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Although based on an Archie Comics publication, this series was produced by Hanna-Barbera rather than Filmation. The all-female rock trio comprised guitarist Josie McCoy, tambourinist Valerie Brown and drummer Melody Valentine. Valerie is Black and Nerdy, Melody is a Dumb Blonde and Josie is of average intellect.
Supporting characters were Alan Mayberry, an ex-country singer who became the Pussycats' roadie and Josie's love interest; Alexandra Cabot, who continually competed with Josie for Alan's affections; Alexander Cabot III, Alexandra's cowardly twin brother and the Pussycats' manager, and Sebastian, Alexandra's snickering cat. In the successor series, Josie and the Pussycats in Outer Space, a woolly creature named Bleep joined the cast.
This series provides examples of the following tropes:
- Animated Adaptation: It started in Archie Comics, after all.
- Adaptation Displacement: Though some people don't realize that.
- Alternative Foreign Theme Song: In the Japanese version.
- Baby Got Back: Valerie Brown notably has a peach bum, the plumpest rump of the trio of band members. Naturally, considering she's ebony.
- Betty and Veronica: Averted slightly in that Alan is very clearly involved with Josie and has no interest in the scheming Alexandra.
- The Blank: Mastermind from "Never Mind a Master Mind".
- Blonde, Brunette, Redhead
- Cats Are Mean: Sebastian was a nasty prankster in the main show. He bedeviled Scooby when there was a Crossover, and he and Bleep were in a constant state of war when the show ended up Recycled in Space.
- Catgirl: The theme of the band.
- Crossover: Particularly noticeable is the one with Scooby Doo.
- The Ditz/Dumb Blonde: Melody to the point she could be the poster child of the tropes!
- Dumb Is Good: Although she was also uber-nice, Melody had a preternatural power to understand the speech of alien animals.
- "Everybody Laughs" Ending: Usually because of some tragedy befalling Alexandra.
- Failure Is the Only Option: Once the series was recycled in Space, this became the only option for our heroes finding their way home. Even if some benevolent aliens pointed them in the right direction, Alexandra would inevitably accidentally bump into something, throwing them off course (which is how they got lost in space in the first place).
- Five-Man Band:
- Genius Ditz: As dumb as Melody is, she plays the drums professionally.
Melody: Eat your heart out, Ringo!
- Glurge Addict
- Heroes Want Redheads: Though he's not The Hero (he fits as a sort-of Lancer), Alan would rather have Josie than Alexandra.
- Hey, It's That Voice!: Casey Kasem was the voice of Alexander, while Melody's singing voice was by Cheryl Ladd (her speaking voice was Jackie Joseph, then of The Doris Day Show). Josie is Judy Jetson and Penelope Pitstop. Since Casey Kasem also voiced Shaggy, the Scooby Doo crossover resulted in a lot of Talking to Himself.
- The Talking to Himself was particularly weird since, although Casem is perfectly capable of doing a wide range of voices, he had voiced Shaggy and Alexander pretty much the same way.
- Jerkass: Alexandra. In the comics, Alexander can slip between this and Jerk with a Heart of Gold.
- Large Ham: Alexander in the comics, Alexandra in the cartoon.
- Limited Wardrobe
- Locking MacGyver in the Store Cupboard: If you're gonna kidnap Valerie, you'd better be damn sure she can't move or speak.
- Love Triangle: Josie, Alan, Alexandra. In the comics, Alexander (who was far less cowardly and much meaner) had a crush on Josie.
- Luminescent Blush: In Chili Today And Hot Tamale", Alexandra's face turns raspberry red and smoke comes out of her ears, and mouth, as a result of eating a taco with hot sauce, which was poured on by Sebastian.
- MacGyvering: Valerie was the champion of this, making solutions and springing traps with guitar strings, bubble gum and hairspray.
- Mad Scientist: SEVERAL.
- Marilyn Maneuver: In the episode, "A Thumb Is Not A Goldfinger", Valerie's dress floats slightly in the breeze, as she and the others cling onto one another and parachute to the ground.
- Alexandra in "The Jumping' Jupiter Affair". Her skirt gets lifted from behind, as she hangs on tightly to a kite and the gust carries them idly. In a possible animation goof, she seems to be commando.
- Melody in "Never Mind A Master Mind". Her skirt flies up as she and the others drop to the ground after being suspended in the air by a ray gun used to cause levitation, and the effect wears off. As a possible animation goof, she doesn't seem to wear undies in this.
- In "All Wong In Hong Kong", Valerie's dress flows lightly or slightly as she hangs onto a flying rocket and grabs, and carries Alexandra. But the former isn't seen from behind when this happens.
- Mind Control
- Ms. Fanservice: All the female, main characters. Whether they're wearing miniskirts/minidresses, leopard skin leotards, or babydoll dresses as seen in "The Secret Six Secret", they provide this.
- Non-Human Sidekick: Sebastian, and Bleep in outer space.
- Power Trio: Josie, Melody, Valerie.
- Prince and Pauper: Melody was more than once mistaken for somebody of elevated status, including one Outer Space episode where the residents of a planet mistook her for their goddess.
- For that matter, a pair of shoes was accidentally mixed up for another pair of shoes that were intelligence-gathering devices.
- Valerie turned out to be a dead ringer for a princess from India, and agreed to act as a decoy to catch a villain who was after her.
- Panty Shot: Melody and Alexandra in "Swap Plot Flot". In this moment that can only be caught as a still, before they and most of the others can stop a large pot from falling off the top of a building, they and the others end up falling over with it anyway, and there are rear views of their undies. Melody's undies match her mint green vest and Alexandra's match the red portions of her dress.
- All the girls in "The Secret Six Secret", when they're wearing their babydoll dresses and they're bouncing from bed to bed to escape a tiger.
- Redheaded Hero: Josie is the leader of the Pussycats and often leads the whole group.
- Rich Bitch: Alexandra, the sarcastic and selfish twin sister of the Pussycats' manager, Alexander.
- Rock Trio: A pop version that swapped the bass guitar with a tambourine.
- She's Got Legs: All the girls often have their legs bared, for one reason or another, especially in the first series.
- Shout-Out: From the debut episode "Greenthumb Is Not A Goldfinger" after the others find Alexandra, Alexander and Sebastian hiding in plants:
Josie: Alexandra, it's you!
- Skintone Sclerae
- Skunk Stripe: Alexandra.
- Spy Speak: In the episode "Never Mind A Master Mind".
- Strictly Formula: Similar to a lot of Hanna-Barbera mystery shows - The gang shows up in a new town, stumbles onto some great crime or mad plot, solves the mystery, and then everyone laughs as Alexandra's attempt to steal Alan screws up.
- Suddenly Fluent in Gibberish: A second episode has the team flying into outer space and encountering a dog-bird alien named Bleep, who communicates as follows: "Bleep bleep bleep." Melody, the Ditz, says, "Bleep bleep bleep, bleep bleep?" Bleep responds, "Bleep bleep bleep, bleep." Melody then gives an English translation.
- Sunglasses At Night: Alexander, who's seldom seen without his sunglasses.
- There Are No Adults: Teenage musicians just wander around performing in strange places with no parents, or chaperones, or other authority figures...and everyone's okay with this.
- Averted in the show; they appear to be in their 20s.
- The Three Faces of Eve
- Token Minority: Valerie, but this was the late 1960s and early 1970s. Pretty progressive for the times, really, especially considering her TV Genius and MacGyver talents.
- TV Genius: Valerie could often hold her own understanding what the Mad Scientist was talking about.
- Walking the Earth: The band was always getting into trouble in a city or town they'd visit as part of a gig for their tour.
- With Friends Like These...: Alexandra and Alexander (sometimes Alan as well) got the Pussycats more often in trouble than aided them.
- You Meddling Kids: Very rarely were those words used verbatim, but the sentiment was there when the gang solved the mystery. This was true for the majority of Hanna-Barbera's Animated Series in the 1970s.