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Capitol Critters is an animated television series about the lives of mice, rats and roaches who reside in the basement and walls of the White House in Washington DC. The series was produced by Steven Bochco Productions and Hanna-Barbera Productions in association with Twentieth Century Fox Television for the ABC Television Network, which aired seven out of the show's 13 episodes from January 31 to March 14, 1992. Cartoon Network began airing all 13 episodes in 1995.
The series' first episode began on a Nebraska farm, which was also home to a family of mice, including a young mouse named Max. While the mice were on a trip outside to gather some corn, exterminators arrived to eliminate the mice. Once Max noticed the exterminators from a distance, he quickly returned to the basement. There he witnessed the death of his entire family. Before Max's mother was killed after a failed rescue attempt, she told him to leave for Washington, where his cousin Berkeley could be found. Upon his arrival in the nation's capital, Max encountered a rat named Jammett, who resided along with Berkeley in the White House basement. After meeting Berkeley, Max met a former lab rat named Muggle and Jammett's mother, Trixie, who allowed Max to share her son's room.
A new set of cats (presidential and vice presidential) were just beginning to be a nuisance for the mice before Max's arrival. Also, the familiar sight of rat poison was a part of Max's life in his new home. When death appeared to be his fate, a cockroach named Moze came to his aid and brought him outside the White House basement. When Max returned to the basement, the sight of Muggle unconscious brought back terrible memories that caused him to run outside toward a presidential helicopter preparing to take off. Jammett managed to join Max on the helicopter before returning to the White House, giving the two plenty of time to know each other better.
- An Aesop
- Cats Are Mean: Played with the presidential felines. (They were supposed to represent then-President George HW Bush and Vice President Dan Quayle.)
- The big cat was mean, brutal, savage and murdered mice, while the smaller cat was thin, calm, polite and even was willing to lend a hand to Max's colony as long they kept it as a secret.
- Cloudcuckoolander: Muggle.
- Courtroom Episode: Max and Jammett once were defendants in a courtroom of cockroaches. Jammett complained about being treated like a human being.
- Creepy Cockroach: A cockroach husband and wife come for a short time to tour the capitol, and she leaves millions of eggs everywhere.
- Country Mouse: Max, literally.
- Does This Remind You of Anything?: Pretty much what fueled the whole show.
- Getting Crap Past the Radar: Boy, and HOW.
- Half-Dressed Cartoon Animal
- Hey, It's That Voice!: Neil Patrick Harris as Max, and Bobcat Goldthwait as Muggle
- Humans Are Bastards
- I Remember It Like It Was Yesterday
- Jerkass/Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Jammett.
- Made of Explodium: Since his metabolism was completely screwed up after living as a lab rat, Muggle tended to combust or explode at random.
- New Age Retro Hippie/Soapbox Sadie: Berkeley.