Yogi Bear (Western Animation) - TV Tropes

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

Originally a supporting character on The Huckleberry Hound Show, Yogi Bear was one of the most popular early Hanna-Barbera characters. Most episodes revolved around Yogi's attempts to do things that other Jellystone Park bears didn't do (or weren't allowed to do): make money, fly, dodge hibernation, escape—or simply relieve tourists of their pic-a-nic baskets. Yogi's sidekick, Boo-Boo, would often warn Yogi that "the ranger isn't going to like this!" Indeed, Yogi would invariably be scolded by Ranger Smith.

Basically, the premise was that Yogi and Boo-Boo would steal picnic baskets from visitors to Jellystone National Park, and hilarity would ensue.

The character was based on Yankees baseball player Lawrence Peter "Yogi" Berra, and given an Art Carney aspect to his character. He was popular enough to headline his own series in 1961. Supporting segments on The Yogi Bear Show featured Snagglepuss and Yakky Doodle. In 1964, Hanna-Barbera released its first animated feature, Hey There, It's Yogi Bear!, through Columbia Pictures. In the 1970s and 1980s, Yogi and his contemporaries appeared in several Crossover series. There were also a few prime-time specials, the best-remembered of which is probably the TV movie Yogi's First Christmas.


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

Check the character sheet. Also see the memes page.



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

  • Accessory-Wearing Cartoon Animal: Yogi wears a collar, tie, and hat, while Boo-Boo sports a bow tie.
  • Accidental Ventriloquism: In Hey There, It's Yogi Bear!, when Yogi commandeers the Ranger's phone.
    Yogi: Hello? Hello? Is this the White House?
    Ranger Smith: Yogi!
    Yogi: Hey, the President knows my name.
  • Adaptation Dye-Job: Cindy Bear was blue furred in the original shorts, though became light brown in later interpretations. Ranger Smith's uniform also changes color throughout the early series while Yogi's original design had light colored highlight around his eyes.
  • Ageless Birthday Episode: Two of them: one for Ranger Smith and one for Yogi, and The New Yogi Bear Show had another one for Yogi.
  • An Aesop: Primarily in Yogi's Gang.
  • Animation Bump
    • The New Yogi Bear Show is a bit more fluid than the original 1960s episodes.
    • Hey There, It's Yogi Bear is also noticeably higher budget, bringing Hanna-Barbera back up to the standard of their later Tom and Jerry shorts.
    • This was also the first Hanna-Barbera show in which characters had a distinct walk cycle.
  • Bears Are Bad News: Well, they sure make Ranger Smith's job a lot harder.
  • Beary Funny: That's Yogi in a nutshell.
  • Big Damn Movie: Hey There, It's Yogi Bear!
  • Big Eater: Yogi, of course. In the episode "Gleesome Threesome," he sits down at a hotel restaurant and says, "I'm not too hungry tonight, garçon, so uh, just bring me everything on the menu — twice!"
  • Big Guy, Little Guy: Both bears walk around on their hind legs, and Yogi is as tall or taller than the humans, while Boo Boo is the size of a child.
  • Bragging Theme Tune: Two, the original...
    Who is always on the spot? Who is? Yogi Bear!
    Who keeps cool when things are hot? Who does? Yogi Bear!
    Who believes the world's a dream and falls for some fantastic scheme
    But always winds up on the beam? Yogi Bear!!
    • ... and The Yogi Bear Show has one that's equal this and Expository Theme Tune.
      Yogi Bear is smarter than the average bear,
      Yogi Bear is always in the ranger's hair.
      At a picnic table you will find him there,
      Stuffing down more goodies than the average bear.
      He will sleep till noon, but before it's dark,
      He'll have every picnic basket that's in Jellystone Park.
      Yogi has it better than a millionaire,
      Just because he's smarter than the average bear.note 
  • Call of the Wild Blue Yonder: One episode featured Yogi helping a baby eagle who couldn't fly. After many attempts, the young eagle finally succeeds when he saves Yogi.
  • Can't Live With Them, Can't Live Without Them: The majority of times Yogi or Ranger Smith leave Jellystone Park, the other ends up pining for him. The key plot point of "Home Sweet Jellystone".
  • Captain Ersatz: Quack-Up from Yogi's Space Race and Galaxy Goof-Ups is Daffy Duck with white plumage. Mel Blanc even does almost the exact same voice for him.
  • Catch Phrase: "Smarter than the average bear!" Also Boo Boo's oft-repeated line, "Mister Ranger isn't gonna like this, Yogi!"
  • Deadpan Snarker: Boo Boo has become this in the most recent update.
  • Depending on the Artist:
    • In the original series, Ranger Smith's design changed frequently between episodes; they eventually decided upon his permanent design in Hey There, It's Yogi Bear!.
    • As if that weren't enough, though, his appearance on Yogi's Gang gave him blond hair. Although he could have dyed it.
    • Yogi himself had his muzzle fur expanded around his eyes initially.
    • Cindy Bear was also initially just a female Yogi with a dress and blue fur before being redesigned to look more feminine.
    • No two versions of the Jellystone Park entrance are ever alike, even in shows (and movies) that were made after the original shorts.
  • Delayed Reaction: In Hey There, It's Yogi Bear!, Yogi comes out of hiding when he learns that Cindy is missing. He tells Ranger Smith he'll stay at the Ranger Station while Ranger Smith drives away to find her. Then he turns around when he realized it's Yogi.
  • Dub Name Change: Yogi was known as Kumagoro in Japan, although Boo Boo and Ranger Smith retained their original names (with Smith usually referred to as "Smith-san," roughly the equivalent of "Mr. Smith").
  • Early Installment Weirdness: Ironically, the original shorts themselves. As noted above, the characters' designs varied between shorts. The designs created for Hey There, it's Yogi Bear would eventually be used from that point on.
    • On a more plot basis, several older Yogi shorts feature him trying to escape Jellystone Park, or episodes where he and Boo Boo aren't even in Jellystone Park. Some shorts don't even feature Boo Boo at all (e.g., "Slumber Party Smarty"). The particulars weren't fully hammered in until the spinoff.
  • Expy: Some episodes from the Huckleberry Hound Show era, such as "Rah Rah Bear", feature different rangers in the place of Ranger Smith. In most cases, they're voiced by Yogi's voice actor, Daws Butler.
  • Filching Food for Fun: Yogi Bear, a Funny Animal living in Jellystone National Park, has stealing picnic baskets as his calling card. He's by no means a malicious character, and there's no evidence he doesn't have sufficient food otherwise available (though he finds the usual bear diet of nuts and berries unappetizing), so he seems to be doing it mostly for fun.
  • The Film of the Series: Hey There, It's Yogi Bear, and Yogi Bear (2010).
  • Fractured Fairy Tale: Yogi once found himself and Boo Boo accidentally into the story of the Three Little Pigs.
  • Half-Dressed Cartoon Animal: Cindy Bear wears a skirt but no top other than a scarf.
  • Have a Gay Old Time: In "Booby Trapped Bear", the chief of the Ranger arrives to assess the situation because he was informed that a ranger was "molesting a bear." (in the sixties, Molest meant "Pester and harass", as opposed to, well...)
  • Hero Antagonist: Ranger Smith, depending on your point of view, although Ranger Smith himself sees Yogi as just an antagonist, especially in later productions.note 
  • Holiday Pardon: In Yogi's First Christmas, Herman and Snively are let off the hook after they realize they were wrong about Christmas being "for dum-dums."
  • Limited Animation: One of the earlier examples made for television. The only reason Yogi was given a collar and tie was so that the animators didn't have to draw below the neck for every frame.
  • Loophole Abuse: When the Ranger demands Yogi follow the rule book, Yogi reads it to find all the loopholes he can.
  • Lovable Rogue: Yogi to a tee.
  • Minimalist Cast: Aside from a few campers, tourists and forest animals, the only characters we see in the Jellystone Park are Yogi, Boo-Boo, Cindy, and Ranger Smith. And Ranger Smith appears to be the only ranger working at Jellystone Park. Though both Hey There, It's Yogi Bear! and The New Yogi Bear Show, as well as the episode "Gleesome Threesome," show two other rangers (the last depicting a ranger who appears to be Smith's supervisor). The live-action movie has others as well.
  • The Movie: Hey There, It's Yogi Bear!
  • Mythology Gag: The two gangsters in the 1958 episode "Big Brave Bear" were first used the season prior on The Ruff & Reddy Show as outlaws Killer and Diller.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: The plot of the Hey There, It's Yogi Bear! film is kicked off thanks to this, with Yogi attempting to bluff Ranger Smith into thinking he's willing to leave the park and get transferred to the zoo unless he bends the "Do Not Feed the Bears" rules. The Ranger calls it and prepares to have him shipped to San Diego, which leads to a chain of events that ultimately end up with Cindy Bear trapped in a circus forced to perform for a cruel ringmaster and Yogi and Boo-Boo having to go and save her and then find their way back home.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: Yogi's voice was based on Art Carney's character on The Honeymooners; further, his offbeat philosophy (and name) was allegedly meant to remind people of baseball star Yogi Berra (William Hanna and Joseph Barbera denied it).
  • Phrase Catcher: In Yo Yogi!, whenever Yogi finishes kicking ass or his friends come to the rescue, his friends exclaim, "Yo Yogi!"
  • Platonic Life-Partners: Yogi and Boo-Boo qualify, at least in theory — though a few observers consider it, er, significant that they share a bed together.
  • Punny Name: Jellystone Park, an obvious pun on Yellowstone National Park. Yogi's own name is a play on baseball great Yogi Berra, though Bill and Joe claim that this was unintentional.
  • Random Events Plot: Hey There, It's Yogi Bear! begins with the bears waking up from hibernation, with Yogi beginning his usual picnic basket-stealing routine. The entire movie starts to kick off when Yogi has enough of Ranger Smith bossing him around, so he demands him to lift the rules or he wishes to be transferred out of the park. So, Ranger Smith sends the bears to the San Diego Zoo after getting a call from them asking for a bear. Yogi tricks another bear in his place and hid for a while, unbeknownst to Boo-Boo and Cindy, leading the latter to have herself transferred out to be with him. Unfortunately, she's being sent to the St. Louis Zoo instead. She gets lost on the way and captured by crooked circus owners. Yogi comes out of hiding when he finds out about Cindy's disappearance, so he and Boo-Boo go off to find her. After rescuing her the three try to journey back to Jellystone, only to end up in the city, where Ranger Smith finds out from the news and brings them home.
  • Ring Around the Collar
  • Running Gag: In Hey There, It's Yogi Bear!, people keep running away from the sight of Yogi, Boo-Boo and Cindy.
  • Say My Name: In Hey There, It's Yogi Bear!, Boo-Boo calls out Cindy's name as he tries to tell her she's being sent to another zoo instead of San Diego where Yogi is supposedly at.
    Boo-Boo: Cindy! Yogi isn't in St. Louis! CINDY! CIIIIIIINDYYY!!
  • Scenery Porn: Jellystone Park in Hey There, It's Yogi Bear!.
  • Sentimental Music Cue: Played surprisingly straight on both The Yogi Bear Show in the early-1960's and The New Yogi Bear Show from 1988, such as in Slap Happy Birthday, when Yogi and Boo Boo are in their cave talking about Ranger Smith's birthday (for a double whammy, the exact same music is re-used at the end of the episode when Yogi reveals their surprise party to the ranger).
  • Sidekick: Boo-Boo.
  • Spin-Off Babies: Yo Yogi!, although, not with babies.
  • Spin-Off: The Yogi Bear Show is one of The Huckleberry Hound Show, where Yogi originated from.
  • Talking Animal: Both Yogi And Boo-Boo can communicate with the Ranger in English.
  • Tempting Fate: At the end of "A Bear Pair", Yogi dismisses Boo-Boo's concern that Ranger Smith wouldn't take the havoc Yogi wreaked in Paris very well. Unbeknownst to Yogi, Ranger Smith was behind Yogi during the whole conversation. Cue an instant Oh, Crap! reaction from Yogi when Smith reveals himself to Yogi with a baseball bat.
  • Three Shorts: Yogi was traditionally the opener on The Huckleberry Hound Show. Then he became the opener of his own show.
  • Tuckerization: In "The Buzzin' Bear", the rangers' names are Bill and Joe.
  • Worthy Opponent: Yogi admits this about Ranger Smith in "Home Sweet Jellystone", outright becoming an Antagonist in Mourning after he leaves the park, losing any sense of competition in stealing picnic baskets anymore.
  • You Say Tomato: Yogi's famous pronunciations of "av-a-redge" and "pic-a-nic". He also says "diff-a-rent" in the movie.
  • Zany Scheme: Any and all of his attempts to steal "pic-a-nic baskets". It even says so in the theme song (for some of the early shorts) itself:
    "Who believes the world's a dream, and falls for some fantastic scheme, but always winds up on the beam? Yogi Bear!"


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