Tom and Jerry

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.
Their smiles in this picture do not reflect how they are in the cartoons.

Tom the cat and Jerry the mouse, the stars of a long-running series of short theatrical cartoons produced by MGM during The Golden Age of Animation, were the first characters created by William Hanna and Joseph Barbera. In the first short, "Puss Gets the Boot" (1940), the cat's name was Jasper and the mouse was not named in the short, but was originally dubbed Jinx by the animators. The characters acquired their present names in a contest at MGM (animator John Carr submitted the winning names) and went on to win seven Academy Awards.

John Carr may (or may not) have been inspired by the names of the two young tearaways in the 19th Century Life in London stories, or perhaps by the eggnog-like beverage known as "Tom and Jerry" (and itself named after the earlier characters).

After MGM's animation unit closed in 1957, Hanna and Barbera started their TV animation studio. No new Tom and Jerry cartoons were produced until MGM revived the series in the early 1960s, contracting it to Czechoslovakian-based Gene Deitch.

In 1965, CBS began broadcasting a Tom and Jerry Animated Anthology on Saturday mornings. This was two years after Chuck Jones began directing another series of theatrical Tom and Jerry shorts, taking over from Deitch and bringing production of the series back to Hollywood.

In 1975-77, Hanna-Barbera produced a less violent Tom and Jerry Animated Anthology series for ABC-TV, supported by a new character, the Great Grape Ape. This was followed in the early 1980s by Filmation's version on CBS, which used the classic Slapstick formula. Another series, Tom and Jerry Kids, ran on the Fox network from 1990 to 1993. From 2006 to 2008, the CW network's animation block included Tom and Jerry Tales, which continued with the slapstick humor of the theatrical shorts, as did a series of direct-to-video films. Unfortunately, Tom and Jerry Tales was canceled after 4KidsTV took over Kids WB, but the movies have continued.

The original shorts featured Mammy Two Shoes, a black maid who would be very politically incorrect by today's standards. At the same time that cartoons started to be edited to take the edge off the violence, they also replaced Mammy with Irish-tinged housewife "Mrs. Two Shoes". Apparently, its perfectly okay to make fun of the Irish. Mammy was phased out during the original Hanna-Barbera shorts era in favor of having Tom owned by George and Joan, an inoffensive (and bland) white couple. During the Gene Deitch period, Tom was occasionally depicted as being owned by a fat guy that looks suspiciously like "Clint Clobber" (a character Deitch created for Terry Toons), who was actually more violently sadistic towards him than Jerry ever was. (Few people remember this because few people like the cartoons from this period)

Warner Bros acquired the rights to Tom and Jerry after purchasing Turner Broadcasting System, which in 1986 had purchased MGM's entire pre-1986 library. Interestingly, since then it seems like Warner has been treating Tom and Jerry better than their own Looney Tunes (probably due, in part, to the commercial bombing of Looney Tunes: Back in Action). Tom and Jerry has been the only classic cartoon series to air consistently on Cartoon Network, miraculously. Since acquiring the rights to Tom and Jerry, Warner has produced several direct-to-video movies - and Tom and Jerry Tales - which, for the most part, stay true to the classic Tom and Jerry form.

Thanks in large part to the lack of dialogue, Tom and Jerry has been very popular internationally. In fact, when Japanese television network TV Asahi ran a nationwide survey on the 100 most popular animated TV series in the country, it was the only non-Japanese series to make it onto the list. Ditto for the web poll conducted afterwards.

As of October 2011, Warner Bros. has started to re-release the classic Tom and Jerry theatrical shorts in a new DVD and Blu-Ray series called the Tom and Jerry Golden Collection, featuring fully-restored and strictly uncut and uncensored shorts. The previously legally unavailable "Mouse Cleaning" and "Casanova Cat" will more than likely be included on Volume 2.

On a side note, a feature length Tom and Jerry film was released in 1992. There have also been some direct-to-video feature length Tom and Jerry films released since.

Oh, and don't confuse them with that other Tom And Jerry. It'll save you a lot of trouble. Or for the name used by a very young Simon and Garfunkel in their earliest recordings.

Notable Shorts In This Series Include:

  • Puss Gets the Boot (1940): The debut of the characters, and the short that establishes the series formula. Oscar Nominee.
  • The Night Before Christmas: Nominated for the 1941 Academy Award for cartoon shorts.
  • The Yankee Doodle Mouse (1943): First T&J short to win an Oscar.
  • Mouse Trouble: Won the 1944 Oscar.
  • Quiet Please! Won the 1945 Oscar.
  • The Cat Concerto (1947): One of The 50 Greatest Cartoons. Won the 1947 Oscar.
  • Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Mouse: 1947 Oscar nominee.
  • Mouse Cleaning (1948): Runner-up on The 50 Greatest Cartoons.
  • The Little Orphan: Won the 1949 Oscar.
  • Hatch Up Your Troubles: 1949 Oscar nominee.
  • Jerry's Cousin: 1951 Oscar nominee.
  • The Two Mouseketeers: Won the 1952 Oscar.
  • Johann Mouse: Won the 1953 Oscar.



  • Puss Gets the Boot: Debut of Tom and Jerry, although they are called Jasper and Jynx in this meant-to-be oneshot cartoon.


  • The Midnight Snack: First short where Tom and Jerry are dubbed as such. First official Tom and Jerry cartoon.
  • The Night Before Christmas: Nominated for the 1941 Academy Award for cartoon short subjects.


  • Fraidy Cat
  • Dog Trouble: First appearance of Spike the Bulldog.
  • Puss n' Toots
  • The Bowling Alley Cat
  • Fine Feathered Friend


  • Sufferin' Cats!
  • The Lonesome Mouse: First T&J short in which they talk.
  • The Yankee Doodle Mouse: First T&J short to win the Academy Award.
  • Baby Puss: First appearance of Butch and Topsy the cats.


  • The Zoot Cat
  • The Million Dollar Cat: The first time Tom defeats Jerry.
  • The Bodyguard: Spike speaks for the first time.
  • Puttin' on the Dog
  • Mouse Trouble: Won the 1944 cartoon Academy Award.


  • The Mouse Comes to Dinner
  • Mouse in Manhattan: A Lower Deck Episode centered solely on Jerry visiting Manhattan, with Tom only appearing briefly in the opening and ending.
  • Anchors Aweigh: An otherwise unrelated theatrical film which includes a sequence featuring Tom and Jerry.
  • Tee for Two
  • Flirty Birdy
  • Quiet Please!: Won the 1945 cartoon Academy Award.


  • Springtime for Thomas
  • The Milky Waif: First appearance of Nibbles.
  • Trap Happy
  • Solid Serenade



  • Kitty Foiled: First appearance of the Canary.
  • The Truce Hurts
  • Old Rockin' Chair Tom
  • Professor Tom
  • Mouse Cleaning: One of the two "banned" Tom and Jerry shorts. Jerry Beck claims that it will be included, restored, in a future collection to make up for its removal from the Spotlight Collections. The short is still aired on TV, albeit edited to remove the (fairly lengthy) scene of Tom in blackface.


  • Polka-Dot Puss
  • The Little Orphan: Won the 1949 Academy Award for cartoons.
  • Hatch Up Your Troubles: Nominated for the Academy Award.
  • Heavenly Puss
  • The Cat and the Mermouse
  • Love That Pup: First appearance of Tyke.
  • Jerry's Diary: Compilation film containing footage from "Tee for Two", "Mouse Trouble", "Solid Serenade" and "The Yankee Doodle Mouse".
  • Tennis Chumps


  • Little Quacker: First appearance of Quacker.
  • Saturday Evening Puss: Only time we get a chance to see the face of Mammy Two Shoes, but only as a Freeze-Frame Bonus.
  • Texas Tom
  • Jerry and the Lion
  • Safety Second
  • Tom and Jerry in the Hollywood Bowl
  • The Framed Cat
  • Cue Ball Cat


  • Casanova Cat: The second of the two "banned" shorts, although a future DVD release is planned. The short is still aired on TV, albeit edited to remove the (lengthy) scene of Jerry in blackface.
  • Jerry and the Goldfish
  • Jerry's Cousin: Nominated for the 1951 cartoon Academy Award.
  • Sleepy-Time Tom
  • His Mouse Friday
  • Slicked-up Pup
  • Nit-Witty Kitty
  • Cat Napping


  • The Flying Cat
  • The Duck Doctor
  • The Two Mouseketeers: Won the 1952 cartoon Academy Award.
  • Smitten Kitten: Another compilation film, using footage from "Salt Water Tabby", "The Mouse Comes to Dinner", "Texas Tom" and "Solid Serenade".
  • Triplet Trouble
  • Little Runaway
  • Fit to Be Tied
  • Push-Button Kitty: Final appearance of Mammy Two-Shoes.
  • Cruise Cat: Contains footage from Texas Tom.
  • The Dog House


  • The Missing Mouse
  • Jerry and Jumbo
  • Johann Mouse: Won the 1953 cartoon Academy Award. Last T&J to win the Academy Award.
  • That's My Pup!
  • Dangerous When Wet: An otherwise unrelated theatrical film which includes a sequence featuring Tom and Jerry.
  • Just Ducky
  • Two Little Indians
  • Life With Tom: Yet another compilation film. Uses footage from "Cat Fishin", "The Little Orphan" and "Kitty Foiled". Final appearance of the Canary.


  • Puppy Tale
  • Posse Cat
  • Hic-cup Pup
  • Little School Mouse
  • Baby Butch
  • Mice Follies
  • Neapolitan Mouse
  • Downhearted Duck
  • Pet Peeve: First T&J to be produced in Cinemascope.
  • Touché, Pussy Cat!: "Prequel" of "The Two Mouseketeers".


  • Southbound Duckling
  • Pup on a Picnic
  • Mouse for Sale
  • Designs on Jerry
  • Tom and Cherie: A follow up to "Touche, Pussy Cat!"
  • Smarty Cat: Compilation film, uses footage from "Solid Serenade", Cat Fishin" and "Fit to be Tied".
  • Pecos Pest
  • That's My Mommy


  • The Flying Sorceress
  • The Egg and Jerry: Shot for Shot Remake of "Hatch Up Your Troubles".
  • Busy Buddies
  • Muscle Beach Tom
  • Down Bear Bear
  • Blue Cat Blues
  • Barbeque Brawl
  • Tops With Pops: Shot for Shot Remake of "Love That Pup".
  • Give and Tyke: A Tom and Jerry-less short, giving the spotlight to Spike and Tyke.
  • Timid Tabby
  • Feedin' the Kiddie: Shot for Shot Remake of "The Little Orphan".
  • Scat Cats: Another Tom and Jerry-less short, once again giving the spotlight to Spike and Tyke.
  • Mucho Mouse
  • Tom's Photo Finish


  • Happy Go Ducky
  • Royal Cat Nap
  • The Vanishing Duck
  • Robin Hoodwinked
  • Tot Watchers: Last of the original Tom and Jerry cartoons produced before the MGM cartoon studio shut down.


  • Switchin' Kitten: First of the Gene Deitch Tom and Jerry cartoons.
  • Down and Outing
  • It's Greek to Me-Ow


  • High Steaks
  • Mouse Into Space
  • Landing Stripling
  • Calypso Cat
  • Dicky Moe
  • The Tom and Jerry Cartoon Kit
  • Tall in the trap
  • Sorry Safari
  • Buddies Thicker Than Water
  • Carmen Get It!: Final Gene Deitch Tom and Jerry cartoon.


  • Pent-House Mouse: First of the Chuck Jones Tom and Jerry shorts.


  • The Cat Above and the Mouse Below
  • Is There A Doctor In The Mouse?
  • Much Ado About Mousing
  • Snowbody Loves Me
  • The Unshrinkable Jerry Mouse


  • Ah, Sweet Mouse-Story of Life
  • Tom-ic Energy
  • Bad Day at Cat Rock
  • The Brothers Carry-Mouse-Off
  • Haunted Mouse
  • I'm Just Wild About Jerry
  • Of Feline Bondage
  • The Year of the Mouse: Remake of a Hubey and Bertie cartoon Chuck made for Looney Tunes.
  • The Cat's Me-Ouch!


  • Duel Personality
  • Jerry, Jerry, Quite Contrary
  • Jerry-Go-Round
  • Love Me, Love My Mouse
  • Puss 'n' Boats
  • Filet Meow
  • Matinee Mouse
  • The A-Tom-Inable Snowman
  • Catty-Cornered


  • Cat and Dupli-cat
  • O-Solar Meow
  • Guided Mouse-ille
  • Rock 'n' Rodent
  • Cannery Rodent
  • The Mouse from H.U.N.G.E.R.
  • Surf-Bored Cat
  • Shutter Bugged Cat
  • Advance and Be Mechanized
  • Purr-Chance to Dream: Last Classic Tom and Jerry cartoon.



  • The Tom and Jerry Comedy Show: TV series; ended in 1982.


  • Hanna-Barbera's 50th: A Yabba Dabba Doo Celebration: TV special featuring Tom and Jerry.





  • Tom and Jerry: Blast Off to Mars: Direct to Video film.
  • The Karate Guard: Last Tom and Jerry short.
  • Tom and Jerry: The Fast and the Furry: Direct to Video film.






  • Tom and Jerry: Theatrical film.

Tropes used in Tom and Jerry include:
  • Accordion Man
  • Affectionate Gesture to the Head: "Professor Tom" has Tom teaching mousing to a kitten. When the kitten does a good job, he gets a pat on the head.
  • Agony of the Feet: All those times Jerry took a hammer to Tom's foot or lit matches beneath his feet when he wasn't paying attention.
  • All Just a Dream: Heavenly Puss ends this way.
  • All Witches Have Cats: In one short Tom answers an ad to be a companion for someone who turns out to be a witch.
  • Aluminum Christmas Trees:
    • In "Professor Tom", actually if a kitten is introduced to a mouse or rat early enough, they have been known to befriend them in real life.
    • Overlapping with Irony; in "The Zoot Cat" (released in 1944) Tom's girlfriend calls him "corny" (to say he's old fashioned and outdated) so he tries to impress her by making a homemade "zoot suit". Eight decades later, most modern viewers would laugh at the idea of that style ever being considered trendy or new. In addition, the lady cat uses a lot of Jive Turkey slang than is itself very outdated.
  • Alternative Foreign Theme Song: Japanese Tom and Jerry has a different opening theme.
  • Amusing Injuries: Major aspect of the series, as it's not only the premise, but wouldn't work without it.
  • And I Must Scream: Jerry once froze Tom in ice; only Tom's eyes could move.
    • If Amusing Injuries weren't there, these instances would probably ruin the program.
  • Angry Guard Dog: Spike, Tom's nemesis.
  • Animal Jingoism: Mouse vs. Cat, and occasionally Cat vs. Dog (though only in one episode does Spike ever also chase Jerry).
  • Animation Bump: Granted, any halfway competent studio could have produced much better animation than what Gene Deitch's team churned out, but Chuck Jones's efforts are light-years ahead of Deitch's work (and even the final few Hanna-Barbera theatrical shorts) in overall animation quality.
    • Deitch's first Tom and Jerry cartoon, "Switchin' Kitten" has noticeably better animation compared to his later efforts, due to the fact that Deitch produced that cartoon in the USA with the help of some of his former Terry Toons colleagues, before departing to Czechoslovakia to make the rest of his cartoons with a much less experienced animation team.
    • Tom and Jerry and The Wizard of Oz has this going for it compared to the other direct-to-video films.
  • Anthropomorphic Shift: Tom undergoes this. He is drawn like a realistic cat in the first short, but over time his appearance changed drastically, becoming increasingly humanoid. Other characters underwent a similar transformation, though Jerry himself changed very little over the course of the series, having always been somewhat humanoid.
    • This is all Depending on the Writer instead of a shift over time, but occasionally cats wear clothes and live in houses with no humans in sight.
  • Anti-Villain: Tom, although Jerry has his moments, too, Depending on the Writer.
  • Anvil on Head
  • Arch Enemy: Tom and Jerry.
  • Art Evolution: Tom and Jerry looked far different in the first short (with Tom looking like a realistic cat), but over time their designs became far more slick and cartoonish. They went through a de-evolution in the mid-'50s due to budget cuts and more limited animation, making them resemble Hanna-Barbera's later TV cartoons. Modern adaptations (and thus the way they're normally pictured these days) tend to recapture their '40s to early '50s designs.
  • Ash Face
  • Ass in a Lion Skin: Several times the characters disguise themselves as other animals, as for instance when Tom disguises himself as a dog to find Jerry in a dog pound in "Puttin' on the Dog".
  • The Bad Guy Wins: Tom gets this in some episodes, though many times when Tom wins it's during an episode when Jerry has been particularly cruel.
  • Badass: Jerry's cousin, Muscles.
  • Badly-Battered Babysitter: The two occasionally end up trying to save a wandering baby, who's neglected by a bubble-headed teen babysitter.
    • This is also often the case for Jerry whenever Nibbles is around, and both Tom and Jerry are badly battered when Tom is forced to babysit three bratty kittens in "Triplet Trouble".
  • Bee-Bee Gun: "Tee for Two". Jerry directs a bee swarm straight to Tom via the bamboo breathing apparatus the cat is using while lying at the bottom of the lake.
  • Berserk Button: In "The Milky Waif", Tom goes after Jerry's adopted nephew Nibbles Tuffy after trapping Jerry in a jar. When Tom is foolish enough to (sort of) spank Tuffy while he's cowering, an enraged Jerry breaks free with adrenaline-powered super strength and begins swinging Tom around by his tail.
    • Also qualifies as Papa Wolf. Yeeeesh.
    • Do NOT disturb Spike while he's sleeping. And DO NOT screw with his son.
    • Tom at times gets violently infuriated by his outwittings by Jerry that even the latter realizes the fun is over (eg. "The Million Dollar Cat"). This may apply more as being gradually pushed over the edge than a traditional Berserk Button however.
  • Big Eater: Nibbles. The letter he was left with warned "He's always hungry!" He even eats an entire turkey before Tom or Jerry even get a bite.
    • Jerry himself can ingest food several times his size and keep eating. Same could be said of Tom whenever he actually gets to eat.
  • Bilingual Bonus: Anything Tuffy says in the Mouseketeer episodes.
  • Bizarre and Improbable Golf Game: Tee for Two.
  • Blessed Are the Cheesemakers
  • Blind Alley
  • Bloodless Carnage - Despite the high levels of violence in the earlier shorts there was never any blood. (Unless it's faked with ketchup.)
    • In Touché, Pussycat!, when Jerry splits Tom in half with an axe, the two halves fall separate ways to the ground, and there's still no blood or gore.
      • The 2005 short The Karateguard has a disturbing variation—Tom is facing us when the blade comes down. We don't see anything but we hear a very wet sound before Tom passes out. Occurs at 3:26-3:28 in the short. (He also gets mashed in a garbage truck compactor at 3:10.)
  • Bowdlerized: Tom's owner, Mammy Two Shoes was considered racist during reruns, and occasionally episodes featuring her recolor her skin white and have a different person dub her voice.
  • A Boy and His X: Many episodes involve Jerry helping/protecting another animal from Tom, so it's A Mouse and His (Goldfish, Canary, Puppy, Elephant, Kitten, Duckling, Lion, Seal, Other Mouse...)
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: A rare Show Within a Show version of this marks the end of the short with Jerry's country-singing uncle Pecos, whose guitar strings keep breaking and he plucks Tom's whiskers to replace them. For his big TV debut, the guitar string breaks yet again. Tom (watching it on TV) laughs out loud, only for Pecos to reach out of the TV to pluck one last whisker off his face.
  • Breakout Character: Spike and Tyke, who even had their own brief role in solo shorts. Some of their later appearances in the Tom and Jerry series also seem to be focused primarily on them, with the title duo's war as more of a side story.
  • Bullying a Dragon: This tended to happen when Spike the Bulldog appeared in a cartoon. Despite being a dog, Spike rarely goes out of his way to antagonize Tom, and was usually trying to take a nap, spending time with his toddler son Tyke, or otherwise minding his own business. But in his efforts to get to Jerry, Tom would eventually annoy Spike (or worse, Tyke) until the dog lost his temper and beat him within an inch of his life. And Tom never learned.
  • Butt Monkey: Tom. Jerry isn't immune to moments of this either.
  • Buzzsaw Jaw
  • The Cameo: In a lot of their more modern works (such as The Movie and Tom And Jerry Tales) Droopy makes a guest appearance.
  • Canon Immigrant: Nibbles, aka Tuffy, who was first introduced in the Tom and Jerry comics before he ever appeared in the theatrical shorts.
    • Two Little Indians features two mice, presumably Nibbles and Tuffy, who take on Tom after he captures Jerry. So it's not impossible they both exist.
  • Can't Get Away with Nuthin': In the second cartoon, "The Midnight Snack", Jerry is beaten by Tom every time he tries to steal food, and Tom only starts losing once he starts stealing too.
  • Can't Live with Them Can't Live Without Them: "The Night Before Christmas", "The Lonesome Mouse," "Snowbody Loves Me"
  • Captain Ersatz: Tom's owner in three Deitch shorts looked and sounded an awful lot like Clint Clobber, a character from Deitch's tenure at Terry Toons. However, unlike the mean, abusive character presented here, the Terry Toons character was a Jerk with a Heart of Gold.
  • Captured by Cannibals: "His Mouse Friday". This short is often heavily edited when it's shown at all (even the Spotlight Collection contains some cropping out of offensive caricatures).
  • Cartoon Conductor
  • Cartoon Cheese: Possibly the Trope Codifier
  • Cartoony Eyes
  • Catch Phrase: Tuffy ends each of the Mouseketeer shorts with "C'est la guerre!" (That's War!)
    • Once Per Episode Tuffy would stab Tom in the butt with a sword and say "Touché, pussycat!"
    • Tom's 'AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA' scream. Created by recording one of the producers yelling, and chopping off the beginning and end.
    • Though he only said it twice, Tom's "Don't. You. Believe It." was something of a meme at the time. Bugs Bunny says it, too, in "Big Top Bunny".
    • Tom's Charles Boyer impression got used more than once, as well.
  • Catch That Pigeon
  • Cats Are Mean
    • Occasionally subverted, in the occasional short where Jerry is the instigator and Tom the hapless victim.
  • Caught in a Snare: In "Mouse Trouble", Tom gets caught in it (which was intended for Jerry) when Jerry switches the cheese used as bait for a bowl of cream. Also counts as Hoist by His Own Petard.
  • Chained to a Railway: In "Kitty Foiled", with a model train set.
  • Character Focus: Spike and Tyke towards the late 50's, perhaps in order to sell the spinoff series Hanna-Barbara was trying to make with them.
  • Characterization Marches On: In Spike's original appearances, he was more or less an non-anthropomorphic dog and even would attack Tom and Jerry without preference in his debut. Then, in "Quiet Please", the team developed the standard plot for Spike (telling Tom he would pound him if Tom did X only for Jerry to spend the rest of the short framing Tom for X) and gave him an actual personality. Later on, they gave him his son and the characterization we all know now.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Literal instance in "Year of the Mouse". Early in the short, Jerry and his nameless partner in crime place a gun in Tom's hand and make him think he's pulled the trigger on himself. At the short's climax, the gun reappears when Tom discovers and captures the mice, first holding them at gunpoint and then rigging a bottle trap so that they'll shoot themselves if they try to escape.
  • Children Are Innocent: In "Professor Tom", Tom is trying to teach a kitten how to chase mice. Though the kitten chases Jerry around, it's only because that's what he's told to do, and he responds eagerly to Jerry's offers of friendship. Jerry is noticeably much nicer to the kitten than he is to Tom, and gets very upset when he sees Tom spanking the kitten near the end of the short.
    • Reversed around in "The Little School Mouse" when Jerry tries to teach Nibbles how to outsmart a cat. Each of his demonstrations on Tom fail miserably while Nibbles naively just asks Tom to comply to his requests, and actually succeeds.
  • Christmas Episode: The early short "The Night Before Christmas", which takes place on Christmas Eve.
  • Circling Birdies
  • Clip Show: More so around the time the series began to decline in quality, though Hanna and Barbera managed to keep some of them genuinely entertaining. It required an Art Shift whenever Chuck Jones did one, so their look would match the clips. Tellingly, Tom and Jerry's Art Evolution made the differences between the clips and the Framing Device particularly jarring every time a Clip Show episode was done.
    • Noticeable in the two clip-show shorts made during the Jones era, Matinee Mouse and Shutter Bugged Cat, both directed by Tom Ray. The most discernible contrast between the new footage and the clips of the H-B shorts is the animation. The originals bristle with life and energy while Ray's looked lethargic by comparison.
  • Cock Fight: Tom and Butch are often in competition over the affection of an attractive female cat.
  • Concussions Get You High: In "Nit-Witty Kitty" Tom gets hit on the head and afterwards thinks he's a mouse. Has elements of Trauma-Induced Amnesia.
  • Conspicuous Consumption: "Blue Cat Blues", where Tom keeps trying (and failing) to out-spend Butch in order to impress a female cat.
  • Construction Zone Calamity: The short "Tot Watchers" has the duo try to protect a baby who wanders into a construction zone. A later Chuck Jones short, "Bad Day at Cat Rock", has Tom chase Jerry into a construction zone.
  • Cousin Oliver: Nibbles aka Tuffy.
    • Admittedly, he's a decent example.
  • Country Mouse: Both traditional and literal in "Mouse in Manhattan".
  • Cranial Eruption
  • Crowning Moment of Awesome: too many to list, for both Jerry AND Tom
    • This troper remembers one of particular note: in "Million Dollar Cat," Tom finds out in a telegram has inherited $1 million but there is a catch: Tom wont get a penny if he harms any living creature, "EVEN A MOUSE." Cue Jerry becoming an instant Jerkass and abusing Tom's forced good nature every-which-way-to-Sunday (stealing his food, hogging the bed, using all the hot water). At the end, Jerry pushes Tom too far: Tom rips up the telegram, jams the part that says "EVEN A MOUSE" down Jerry's throat and proceeds to beat the ever-loving crap out of him.
      • Tom: Gee, I'm givin' away a million dollars...BUT I'M HAPPY!!!!!
  • Cut a Slice, Take the Rest: Used in a short, "The Truce Hurts", where Tom, Jerry and Spike are trying to figure out how to divide a steak they've found, and can't come to an agreement, thereby ruining their truce.
    • In another short, "Baby Butch", Butch the alley cat cuts a small slice of ham for Tom and Jerry each, then takes the rest for himself.
    • Done yet another time in the later shorts where Tom and Spike belonged to a married couple; in this case Tom was attempting to retrieve an incriminating photograph before his owners saw it.
  • Dagwood Sandwich: Tom eats these on occasion.
  • A Day in the Limelight: Two 1957 shorts ("Give and Tyke" and "Scat Cats") focused on Spike and Tyke.
    • "Mouse in Manhattan" is virtually a solo Jerry short, with Tom limited to a brief appearance at the end.
  • Delayed Reaction: Happens often with Tom, which makes him realize too late that he's carrying a bomb, about to get hit, or that Jerry is right in front of him.
  • Denser and Wackier: The scenarios and gags in the earlier shorts were more mundane compared to later years.
  • Depending on the Writer: Chuck Jones and Gene Deitch had their own takes on the characters. In some shorts, Tom is a Jerkass; in others he's The Woobie (mostly Deitch's, thanks primarily to his Hair-Trigger Temper owner). Most of the worst examples of Jerry being a Screwy Squirrel come from the Chuck Jones shorts.
  • Deranged Animation: The Gene Deitch shorts.
  • Determinator: Tom
  • Dinner Deformation: This happened a lot to Jerry and Nibbles when they ate something larger than themselves, though only occasionally to Tom (either from his Dagwood Sandwich or swallowing something large and inedible like an umbrella).
  • Dinosaur Doggie Bone
  • Disney Death: In the episode Heavenly Puss, Tom gets hit by a piano and dies, ending up in heaven, but he won't be able to pass through the gates without Jerry's forgiveness. Tom is given a set amount of time to receive Jerry's signature on a certificate of forgiveness, but gets it seconds too late, and falls down to Hell. Turns out to be All Just a Dream and Tom suddenly hugs a bewildered Jerry.
  • Door Step Baby: Nibbles was introduced as this.
    • Butch pretends to be one in one short, just so he can steal all the food in Tom's fridge.
  • Downer Ending: Would you believe there was a short (Blue Cat Blues, 1956) that ended with both Tom and Jerry sitting on a train track waiting to commit suicide by train? And just as it irises out, you hear the sound of a train whistle? Chilling.
    • There's also a Mouseketeer episode that ends with Tom's execution and Jerry and Tuffy seeing the guillotine come down...
    • While most episodes where Tom wins start out with Jerry initiating the conflict, the short Southbound Duckling, where Jerry is trying to help Quakers fly south whilst avoid being eaten by Tom, ends with Tom sneaking up behind the pair as they relax at Miami beach, trapping them under a bucket then giving an Evil Laugh to the camera. Whatever he does to them next is up to your imagination.
  • Drunk on Milk: In Blue Cat Blues, Jerry's Inner Monologue describe that Tom 'started drinking'.
  • Duck Season! Rabbit Season!: Done in "The Yankee Doodle Mouse", when Tom and Jerry throw a stick of dynamite back and forth.
  • Duel to the Death: Duel Personality
  • Early Installment Weirdness: The early shorts had a strong Disney influence, undoubtedly a hold-over from Hugh Harman's influence on MGM's cartoon shorts. As such, the earlier shorts are very atmospheric and fluid in their animation, but to a point where its self-conscious, and as such hampers the timing and pacing of the cartoons. Tom and Jerry also had more of a sibling rivalry than a true cat-eats-mouse rivalry. Once Tex Avery arrived at MGM, his influence starting taking hold of the shorts (although he never directing anything on the series), resulting in more streamlined designs, sharper timing, crisper pacing, and the sibling rivalry aspect of Tom and Jerry's relationship was abandoned altogether.
  • Eating Shoes: Tom eats his shoes and shoelaces in "His Mouse Friday".
  • Eek! A Mouse!: Numerous times. Invoked by Tom in "Trap Happy" when calling the mouse extermination service.
  • The Electric Slide: Used for laughs.
  • Enemy Mine: There are times Tom and Jerry are facing a common enemy.
  • Enemy to All Living Things/Friend to All Living Things: Many shorts involve Jerry befriending a one shot character (usually another stray animal). Tom on the other hand usually ends up either provoking it's rather violent wrath, or deciding he wants to eat it, depending on the species. It doesn't help the large majority of alternate characters tend to sympathize more with the innocent little mouse being chased by the big pussy cat, in some cases even the humans that sent Tom after him in the first place.
  • Everything Explodes Ending: "The Missing Mouse" has Tom scared by a lab mouse that swallowed a powerful explosive. By the end a radio announcement declares that the mouse will not explode and Tom gives it a good kick. It explodes anyway.
  • Cute Kitten: Combined with Kittens Are Innocent in "Professor Tom".
    • Subverted in "Three Little Kittens", where the titular kittens do NOTHING but try to get in trouble.
  • Eye Pop
  • The Faceless: Mammy Two Shoes (and some of the white housewives who replaced her)
  • Family-Unfriendly Violence: Some of Tom's injuries are surprisingly violent. These shorts have caught a lot of flack from Moral Guardians over the years for it (even moreso than the Looney Tunes). Ironic that they were on TV more consistently in the period before Looney Tunes was brought back onto Cartoon Network.
  • Fashion Dissonance: The Zoot Cat, which also has so many references to 1940's pop culture its an Unintentional Period Piece.
  • Fire and Brimstone Hell/Fluffy Cloud Heaven: Both featured in "Heavenly Puss".
  • Friendly Enemies: Tom and Jerry can actually get along quite well when they're not beating the crap out of each other.
  • Fur Is Clothing: Done on a few occasions, with Tom either being shaven or being scared out of his fur, wearing nothing but Goofy Print Underwear. It happened particularly often in the later Chuck Jones shorts.
    • Similar when Tom runs over Mama Duck with a lawnmower in "Little Quacker", exposing her turquoise bra and bloomers, which she quickly covers with her now robe-like feathers.
  • Genre Savvy: In "The Duck Doctor", an anvil is falling toward Tom. He runs in circles for a few seconds trying to escape, but then acknowledges that no matter what he does, he's going to get conked. So he digs a grave and stands next to it, smoking a cigarette as if he's waiting for the firing squad, until he gets hit and falls in.
    • In "Million Dollar Cat", Tom gets Jerry to jump out of a penthouse window, then sits down for breakfast. He gets suspicious and peeks under the silver lid covering the dish, obviously expecting Jerry to be there. He's wrong; Jerry was hiding in the napkin.
  • Glove Slap: In "Duel Personality".
  • Gosh Hornet: "Tee for Two". See Bee-Bee Gun entry above.
  • Gravity Is a Harsh Mistress
  • Gray and Grey Morality: Neither Tom or Jerry are out and out innocent character and can be rather vindictive in their feud, however the shorts alternate with who is the most sympathetic and they both at the very least have some justified motives (Jerry needs food, Tom (and usually his owner) wants a pest out of his house).
  • Hanna-Barbera
  • Hard Head
  • Have a Gay Old Time: In the Mousketeer short Tom and Cherie, just try listening to Tuffy call out "Pussy! Pussy pussy pussy!!" with a straight face.
  • He Went That Way!
  • The Hero: Jerry (debatable)
    • Later Hanna Barbara shorts did try to play this more straight, making Jerry more altrustic and often saving another animal friend from being victimized by Tom. The odd time he strayed from this he was more likely to suffer Laser-Guided Karma.
  • Heroic Comedic Sociopath: Jerry.
  • Highlighted Text: One of the shorts has Tom celebrating the inheritance of a million dollars... followed by Jerry doing the same. When Tom is reasonably confused, Jerry shows him the second half of the telegram he'd received: Any and all inheritance would cease if Tom brought harm to any living thing... and as the highlighted text that follows helpfully indicates, this includes "even a mouse". And Jerry milks it for all it's worth.
  • Hollywood Healing: It takes about five seconds for Tom to grow his teeth back. And that's just one example among many.
    • Somewhat averted in "Mouse Trouble", where Tom sports multiple bandages and a toupee (after he nearly blows his own head off with a shotgun) throughout the short.
  • Honorable Elephant: In "Jerry-Go-Round", an elephant loyally defends Jerry from Tom after Jerry pulls a nail from the elephant's foot.
  • Honorary Uncle: Jerry becomes the adoptive Uncle of Nibbles Tuffy.
  • Hot Potato: Only with bombs.
  • Humans Are the Real Monsters: The extent of Mammy Two Shoes' abusive treatment of Tom (and how justified it is due to the latter's antics) varied Depending on the Writer. Various alternate owners were paired with Tom throughout the franchise's run, their treatment of the cat ranging from lenient or justified to outright psychotic (the latter being Deitch's unnamed owner character).
    • In "Heavenly Puss", the feline St. Peter sadly shakes his head and mutters "What some people won't do..." when the next "person" in his line is a sack full of kittens who were apparently drowned.
    • The babysitter takes the cake. She completely ignores the baby to talk on the phone instead. The only time she actually notices the kid is immediately after Tom has rescued the baby from killing itself, at which point she jumps to the conclusion that Tom is attacking the child and beats the stuffing out of him.
    • How about the little girl who dresses Tom up as a baby and treats him as such, including putting him in a diaper and feeding him castor oil? The latter is particularly grating, since she walks into the room to discover Tom's "friends" mocking and humiliating him and her immediate response is to blame and punish him.
  • Humanoid Female Animal: The cats that Tom usually lusts over.
  • The Hunter Becomes the Hunted: In the short "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Mouse", near the end Tom finally drinks his own power potion which Jerry had been using throughout the short. Instead of growing stronger however, it backfires, and Tom shrinks until he's as tall to Jerry as Jerry normally is to him. The short ends with Jerry chasing after Tom with a fly swatter.
  • In Vino Veritas: "Part Time Pal" has Tom actually befriending Jerry while drunk.
  • Instant Bandages
  • Interspecies Romance: In one Chuck Jones short, Jerry and a female fish appear to have a thing going on. In the end, a shark is crushing on her.
    • At the end of Casonova Cat and a couple other shorts, Jerry runs off with the cat that Tom had been trying to woo all episode.
  • Iron Butt Monkey: Tom.
    • Jerry gets it bad a few times as well. Usually when paired with haphazard allies like Little Quacker or Nibbles.
  • It Amused Me: Tom and Jerry sometimes pick on one another for the sake of their own amusement.
  • Jerkass: Both characters have plenty of moments.
  • The Jimmy Hart Version: The direct-to-video films (such as "Tom & Jerry & The Magic Ring") feature a sound-alike to the classic Tom & Jerry theme.
  • Just Whistle: Spike makes this kind of an arrangement with Jerry in "The Bodyguard" and a couple later shorts.
  • Karmic Trickster: In most shorts, Jerry doesn't start trouble until Tom wrongs him in some way. In some shorts he skews more towards a Screwy Squirrel and attacks Tom without being provoked, but usually Jerry is fighting for his survival, or at least unhappy with the unfair situation Tom is putting him in (i.e. using him as fish bait, dressing him in a bow and giving him to a girl cat as a present, using him as a paddleball, etc.).
  • Killer Rabbit: Jerry. He may look adorable, but when threatened? Beware.
  • Knife Outline
  • Kung Foley: Some of the most legendary foley work in animation history, in fact.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: Usually applied to Tom, particularly in episodes with Mammy Two Shoes involved, but occasionally hits Jerry. Generally, in episodes where Jerry gets just a little bit too vindictive when dealing with Tom the plot will deal him some kind of misfortune as well, even if Tom doesn't "win" per se.
  • Lawyer-Friendly Cameo: Spike's voice is based on that of crooner Jimmy "Schnozzler" Durante.
    • His current voice, anyway. He just sounded like a gruff man in his first speaking role.
  • Leitmotif: Beginning with 1949's "Polka-dot Puss", every T&J short opened with one of these composed by Scott Bradley.
    • In "Mouse in Manhattan", most of the music is just variations of a single melody, matched to fit the mood of whatever's currently happening.
  • Literal Ass-Kicking: Probably at least Once Per Episode.
  • Live Action Adaptation: In development.
  • Lolicon: "Toots" from "The Zoot Cat" dosen't quite fit this trope (it's implied that she may be a teenager, due to her mature Southern voice, since the short is supposed to parody the teenagers of that time period) but you sure wouldn't be able to tell just by looking at her—especially considering she looks like a child and wears an equally small dress.
  • Long-Lost Relative: Jerry's Uncle Pecos, a country singer that even Jerry can't stand, and Jerry's cousin Muscles, who is identical to Jerry but super strong.
  • Loud Gulp: Happens very often, usually during an Oh Crap situation.
  • Lower Deck Episode: "Mouse in Manhattan" is a Jerry solo short, with Tom only appearing in the opening and ending. The two shorts centered around Spike and Tyke also count.
  • Lull Destruction: In Japanese dubs, Tom and Jerry are sometimes given voice actors along with a narrator. An example.
  • Matryoshka Object: "The Yankee Doodle Mouse" has Tom cornered by a large firecracker. Instead of blowing up, it breaks apart to reveal a smaller firecracker, which then reveals a smaller firecracker, and so on until all that is left is a tiny firecracker. Tom holds it in his hand, laughs in amusement, and then it blows up in a huge explosion.
  • Mama Bear: In one Chuck Jones toon, Tom offers Jerry to a female cat as a present, but Jerry invokes this trope by acting cute, causing her to treat him like her child. It only lasts until she gives him a kiss, at which point she realizes he tastes pretty good.
  • Metronomic Man-Mashing: Jerry did this to Tom once when he (Jerry) got super-strength.
  • Mickey Mousing: Very widespread in just about every short.
  • Missing Mom: One wonders if Tyke even has a mother.
  • Mime-and-Music-Only Cartoon: Most episodes.
  • Mind Screw: In "Timid Tabby", Tom and his cowardly identical cousin pull this on Jerry by switching around and eventually pretending Tom has turned into a two-headed, four-armed-and-legged monstrosity, sending Jerry running to the Home for Mice Suffering from Nervous Breakdowns.
  • Mood Whiplash: The 1956 cartoon "Blue Cat Blues" is rather depressing compared to the rest of the series, as it begins with Tom sitting on a railroad track preparing to commit suicide. Jerry tells us how Tom was driven to this state by a love affair gone sour, and the cartoon ends with Jerry realizing his girlfriend has been unfaithful and joining Tom on the tracks. Cue the sound of a train whistle, iris out.
  • Morally-Ambiguous Ducktorate: Averted with Little Quacker
  • Mouse Hole: Sometimes Jerry's mouse hole even has a little door, or fancy decorations around it, as if the architects of the house Tom and Jerry are in specifically built the mouse hole into the wall.
  • Mouse Trap: used a lot.
  • The Movie: Tom and Jerry The Movie.
  • The Musical: Tom and Jerry The Movie.
  • Name and Name
  • The Name's the Same: There was an earlier Tom & Jerry cartoon series in the early 1930's featuring a Mutt & Jeff-type duo.
  • Narrative Shapeshifting: In "Of Feline Bondage", Jerry uses this trope to tell his fairy godmother about his cat troubles.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: One of Tom's love interests was a caricature of Lana Turner.
  • Non-Fatal Explosions: Mostly played straight, but averted at the end of Mouse Trouble, in which Tom dies and... goes to Heaven? Huh.
  • No OSHA Compliance: If an episode takes place in a factory or a construction site you can bet this trope will be in full effect.
  • Not So Harmless: Tom for the large part plays the bumbling antagonist of the two. There are several times however he manages to get the upper hand over Jerry or even win on rare occasions. If pushed far enough he can even outdo Spike, who he usually cowers before (eg. "Pet Peeve", "Dog Trouble").
  • Off-Model: Gene Deitch's cartoons suffer some pretty severe animation glitches. Probably the most glaringly obvious instance was in "High Steaks" where Tom's in a swimming pool, as the animators didn't bother animating any of Tom's body below the waterline, despite the water having been drawn in a transparent fashion.
  • Off with His Head: Presumably happens to Tom at the end of "The Two Mouseketeers".
  • The Only One Allowed to Defeat You: Even if Tom will team up with other cats to catch Jerry, he will NOT let them eat him. And god help you if you're a cat that tries to catch Jerry and Tom sees you doing it.
  • Only Six Faces: All of the characters use the exact same design, but with species specific traits and proportions applied to them. Don't believe this? Well, compare all of the characters to the seal from the short "The Little Runaway" which is basically what Tom and Jerry and the others would look like when you take away their species specific traits.
    • Well, at least all four-legged characters. The side effect of this is that when one character wants to disguise as another, it can be relatively easily done.
  • Overly Polite Pals: Tom, Jerry and Butch the dog do the routine in the 1948 short, "The Truce Hurts."
  • Packed Hero: At the start of "Cannery Rodent", Tom is chasing Jerry through a fish packing plant and both get packed into cans of tuna, which inexplicably has a picture of each of their faces on the packaging. Near the end of the same cartoon, a shark that has been pestering Tom for the majority of the cartoon is sent through the same packaging machine and canned in a similar fashion.
  • Pain-Powered Leap: Frequently, when Tom gets his butt pricked with a pin by Jerry or has something heavy fall on his tail.
  • Panty Shot: Several of Toots in "The Zoot Cat".
    • Also, the little girl who dresses Tom as a baby in "Baby Puss."
  • Papa Wolf:
    • Jerry can quickly become more savage than a cougar should Tom lay a hand on Nibbles/Tuffy.
    • It's also a very bad idea to mess with Spike's son, Tyke, in any fashion, though that really should be obvious.
  • Pepper Sneeze
  • Pet Heir: Tom in The Million-Dollar Cat (until he throws it away by violating the 'no harming animals' clause), Toodles in Casanova Cat.
  • Pie in the Face: In "Quiet Please!", Tom catches Jerry on the kitchen counter. Jerry asks for a moment to draw up a last will and testament, in which he leaves a custard pie "to Tom, my favorite cat". Reading this, Tom eagerly tells him to "Lemme have it!"
    • In "Solid Serenade", Jerry hits him with two pies... one of which has a steam iron hidden inside of it.
    • Tom pelts Jerry with one at the end of "Jerry's Diary", after being angered by what he read in said diary.
  • Powder Trail
  • Press-Ganged: A Captain Ahab type takes Tom in the Gene Deitch short "Dickey Moe".
  • Public Domain Soundtrack
  • Pun-Based Title: Taken to new heights (or depths) with the Chuck Jones-era shorts.
  • Random Events Plot: One of the later Gene Deitch cartoons started with Tom and Jerry in a box along with an assortment of other items, including a watermelon. A narrator talks about how to make your own cartoon, starting by setting Jerry on a table and handing him the watermelon. After he spits seeds around for a bit, Tom forces him to swallow several, turning Jerry's belly into a temporary maraca. Cue dancing! Until Jerry spits the seeds out, and then finds a book that teaches mice how to use Judo...
  • Recycled in Space!: Once by Gene Deitch, who produced short that was bizarre and incomprehensible even by the standards of his Tom and Jerry cartoons, and about four by Chuck Jones which are somewhat better, but still not really very good.
    • And the less literal interpretation of this trope was applied all through the series, with episodes in the Middle Ages, on a farm, out west, etc. And it was employed even more often on Tom And Jerry Tales.
  • Real Joke Name: Doctor Quack
  • The Remake: A few examples:
    • 1949's "Hatch Up Your Troubles" and 1956's "The Egg and Jerry" are virtually identical, save for modified character designs, backgrounds, and widescreen framing.
    • The same goes for 1957's "Tops With Pops", which is a shot-for-shot remake of 1949's "Love That Pup".
    • The same also goes for 1957's ""Feedin' the Kittie", a remake of 1949's "The Little Orphan".
  • Ring Around the Collar: This was the whole reason Jerry was given a bowtie in the 1970's adaptation, making him cheaper to animate.
  • Road Runner vs. Coyote: The common plot.
  • Roger Rabbit Effect: The characters' appearances in the live-action features Anchors Aweigh and Dangerous When Wet.
  • Rube Goldberg Device: Tom builds one in "Designs on Jerry". Sadly, due to Jerry's unnoticed alteration, the safe that was supposed to hit Jerry...well, take a wild guess what happened.
    • These appeared fairly often, including a recobbled episode where Tom watched several failed attempts to brainstorm ideas... for the same trap that failed before.
    • A smaller-scale one appears in "Year of the Mouse", where Tom traps Jerry and another mouse in a bottle, corks it and then ties a string to the cork that's attached to the trigger of a gun aimed at the bottle.
  • Scheherazade Gambit: In their version of The Nutcracker Suite.
  • Scenery Porn: If Mouse in Manhattan doesn't give you an itching to visit New York City, nothing will.
  • Screwy Squirrel: Whenever Jerry's character starts to really lean toward this, it's usually an episode where Tom wins. A good example is "Million Dollar Cat", where Tom inherits a fortune but loses it if he harms another living creature; Jerry uses this as pretext to harass and injure Tom, then waves the telegram in his face to protect himself from reprisal.
  • Second Face Smoke: It happens on more than one occasion—but Jerry wises up at one point and comes out of the mousehole in a gas mask, while Tom has turned green from blowing so much smoke.
  • Serenade Your Lover: The short "Solid Serenade"
  • Silent Bob: Both characters are able to convey their thoughts and feelings very well without having to say a word.
  • Simpleton Voice: Tom at the end of both "Trap Happy" ("C... A... T... cat.") and "The Million Dollar Cat" ("Gee, I'm throwing away a million dollars.").
  • Sitting Sexy on a Piano: Toots from "The Zoot Cat" while Tom is serenading her.
  • Slapstick: Tom and Jerry are the kings of this.
  • Something Completely Different: The Mouseketeer episodes, and Blue Cat Blues.
  • Sound Effects Bleep: Heard in "Hic-cup Pup"

Spike: *hic* Now he's got ME doing it! *hic* I'll murder that *hic* cat!

  • Spinoff Babies: Tom and Jerry Kids.
  • Squashed Flat: And occasionally other shapes.
  • Stock Animal Diet: Cheese is a favorite for Jerry, and mice, birds and milk for Tom (though he only ever gets milk out of those three). However, both Tom and Jerry will still eat almost anything.
  • Stock Scream: "OOO-ooo-OOO Hooo Hooo Hoo HOO!!!"
  • Stop or I Shoot Myself: In the Tom and Jerry short "The Missing Mouse", Tom hears news of an escaped white lab mouse who has swallowed a powerful explosive. Jerry, who has been painted white when shoe polish falls on him, pretends to be the mouse, trying to hurt himself and forcing Tom to stop him. Eventually, Tom figures it out, and that's when the real lab mouse appears...
  • Strange Bedfellows: In the occasional short where they team up against another character.
    • The 1975 version had them teamed up in every episode.
  • Suddenly Voiced: Throughout The Movie, but also applied to the original shorts as well, though it's only done for about a line or two, and generally played for laughs. In fact, the short with the most dialogue between the two is "The Lonesome Mouse" (which understandably doesn't get much airtime).
    • Tom and Jerry speaks regularly in the comic book adaptations, which had been around for decades by the time the movie was made.
    • Jerry is also voiced in his and Tom's cameo in Anchors Aweigh by Sara Berner.
  • Super Not-Drowning Skills: Episode 43, "The Cat and the Mermouse". At least half the episode takes place underwater
    • Subverted (averted?) at the end when it turns out to be a dream/hallucination as a result of Tom having nearly drowned, and Jerry is resuscitating Tom.
  • Super-Powered Robot Meter Maids: In one episode, Tom gets replaced by a super-powered robot cat. With an axe.
    • Same with Jerry, with rocket propulsion.
  • Sweeping Ashes: Mostly in the Chuck Jones shorts.
  • Synchronized Swarming: The ants that invade Spike's picnic in "Pup on a Picnic" are quite organized, which helps them walk off with the entire food supply... and Spike's son.
    • The bees that attack Tom in "Tee for Two" are synchronized as well.
  • Talking Animal: Dogs, ducks, other cats and mice; although neither Tom nor Jerry themselves usually spoke. Still, it depends—sometimes they're just as mute as the title characters.
  • Talking with Signs: Happens occasionally. One memorable example is after Jerry stabs a box with several needles and saws it in half, with Tom inside. He looks inside the box and his eyes widen, and he quickly writes up a sign and displays it to the audience asking if there's a doctor in the house.
  • Team Rocket Wins: A dozen or so instances Tom actually beats Jerry by the end of the short. Granted these are usually karmic victories (though not always).
  • This Is a Drill: The baby woodpecker's beak in "Hatch Up Your Troubles".
  • Through a Face Full of Fur
  • Tongue on the Flagpole: In one of the movies.
  • Translation: "Yes": In "Little Runaway", the seal, through subtitles, explains his plight to Jerry and asks him for help. When Jerry agrees, the seal shakes his hand and launches to a flurry of barks. Once he's done, a subtitle comes up consisting only of the word, "Thanks!"
  • Traveling Pipe Bulge: Jerry escapes into a gutter; when Tom follows, there's a noticeable bulge.
  • Twice-Told Tale: Tom and Jerry and The Wizard of Oz puts the cat and mouse into a condensed version of the 1939 film.
  • Uncanny Family Resemblance: Save personality and costumes, both Tom's and Jerry's family look exactly like them.
    • Even Nibbles, who isn't technically related to Jerry, looks like a smaller gray version of him.
  • Under the Mistletoe: In "The Night Before Christmas", Jerry stops Tom from chasing him by holding up a mistletoe and making a cute smoochy face at him. Tom then blushes and turns away shyly, only to have Jerry kick him in the rear. Truly one of the biggest Foe Yay moments in the series.
  • Universal Adaptor Cast: In most episodes, they are just in some random house (usually belonging to Mammy Two Shoes or a skinny, white housewife). But then there are times where they are in the Middle Ages, the Renaissance, the future...
  • Villain Protagonist: Both the "villain" and "protagonist" parts alternate between both characters from short to short. There are different points you can root for them both.
  • Visible Invisibility
  • Vitriolic Best Buds:
    • Tom and Butch.
    • Tom and Jerry themselves.
  • Wartime Cartoon: "The Yankee Doodle Mouse" was the closest Tom and Jerry ever came to having a World War II-themed short. In it Tom and Jerry fight a war-style battle in a basement, with plenty of WWII references.
  • Water Is Air: Used in The Cat and the Mermouse, but justified in that it was All Just a Dream.
  • Wholesome Crossdresser: Jerry dresses like a girl on a few occasions to escape Tom. For some reason, Tom's less likely to attack a girl mouse.
    • In a Chuck Jones short Tom dresses as a female mouse, gets stuck in the suit and ends up attracting a mob of male mice who chase him away.
    • In Flirty Birdy, Tom fights with a buzzard over Jerry, and dresses himself as a female buzzard in order to take Jerry from the male buzzard.
  • William Telling: Among one of the Kick the Dog opening scenes in which Tom is shown tormenting Jerry.
  • You Didn't Ask: Played with in The Little School Mouse where Jerry tries to teach Nibbles how to foil Tom and collect food, only to be foiled each time. In his own attempts, Nibbles just kindly asks Tom and he nonchalantly complies. Later Jerry tries to teach Nibbles how to put a bell on Tom. This doesn't go over very well for him. Nibbles, on the other hand, simply gives Tom the bell as a gift, and Tom happily wears it.
  • You Have Failed Me...: Tom in The Two Mouseketeers.
    • This is almost repeated by the king in the second Mouseketeers short, though this time the duo take pity on Tom and lull the former to sleep before he can pull it off.