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File:Heathcliff co 1491.png


Heathcliff is an streetwise orange house cat with thin black stripes. The Catillac Cats are a gang of alley cats run by Riff Raff. Together, they prowl the streets of Westfinster and get in trouble. (Though other than in the closing credits, Heathcliff and Riff Raff never actually met...)

This was a syndicated cartoon series of The Eighties based on the Heathcliff comic strip. It ran in a two shorts format. Hilarity Ensues in every short.

The show is actually called simply Heathcliff. The expanded title is used probably to distinguish it from the previous (and lesser known) Ruby-Spears version from 1980. Additionally, "The Catillac Cats" (an original DiC Entertainment creation) are officially known as "Cats & Co." (They're referred to as such in the closing credits).


Tropes:

  • Accessory-Wearing Cartoon Animal: Almost all the furry characters.
  • Affectionate Parody: "Monstro vs. the Wolf Hound" sends up 1930s horror movies, complete with Riff Raff as a Mad Scientist, Wordsworth as The Igor, Mungo as Frankenstein's Monster and Leroy as the Wolf Man.
  • All Just a Dream: The endings of "Monstro vs. the Wolf Hound" and "Prehysteric Riff Raff".
  • And Knowing Is Half the Battle: Each episode ended with Heathcliff giving a pet care tip.
  • Atlantis: Parodied by "In Search of Catlantis".
  • Bragging Theme Tune: "So join in the jubilee / The cats are great, they'll all agree / Find in each calamity / the cats' superiority!"
  • Cats Are Mean: All the cats had their moments, but Heathcliff especially.
    • Mungo was mostly an aversion, though.
  • Cat Stereotype: Heathcliff (an orange male cat) and Sonya (an all-white female cat).
  • Christmas Episode: "Christmas Memories", a Whole-Episode Flashback detailing how the Catillac Cats met.
    • Heathcliff had his own Christmas Episode: "North Pole Cat".
  • Civilized Animal: Most of the cats and dogs shown in the series were at this level.
    • Most of the plots with heavy human involvement were used in Heathcliff's side of the series, often through the device of Iggy and the Nutmegs, his owners.
  • Clingy Jealous Cat: Heathcliff, Sonja, Riff Raff and Cleo all had a tendency to get horribly jealous whenever their significant other showed interest in someone else. One of the fastest ways to earn Heathcliff's ire was to flirt with Sonja, and she in turn was never pleased if Heathy even alluded to another female feline.
  • Cool Car: The Catillacs are named after their main ride, a red and white Cadillac convertible that can somehow transform into several other vehicles, like a boat or a RV camper.
  • Creator Backlash/Old Shame: Although this show is often looked back with fondness and nostalgia for those who grew up in the 80s and early 90s, most of the people who worked on this show don't have very nice memories of it. John Kricfalusi considered the show as just another mediocre 80s series. Scott Shaw (Captain Carrot and His Amazing Zoo Crew!) found Di C too disorganized, one writer talked about Executive Meddling from Japanese animation producers (they opposed wacky cartoonish gags), Chuck Lorre (Two and A Half Men) hated cartoons and found this show beneath him. Eddie Fitzgerald (Tiny Toon Adventures) has absolutely no recollection of ever working on this series at all!
  • Cross Dresser: Done by all the Catillac Cats in "Debutante Ball", including Cleo in a powder blue tux. And gag glasses.
    • Heathcliff's father had done this once to hide from the police after escaping from jail.
  • Crossover: Heathcliff and Riff Raff never actually meet, but Heathcliff has bumped into Hector, Wordsworth, and Mungo a few times. They never really got along when that happened.
    • He did, however, team up with the trio a couple times to tackle common foes or deal with a mutual problem.
  • Divide and Conquer: "Divide and Clobber" sees Leroy turning the cats against each other during one of his Not So Harmless moments. (Ted Ziegler played Leroy and Mungo, so guess which one of the cats he mimicked first...?)
  • Dogs Are Dumb: Leroy, the watchdog who guarded the junkyard where the Catillac Cats lived, was hopelessly outmatched when he tried to stand in the gang's way.
    • Bush, the sheepdog who guarded the music store where Cleo lived, Butt Monkey to Riff Raff.
    • Also, several episodes feature the Catillacs defeating one-shot canine opponents.
    • Spike however, is the most notable, having the honor of being Heathcliff's main victim.
  • Easy Come, Easy Go
  • Enemy Mine: Sometimes Leroy helped the Catillac Cats defeat that episode's rivals. Particularly in the episodes involving sports.
    • Heathcliff once teamed up with a pet bird of a mansion to stop a pair of burglars, after the fat dog whom the bird supported fell down a flight of stairs. A similar truce happened after Heathcliff joined up with a parrot in a supermarket when he outsmarted the security.
  • The Eighties: Cleo's legwarmers are a betrayal of the time period in which this show was made.
  • Episode Title Card
  • The Family for the Whole Family: Hector runs afoul of them while managing Heathcliff's wrestling career, when they want to ensure Heathcliff loses to Boom Boom Pussini.
  • Fat Cat: Heathcliff.
  • Five-Man Band: The Catillac Cats.
  • Furry Confusion: Just in case the issue wasn't confused enough by some animals being the same height as the humans and all the non-anthro cats, dogs and other animals running around, a Flash Back in "Debutante Ball" shows Cleo and her friend Muffy as non-anthro kittens... with Cleo still sporting a full head of blonde hair.
    • Frequently showed up in the Pet Care tips. Well-intentioned or not, there's something rather disturbing about Heathcliff cheerily explaining how to care for a pregnant cat...
  • Gadgeteer Genius: Wordsworth.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: Cleo pulled this off a lot.
    • Wordsworth spends the entirety of "Debutante Ball" "exhausted from listening to rock-n-roll nonstop for a week straight".
    • The premise of "Kitten Around": Riff Raff convinces Cleo to "go steady" in a scene that plays out like a marriage proposal (lacking only a ring); he then immediately starts seeing new girl Roxy behind her back.
    • See What Do You Mean It's Not for Kids? on the YMMV page.
  • Half-Dressed Cartoon Animal: Any furry character who wears clothes at all.
  • Humanoid Female Animal: Interestingly, while Cleo was a straight example of this, most of the other cats and dogs were at the exact same level. Aside from Riff Raff, all of the shorter cats who were treated more like cats were found in Heathcliff's cartoon -- including his girlfriend, Sonja.
    • Roxy from "Kitten Around" is another straight example.
  • International Coproduction: Between DiC Entertainment (USA and France) and TMS Entertainment (Japan).
  • I Want My Jetpack: Played with in the episode "House of the Future", an unofficial R Emake of a Western Animation/MGM short. When are we going to get an animatronic kitchen where a meal is automatically prepared for us with just pressing a button?
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Heathcliff and Riff Raff.
  • Junkyard Technology: The Catillac Cats thrived on this trope.
  • Love Triangle: Riff Raff, Cleo, and Hector.
  • Mel Blanc: Heathcliff was his final major role.
  • Miles Gloriosus: Riff Raff and Hector both fell into this from time to time; Hector was more likely to be proven a Dirty Coward.
  • Mock Millionaire: Riff Raff does this to impress his mother in "Riff Raff's Mom".
  • Moment Killer: Whenever Riff Raff and Cleo tried to get some alone time or go on vacation together, Hector, Wordsworth, and Mungo would try to tag along and interrupt.
  • The Movie: It's more like a Clip Show.
    • To be exact, it's an "anthology film".
  • Nothing Exciting Ever Happens Here: Cleo liked to claim this whenever she got bored of the junkyard, wheedling Riff Raff into taking her on vacation.
  • Pan-Up-To-The-Sky Ending: The final shot of the Catillac Cats episode "Life Saver".
  • Rhymes on a Dime: Amateur poet Wordsworth spoke almost exclusively like this, at times drifting into Painful Rhyme territory.
  • Sphere Eyes: Heathcliff and Sonja.
  • The Starscream: Several episodes revolved around Hector trying to lead or take over the Catillac Cats. And failing. Miserably.
  • Three Amigos/Terrible Trio: Hector, Wordsworth, and Mungo.
  • Tiny Guy, Huge Girl: Riff Raff and Cleo. She's nearly twice his height.
  • Walk This Way: Wordsworth (as The Igor) keeps saying this in "Monstro vs. the Wolf Hound", but no one takes him up on it.
  • Wouldn't Hit a Girl: In the episode "Terrible Tammy'", it is an Invoked Trope: Tammy, a female cat who's trying to bully Heathcliff and take over his territory, uses a conniving ploy on him so he couldn't hit Tammy because his honor would be tarnished. He does not want to fight her, but he doesn't back down from Tammy, either. His girlfriend, Sonja, however, doesn't have any qualms about giving Tammy a full-scale ass-kicking, the kind that Heathcliff would usually dish out upon Spike the bulldog!
  • Your Cheating Heart: Riff Raff tried chasing after other girls at times. Never ended well.
    • Proven in the episode, "Kitten Around".
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