, we can assume he's... the opposite of a virgin. So therefore, he never gets the girl onscreen.
- He very nearly came close in the Prison Episode, where he's sent to women's prison; once his identity is discovered, all the women begin throwing themselves at him, but sadly, the guards realized their mistake, and he's carted away in the end.
- Fascinating Eyebrow: Johnny does this all the time.
- Flanderization: A major example. In the earlier episodes and the pilot, Johnny was just incredibly cocky, socially inept, reckless and actually somewhat competent in martial arts. Seasons after, however, made him stupid, immature, misogynistic and buff without any benefit.
- And how. To elaborate, in the later seasons, Johnny, for all his bulk, is repeatedly humiliated by 6-year-old boys and girls, whereas in the pilot, he effortlessly mauled a CROCODILE.
- Oddly, in the last season, this was reversed completely, but upped Suzie's annoying tendencies.
- Gender Bender: Johnny, in the season 4 episode "Witch-ay Woman".
- Genre Savvy: Johnny, on occasion. For example, in the Scooby-Doo crossover, he points out how ludicrous splitting up is after Fred suggests it.
- During the "Prince and the Pauper" episode, Johnny realizes what's going on as soon as he sees his double.
Oh, dear. Am I really that transparent?
- Getting Crap Past the Radar: Has its own page.
- Groupie Brigade: For Luke Perry.
- Gypsy Curse: In one episode, he angers a gypsy and she curses him to shrink in size.
- Hairstyle Inertia: A flashback showed Johnny with his trademark hair even as a baby.
- Heel Face Turn: Pooky from the Blanky episode.
- Hey, It's That Voice!: In the first pilot, Soleil Moon Frye was the voice of the zookeeper Johnny tries to help.
- Hiccup Hijinks: "As I Lay Hiccuping".
- Hollywood Tone Deaf: Johnny, which considering that his voice is supposed to be patterned after Elvis Presley, is a bit odd, to say the least.
- Hot Amazon: Several in "Johnny Bravo and the Amazon Women".
- Also, the whole "Vendela is a superheroine" thing certainly didn't make her less attractive to Johnny.
- I Ate What?: When Johnny had the hiccups, he mistakenly ate slug kibble.
- Idiot Ball
- Interspecies Romance: Date with an Antelope, anyone?
- The antelope's previous boyfriend was a crab. One that somehow got served on Johnny's plate in a restaurant where they were dating. What are the odds of that happening?
- It Got Worse: After Johnny's favorite shampoo goes out production, Pops reveals that [[It Makes Just As Much Sense in Context|the secret ingredient to his chili uses the same exact composition as his hair gel, and lets Johnny dip his hair in the pot on the stove. As soon as Johnny steps outside, his hair is immediately surrounded by flies... which soon attract birds... which soon attract cats... which soon attract dogs... which somehow attracts a giant ant emerging from the Earth's crust.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Johnny may be crass to Suzie, Carl and a host of women, but the boy is devoted to his mama. He will also fight tooth and nail to keep Pops in business.
- Most of the time his brainless antics are well intended, such as "saving" the "Queen of Atlantis" from sharks or "rescuing" an oppressed pinata.
- Ladykiller in Love: Very rare, but it can happen. In an old Cartoon Network bumper, he falls hard for Velma. Has a Continuity Nod of sorts in another bumper where Dexter tries to ask Velma out, but she leaves him for Johnny. The actual Scooby-Doo Crossover episode had Velma hitting on Johnny as well.
- Line-of-Sight Name: Mitch Checkout Time Is at Two. (It's Polish.)
- Massive Multiplayer Crossover: Johnny would often interact with Hannah-Barbara characters and even real-life celebrities during the shows first season, as well as the last season when Van Partible returned to work on it.
- Meaningful Name: Johnny Bravo is named after his creator, Ephraim Giovanni Bravo "Van" Partible.
- Muscles Are Meaningless: Johnny, despite having such a broad chest and big muscles, is repeatedly beaten in fights, even by those much smaller than him. Possibly justified in most cases, as he doesn't seem the type to raise a hand against a woman.
- It should be noted that Johnny's weakness was played up more as the series went. Compare Johnny effortlessly manhandling a crocodile in the pilot with how he's beaten by children in the era of Carl and Pops - of course, this is more than likely Rule of Funny at work.
- Never Say "Die": Averted with a shark in the first season, who plots to eat a contest's worth of surfers, and even eats two characters on-screen.
- Niche Network: Johnny once caught a glimpse of the "Fish" Network. The channel's content consisted entirely of video recordings of fish swimming. "All fish, 24/7."
- Johnny also once had a bear named "Chronos, The Master of All Time" watch the "Tree Channel" in hope of curing his insomnia.
- Nixon Mask: Worn by a shark in the first season in an over-complicated plot to eat a contest's worth of surfers.
- Nobody Touches the Hair: Johnny doesn't take kindly to his hair being messed with.
- No Celebrities Were Harmed
- No Mouth: Johnny's mouth tends to disappear unless he talks or makes certain facial expressions.
- No One Could Survive That: Often Played for Laughs.
- Overly Long Scream: Happens when Johnny and Carl go over a waterfall, and at one point, stop screaming to take a breath.
- Paper-Thin Disguise: In "Wolf in Chick's Clothing": "Yeah. Sure. No one will ever know." The disguise in question was covering an anthropomorphic wolf's teeth with a small piece of cloth, and it worked perfectly.
- Paper Tiger: Johnny Bravo is a pretty muscular-looking guy, but he's always getting beaten up by the women with whom he flirts.
- Parental Bonus: And how!
- Precocious Crush: Suzy to Johnny.
- Quicksand Sucks: Johnny Bravo ends up in quicksand in one particular episode...shirtless. To which he hilariously calls for help by hollering "Help! Puddin! Puddin Emergency!" and starts sampling the quicksand, still mistaking it for pudding and commenting "needs more butterscotch" as he's sinking.
- Reality Warper: The Bill Mumy Expy.
- Scooby-Dooby Doors: Parodied in (what else?) the Scooby-Doo crossover episode.
- Screams Like a Little Girl: Johnny.
- Secret Ingredient: When Johnny wins a trip to the factory where they make Jake's Jerky, he sees his friend disappear into the vat labeled "Secret Ingredient", not realizing that his friend was only investigating it for himself. Johnny then bursts into a press conference shouting, "Jake's Jerky is people!"
- Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: Johnny is obviously the manly one, and Carl is the sensitive (but mainly wimpy and dorky) man, though the seasons with Carl also had frequent "wimpy Johnny screaming like a girl" gags.
- She's All Grown Up: A future-set episode that parodies Titanic shows that "Little Suzy" grew into quite the attractive woman.
- Shout-Out: Many of them.
- There's a blink-and-you'll-miss-it shout out to Back to the Future in the intro - when the title shows up in three different styles, one of them is clearly drawn to resemble the title cards for the movies.
- In the Bullfighting episode, Johnny, the Girl of the Week and the bull drive off into the sunset and become famous Hollywood starts, featuring in such titles like Raging Bull.
- Single Woman Seeks Good Man: In "The Sensitive Male!", Jack Sheldon takes advantage of this trope by pretending to be women's perfect guy to get dates with them. When the women find out, they are not happy.
- Small Name, Big Ego: Johnny
- Spin-Off: The short-lived series JBVO, which was basically Johnny Bravo playing old cartoon shorts that kids called in to request.
- Statuesque Stunner: An entire island of 'em in "Johnny Bravo and the Amazon Women".
- Stopped Clock: Subverted. In "The Day the Earth Didn't Move Around Too Much", a jet cutting a power line stops Johnny's clock at 12:00, and after seeing similar events (that all somehow required people to stay absolutely still), he's convinced that time has stopped for everyone but him.
- Strange Minds Think Alike: In "Mini-B.", Johnny wanted to go to the beach to pick girls up, but was thwarted by Mama Bravo bringing a child home from the day care she worked at. So he improvises by laying a beach towel and umbrella on the grass of the park they were at, lies down, and starts applying sunscreen on the basis that girls would be attracted to him if they saw a sunbather like him. In five seconds flat, a Cloudcuckoolander with a particularly stoned tone of voice walks by, and sees Johnny sunbathing. Automatically assuming that there was a beach on the park, the beach bum pulls a surfboard out of Hammerspace and proceeds to surf joyously, as though he were actually at the beach.
- Sunglasses at Night: The only time in the entire series run when we actually see Johnny's eyes is in "Bravo Dooby Doo", when he puts on Velma's glasses by mistake.
- Tempting Fate: In "Karma Krisis", Johnny believes that he has broken a curse by swinging a bag of salamis in a cornfield while yodelling. He exclaims, "With these deli meats as my witness, I will never be unlucky again!" Cue tornado.
- They Called Me Mad [context?]
- Time Stands Still: Spoofed in "The Day the Earth Didn't Move Around Too Much".
- Too Dumb to Live: Johnny slips into this at times.
- Took a Level In Dumbass: Johnny obviously wasn't the sharpest knife in the drawer when he first appeared, but you can tell later episodes played up his idiocy and immaturity more and more. Averted in the last season.
- Top-Heavy Guy: Justified Trope. We only see him training upper body.
- Unsympathetic Comedy Protagonist [context?]
- Virgin Sacrifice: Johnny is offered as one.
- Wax On, Wax Off: Subverted back and forth in an episode where Johnny is pitted off against the best student of a rival dojo. Master Hama has him doing actual chores, and it's clear he's not interested in teaching him. Nevertheless everything he does comes in handy later, during the fight. Too bad Master Hama gave up and decided to bet against him.
- Weaksauce Weakness: Moonlighting as a superhero, Johnny Bravo accidentally blasts a (dangerous) candy-themed supervillain with a hose, which causes the villain to melt away into a soapy puddle, complete with the obligatory Wizard of Oz homage.
- In a much later season Johnny eats some spicy food as a last meal before [[It Makes Sense in Context|an ice giant swallows him. Smoke begins to come out of the giant's mouth before he melts away, leaving Johnny "drowning" in a pool of hot water, screaming that he's about to be digested.
- Whole-Plot Reference: Several; one that stuck out was Some Like It Hot, complete with Marilyn Monroe stand-in. Others include The Most Dangerous Game, Nineteen Eighty-Four, and The Prince and the Pauper (which actually ends with Mark Twain coming in and begging cartoon makers to "let this tired old story die!").
- Others include classic The Twilight Zone episode "It's a Good Life" (complete with Bill Mumy lookalike), "Nightmare at 20,000 Feet" (complete with a Shatner parody) and "Living Doll', all in a episode aptly titled "The Zone", with several references to other episodes.
- One episode was a reference to Bio-Dome, which unsurprisingly was written better than the actual movie.
- Another Pauly Shore film, Jury Duty was referenced in One Angry Bravo.
- Wholesome Crossdresser: The many times Carl dresses as a chick, and the couple of times Johnny does it.
- Wingding Eyes: Lampshaded in the King Kong episode. "I have huge dollar signs in my eyes!"