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Now old Mr. Johnson had troubles of his own:
He had a yellow cat that wouldn't leave his home.
A special plan, with deception as the key --
One little cat -- how hard could it be? (How hard could it be...?)
"The Cat Came Back" is a hilarious 1988 Animated Short set to the tune of the 1893 comic song, illustrating the eponymous trope taken Serial Escalation. The short, directed by Cordell Barker for Richard Condie and the National Film Board of Canada, features the hapless "Old Mr. Johnson" and his escalating fruitless attempts to relieve himself of the unwanted companionship of the eponymous yellow cat.
This cartoon was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Animated Short, as well as winning over a dozen other awards, and comes in at number 32 on the list of The 50 Greatest Cartoons (the latest one on the list, and one of the few from later than the 1950s).
Not to be confused with The Cat Returns.
Tropes Found In This Cartoon Include:
- All Cloth Unravels: The cat pulls on a thread, completely unraveling the rug and all the curtains.
- Animals Hate Him: Extremely evident; not only is there the cat, but a cow, several hundred rats, and a freaking beetle all serve to make sure Mr. Johnson never gets rid of that cat.
- Bat Out of Hell: Some follow Johnson out of a mine, one even cracking his window as it splats against it.
- Big "What?": Mr. Johnson gives a rather impressive one when answering the door in the beginning.
- Bow Ties Are Cool: The kitten wears a bow tie.
- Brick Joke: Johnson blows the house up, sending him flying into the air and killing him. Now an angel, he joyfully mocks the cat, now that he has escaped from its irritating presence, when his own plummeting body smashes the cat dead -- leaving nine little cat angels to follow him through eternity.
- By the Lights of Their Eyes: That small blinking pair of eyes next to Johnson in the dark mine -- is not the cat. Neither are any of the hundreds of others that appear.
- The Cat Came Back: Turned Up to Eleven
- Cats Have Nine Lives: As the angelic Mr. Johnson learns to his horror.
- Chained to a Railway: Old Mr Johnson drives a handcar over no fewer than seven (if not more) women and a cow, before derailing on a beetle .
- Curse Cut Short: When Mr. Johnson sees the cow (See above), he blurts out, "What the fff----?"
- Door Step Baby: Or rather, Doorstop Kitten
- Ear Worm: The eponymous song.
- Everything's Better With Kittens: Inverted with extreme prejudice.
- Joker Immunity: No matter what Johnson does, the cat comes back...
- Killer Rabbit: The cat, of course, whose destructive powers just grow and grow, as the cartoon proceeds.
- Laughing Mad: Mr. Johnson, as the cartoon progresses.
- Matchlight Danger Revelation: In the mine. Unhelpfully blown out by the aforesaid danger.
- Nightmare Fuel: Old Mr. Johnson will never get rid of the cat -- ever.
- Oh Crap: Mr. Johnson experiences this several times, most notably when surrounded by rats and when he realizes that the cat will always come back, even in death.
- Schmuck Bait: Ah, what a cute little kitten!
- Sorry; I Left The Background Music On: The opening notes of the cartoon are revealed to have been Mr. Johnson practicing on the tuba.
- Squiggle Vision
- Tempting Fate: The beginning line "One little cat, how hard could it be?" made it pretty obvious how things would go. Then one of the final verses "The old man knew it couldn't get any worse". Guess what?
- You Can't Fight Fate: Taken to [[Serial Escalation insane extremes. Simply put, getting rid of the cat is not an option.
- You Dirty Rat: They force their unwelcome attentions on Johnson when he falls down a mine shaft.
But The Cat Came Back, the very next day...
- ↑ which subsequently divides neatly in two