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"Now I wanna remind everyone of the House of Mouse rules: No smoking, no villainous schemes, and no guests eating other guests."

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In 1998, the stars of the Classic Disney Shorts returned to starring in regular cartoon shorts. But rather than being made to play right before selected movies in theaters (although a few of them actually premiered there anyway), these new cartoons were going to be shown alongside other Disney cartoons like Recess and Pepper Ann. Mickey Mouse and the gang's new show, titled Mickey MouseWorks, made its debut on ABC's One Saturday Morning programming block on May 1, 1999. It followed a Three Shorts format, with each five-minute short starring one of Mickey's gang, and even mixing characters who rarely, if ever, interacted in the older cartoons (i.e. Mickey taking care of Donald Duck's nephews or Mickey trying to impress Minnie Mouse when he thinks she's leaving him for José Carioca). Sometimes, the characters starred in newly-made installments of the Silly Symphonies, in which the stories were set entirely to music and without dialogue. Once Per Episode, there would also be one or two 90-second gag shorts with the following umbrella titles:

  • Mickey to the Rescue: Mickey breaks into Pete's not-at-all-secret hideout to rescue Minnie from the traps within.
  • Maestro Minnie: Minnie conducts shortened musical pieces with a rather rebellious orchestra.
  • Goofy's Extreme Sports: Goofy performs extreme sports. It's exactly what the title says.
  • Donald's Dynamite: Someone apparently has it out for Donald Duck, because he keeps finding lit bombs in the middle of his activities.
  • Von Drake's House of Genius: Ludwig Von Drake shows off his latest invention, which then backfires in some way. Hilarity Ensues.
  • Pluto Gets the Paper: Pluto the Pup has humorous incidents while trying to fetch Mickey's newspaper.

In addition, MouseWorks also occasionally ran shorts that ran twice the usual length, dubbed Mouse Tales, in which the characters performed classic stories they hadn't already done adaptations for.

Reception to Mickey MouseWorks was generally mixed among the fans of the characters. There were folks who believed the show was indeed a worthy Spiritual Successor to the theatrical shorts it was based on, but there were others who complained that maybe Mickey and friends' new adventures were trying too hard to be like the competition, and that the good things that came up were just rehashed from the original shorts. It is generally agreed, though, that the series' finest episode was the double-length short "Mickey Foils the Phantom Blot", a loose adaptation of a Floyd Gottfredson storyline from the Mickey Mouse comic strip.


Regardless of what everyone thought of MouseWorks, it received a major Retooling in the middle of its third season. On January 13, 2001, Mickey MouseWorks was replaced with a new series titled Disney's House of Mouse, and this time, the cartoon shorts were being presented with a framing device.

The concept of House of Mouse was that Mickey and his friends were now running an eponymous nightclub, whose entertainment consisted of special musical guests and showing the cartoon shorts produced for MouseWorks (some of which had not aired previously) to an audience of Disney characters. The guests consisted almost entirely of characters from all of the Disney Animated Canon films up to 2001's Atlantis: The Lost Empire (and none of the Pixar films, for obvious reasons), and sometimes characters from the Silly Symphonies shorts (mostly "Three Little Pigs", though). The series did feature cameo appearances by characters from other Disney TV cartoons (Pepper Ann and her mom are seen outside the House in the first episode), the comic books (Scrooge McDuck bought the House in one episode), theme park attractions (the Hitchhiking Ghosts, also in the first episode), and even live-action movies (Herbie from The Love Bug, Benny the Cab from Who Framed Roger Rabbit? and the lightcycles from Tron in "Max's New Car"), but these were few and far between. Curiously, unlike the later Lilo and Stitch: The Series, House of Mouse also did not do any Crossovers with other currently-running Disney cartoons like Buzz Lightyear of Star Command and Lloyd in Space.

A recurring plot thread to House of Mouse was the threat of the nasty landlord, Pete. He intends to close and tear the House down (what he intends to construct in its place is never mentioned), but this is a goal he cannot obtain because his contract states that he cannot tear the House down so long as Mickey and the gang have an audience to perform for. Thus, in almost every episode he's in, Pete hatches some Evil Scheme to drive the audience away, ranging from sabotaging the entertainment to contaminating the air conditioning with Pumbaa's fart-gas.

52 episodes of House of Mouse were produced, but only half of them were aired on One Saturday Morning before it was revamped and replaced with ABC Kids in September 2002. As a result, House of Mouse was taken off of ABC and moved to the Disney Channel and Toon Disney, where the remaining 26 episodes aired alongside the previously aired ones as well. During the show's run, a few MouseWorks shorts were packaged with some of the classic shorts onto video compilations, but had their title cards cut out and replaced with newly-made framing animation, and were advertised as two direct-to-video movies - Mickey's Magical Christmas: Snowed in at the House of Mouse and Mickey's House of Villains.

The House segments provide examples of:

  • Actor Allusion: The intro shows Little John and Baloo sharing a laugh. Both were voiced by the same actor in their films.
  • Adult Child: Captain Hook.
  • An Aesop: This is made the subject of the song performed in "Thanks to Minnie".
  • Animation Bump: While all the episodes are well animated, some are animated somewhat more intricately than the others - particularly in the fluidity of the characters' motions and more detailed coloring (most noticeable in Mickey's scenes on stage, where the light from the spotlight is much better incorporated in his coloring in some episodes than others). Good examples of these are "Pete's House Of Villains," and "Timon and Pumbaa."
  • Animated Actors: Implied; the characters don't exactly act the same way in the House of Mouse as they do in their films, especially the villains. (The worst thing Jafar does is turn Donald into a literal Large Ham).
    • Invoked in one episode, where all the cartoons are stolen. The next cartoon is presented as one Mickey and Goofy went and made on the spot.
  • April Fool's Plot
  • Aside Glance: And lots of 'em.
  • Berserk Button: You better pray that there isn't a door in Big Bad Wolf Daddy's sights.
  • Big Eater: Gus Goose, the chef. He has a tendency to eat food before it can get to the customers.
  • Bumbling Dad: Goofy to Max, House of Mouse only.
  • Brought to You by The Letter "S": Super Goof.
  • Butt Monkey: Poor Donald!
    • Especially when one of Mike's Mickey-openers after the title sequence is "And now, better than Donald Duck in every way!"
    • Also, a Running Gag is that O'Malley and the Alley Cats band never gets to perform.
  • Carnivore Confusion: Mickey states that one of the rules is "No guests eating other guests". Pumbaa then makes Timon spit out Jiminy Cricket.
  • Casting Gag: Mike, the sentient microphone announcer for the show, was voiced by the late Rod Roddy(2001-2003), Rich Fields (2004-2011) and George Gray (2011-Present) who were well known as an announcers, specifically on The Price Is Right.
  • Catch Phrase: Black-and-white character Dennis the Duck's catchphrase is "Have a sandwich!" In-universe it's famous enough that Daisy asked him to write it in her autograph book.
  • Cats Are Mean: Pete as the landlord.
  • Chain of Deals: Subverted in "Rent Day" — Mickey wants a book to give to Belle, in return for the Beast's enchanted rose for Aladdin to give to Jasmine, in return for a carpet ride home for Cinderella, in return for a pumpkin for the Headless Horseman to use as a head, in return for a sword for Arthur, in return for Merlin's 50 bucks so Mickey can pay off the rent, but Yen Sid refuses.
  • The Chew Toy: Goofy.
  • Christmas Episode: "Pete's Christmas Caper" and "Clarabelle's Christmas List", plus the aforementioned Christmas "movie".
  • Clark Kenting: Just like in the comic books that the episode was based on, no one figures out that Super Goof is Goofy.
    • Mickey eventually figures it out. Clarabelle thinks she worked out who he was, but wrongly guesses he's Dumbo based solely on the fact that they both fly and eat peanuts.

 Goofy: Aw, come on! I may be goofy, but even I'm not that stupid!

  • Cool Old Lady: Both Mulan's grandma and Wilhelmina Packard.
  • Comically Missing the Point: If Goofy isn't being a klutz, he's probably doing this.
  • Couch Gag: Before the show's opening starts, Mike the Microphone usually says something that may relate to the episode about to be shown. For example, he said "It's a bird! It's a plane! It's Disney's House of Mouse!" before the episode that featured Super Goof.
  • The Cover Changes the Meaning: Goofy singing Donald's theme song changes the lyrics from ironic to moronic.
  • Cranky Landlord: Pete goes as far as to screw Mickey into the ground personally. While there are episodic problems, this is the show's main premise.
  • Crossover Punchline: With Pepper Ann of all shows!
    • "Don't touch the villain, dear."
  • Cute Kitten: Oliver and Company.
  • The Danza: Scrooge McDuck.
  • Deadpan Snarker: The magic mirror, but everyone gains a sharp tongue in this show.
    • Also, the opening conversation of "Dining Goofy".

 Mickey: Today's show is about technology.(his cell phone starts to make electronic beeping noises)

Wilhelmina Packard: (while in front of a WWII radio) And this isn't hi tech, honey?.


 Max: You know; Baby-Hunchback-ribs, Winnie the Poit, Lion King-cutlets with Zazu-cchini.

  • Hypocritical Humor: Max has a hard time driving a car and narrowly avoids crashing into another car, whose occupant screams "Watch it, you maniac!" The other driver? Cruella de Vil.
  • In Case You Forgot Who Wrote It: Almost every Disney cartoon show has had "Disney's" prefacing the title, but House of Mouse is always referred to as Disney's House of Mouse on Wikipedia.
  • Interactive Narrator: In the Goofy cartoons and in The Nutcracker.
  • Intercontinuity Crossover
  • I Would Say If I Could Say: Hades.
  • Jail Bake: One cartoon has Mickey ask Goofy to do this after Mickey is locked in jail. The guard notices; and he and Goofy end up having a long discussion on how this wouldn't really work and what tools should have been used, ending with the guard concluding that the easiest way to escape would be to knock him out. The guard then proceeds to do so to himself.
  • Jerkass: Pete, of course.
    • Several of the guests and/or episode centric characters, particularly the ones related to Daffy Duck (Baby Shelby, Humphrey, the Aracuan Took a Level In Jerkass for this show, etc). Pain and Panic have an episode to themselves that specifically plays up how jerkish they are.
    • Most of the villains, though they're generally willing to be amiable. Sometimes. Just make sure you don't tick them off.
  • Lampshade Hanging: In the episode where Timon and Pumbaa are the special guests, Simba (the star of the movie they debuted in) complains that "those guys always get all the attention".
  • Lawyer-Friendly Cameo: King Larry, King Louie's twin brother, is used as Louis Prima's estate is entitled to royalties should King Louie make an animated appearance anywhere.
  • Least-Common Pizza Topping: In the episode where Goofy had to teach Max how to be a waiter, he sings "Hold the anchovies!" about an order for Ariel.
  • Legion of Doom: Jafar banding the villains together in House of Villains.
  • Limited Wardrobe: The characters dress the same almost every single night (except in the Halloween episodes, of course).
  • Look Behind You!: "Oh! Look! Annette Funicello!"
  • Loves My Alter Ego: Subverted by Clarabelle in the Super Goof episode.
  • Meat-O-Vision: When dinner is late, the guests start seeing their dining companions as roast chickens, save for the chicken character who appears like a bug when seen by Timon and Pumbaa.
  • Medium Awareness: All the cartoon characters know they're cartoons. Lampshaded by everything everywhere.
  • Musical Nod: A surprisingly large amount of them hidden in the background music - a great example: in the episode "Ladies Night" Minnie is the host instead of Mickey. When she comes out, the band plays an instrumental of "Minnie's Yoo-Hoo" that is easy to miss under the dialogue and sound effects. Plus, nearly every musical number in the show is a redone version of an older Disney song.
  • My Hair Came Out Green: In one short, Minnie Mouse accidentally dyes Pluto's fur purple after mistaking a bottle of purple dye for shampoo. She then tries to find ways to get the purple dye off, including painting the dog with a can of "Pluto-colored Paint" (which is the same shade of orange as Pluto's fur).
  • My Name Is Not Durwood: After learning that Donald is one of The Three Caballeros, Daisy can't say "caballero" correctly.
  • Mythology Gag: Many jokes with the guests are references to their respective movies. There are also several jokes that reference the past works of Mickey and the rest of the staff, and there are a ton of gags hidden in the music.
    • Seriously. Just try and count the number of Steamboat Willie jokes throughout the series.
    • Or the number of sailor suit gags about Donald.
    • Or the times Pete is either related to piracy or called "Peg-Leg."
  • Negative Continuity: Guests at the House of Mouse aren't restricted to one specific form. Simba regularly flip-flops between his cub and adult forms, and Ariel makes appearances in both human and mermaid form. Not to mention all the many villain guests that died in their movies.
    • And Jafar can drive the Cave of Wonders, in spite of the original Cave of Wonders neither moving nor letting Jafar in.
    • Plus, for any Beauty and the Beast characters, they all appear as their enchanted selves — for example, the Beast is still a beast and Lumiere and Cogsworth are still a candelabra and a clock, respectively.
      • In the first episode after Minnie said "The crowd is turning ugly.", Beast in his human form turns back into a beast.
    • In one episode, Figaro is shown as Minnie's pet in the same show where his usual owner Geppetto is a regular.
  • Never My Fault: When Daisy finds out that Donald paid Mickey to put her act on stage, she quits because that's not how she wants to get her break; Donald responds to this by blaming Mickey for getting her mad at him.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: The Big Bad Wolf as "Big Bad Wolf Daddy", who performed along with the Three Little Pigs in a 1940s-style house band.
  • Not Actually the Ultimate Question: Used as a Running Gag with Horace Horsecollar.
  • Only Sane Man: Mickey and Minnie Mouse.
  • Overly Long Name: Panchito of The Three Caballeros sings a song about how he got his previously unmentioned full name of Panchito Romero Miguel Junipero Francisco Quintero González.
  • Parental Bonus: Many agree that Hades gets the wittiest and most mature dialogue.
    • The Chip 'n Dale Dancers.
  • Parody Commercial: Almost every episode ended with Mic performing one of these, announcing the fake product which had sponsored that particular episode. For example, there was "Disney Magic", a spritz which was guaranteed to make even the grouchiest person smile; the product was then demonstrated, transforming Grumpy the dwarf into Happy the dwarf.
  • Punch Clock Villain: Most of the Disney baddies appear to be these, at least in this show. When they're at the club, they're off the clock and — for the most part — are just relaxing.
    • And even when they do do something bad, it doesn't even compare to the atrocities they committed in their respective films (for example, Jafar in the Mickey's House of Villains film merely uniting the other villains to take over the House of Mouse when in Aladdin, he tried to have the title character drowned.
  • Puppy Dog Eyes: Max uses these in order to finally get a car from Goofy.
  • Read the Fine Print: It is repeatedly stated that as long as Mickey and company put on a show, they get to keep the club.
  • Real Person Cameo: At one point, during a song by Ludwig Von Drake about the guests in the club, Roy E. Disney gets mentioned and even appears as an animated character.
  • Reality Warper: Many characters can do this on a single gag basis as long it's funny, but none surpass the Aracuan for sheer physics and causality breakage.
  • Rebus Bubble: Mickey does this to figure out that Mortimer has played him for a sap.
  • Recycled Premise: The show liked to use the plot of having one of Donald's trickster nemeses visit the club and run around causing mischief while nobody but Donald notices. While he tries to tell everybody what's going on and stop it he inevitably ends up getting injured and humiliated, in addition to being blamed for the trouble himself. Three of the episodes have this plot (using Humphrey Bear, Chip and Dale and the Aracuan), while a fourth have the plot with one of Donald's nemeses but with Mickey in Donald's place (the Baby Shelby episode), though Donald ends up being the butt of the joke in the end.
  • Running Gag: Thomas O'Malley and the Alley Cats from The Aristocats are constantly invited to perform at the House, but something always happens that results in their act being cancelled.
    • Also "nobody (does X) like Gaston."
    • Something happening to cause all the guests to leave in a rush, trampling Donald as he tries to stop them.
    • Aladdin stealing other peoples' bread. One episode combines this with the previous gag by having the audience rush to the exit, with Aladdin at the rear carrying armfuls of bread from the kitchen.
    • One that comes from a short in Mouseworks and continues into House Of Mouse: people, particularly machines, calling Donald "Duwald" thanks to (intentionally or accidentally) misunderstanding his speech - much to his chagrin.
    • Mr. Toad's insane driving, which often takes him crashing through the front doors and careening through the club. In one episode he gets in a high speed chase and arrested.
  • Scenery Censor: Goofy wrote the lyrics for a song he's singing on cards attached to various part of his body. He removes the clothes that hides these cards (including his Goofy Print Underwear) until the cards are the only thing hiding his dignity.
  • Screw Yourself: Averted when Prof. Von Drake makes an Opposite Sex Clone of himself as an example of his perfect mate who is "exactly like (him)".
  • Screwy Squirrel: The Aracuan.
    • And Dennis the Duck. "Have a sandwich!"
  • Self-Deprecation: Mickey intros a cartoon by saying, "Now here's a really great cartoon!" This causes his nose to suddenly grow.
  • Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness: Mickey uses this in order to appear more sophisticated.
  • Shout-Out: To many of Disney's animated films, obviously.
    • And a few to other media as well. For example, in a few cartoons Mickey yells "Great Caesar's Ghost!" when surprised.
    • One of Pluto's shorts has him watching TV shows with the titles Darkwing Dog and Brand Spanking New Dog.
    • Of all the films that were referenced in that show, Alice in Wonderland was referenced the most (33+ characters in all), while Tarzan was referenced the least (only one character, Tantor the elephant appeared).]
    • One of the music numbers has the townspeople from "Beauty And The Beast" in a band as the "Angry Villager People" in a lengthy Village People Shout-Out.
  • Show Within a Show: Main Street Gossip.
  • Small Names, Big Egos: Mortimer Mouse and Gaston.
  • Spiritual Successor: To The Muppet Show, in terms of framing device and style of humor.
  • Stock Footage: Crowd applause shots are constantly reused as are a number of shots where Horace is told to "hit it".
  • Suddenly Voiced: Chernabog.
  • Suicide as Comedy: Dennis the Duck, depressed that Donald dislikes him, attempts to rub himself out with an eraser. Donald finds him and re-draws him over and over as Dennis continues to erase himself.
  • Suspiciously Similar Song: Several of the songs.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: King Larry, the so-called twin brother of King Louie from The Jungle Book.
  • Take That: Two early episodes feature appearances by the Censor Monkeys, an obvious jab at the censorship that the Classic Disney Shorts (and other theatrically-released cartoons) endured when shown on television.
  • Thememobile: Several characters who didn't have a vehicle in their movie are given a thematic car in House of Mouse. When Jafar isn't utterly breaking canon by the aforementioned driving-the-Cave-of-Wonders, he has a snake car.
  • Took a Level In Badass: Mickey in House Of Villains. When his usual cheerful diplomatic nature is laughed off by the roster of villains, the mouse finds his old Fantasia wizard hat, and starts throwing fireballs in a Tennis Boss match against Jafar.
  • The Trope Formerly Known as X: The Duck Formerly Known As Donald. The whole incident inspired Mickey to close out the episode as "The Mouse Currently Known As Mickey".
    • In another episode, Pete performs on stage and is referred to as "The Villain Formerly Known As Peg-Leg Pete."
  • Unholy Matrimony: There's a Hades/Maleficent episode. Hades wants to impress Maleficent and Mickey gives him advice that only makes the situation worse. But when Hades gets mad at Mickey and stops being nice, Maleficent likes him and the two of them leave together. It ends with Mickey giving the (rather Broken Aesop) message "Even if you're a bad-tempered lord of the underworld, you should always be yourself!"
    • The same episode has a great Funny Moments, when Hades emerges from Mickey's dressing room dressed as Mickey, which comes down to a Mickey Mouse hat, a pair of big shoes, big while gloves, and Mickey's red pants. And nothing else! Here. Take a look.
  • The Unintelligible: Both Gus Goose and Clara Cluck only communicate via honking and clucking sounds respectively.
  • Unusual Euphemism: Mickey uses these a lot for swearing. Sometimes exclaiming "Zip-a-dee-doo-dah!" or "Ah, Jiminy Cricket!" when he's frustrated.
  • Villain Based Franchise: Because of the disastrous box office failure of The Black Cauldron, the Horned King and his henchmen are the only characters from that film to actually appear in this show.
  • Villain Song: Boom da Boom, Boom Boom da Boom
    • Jafar gets his own one, too, and it must be seen to be believed. 5:01 onwards
    • The House of Villains Halloween Special has one for all the Disney villains: It's our house now!
  • "The Villain Sucks" Song: "Mortimer, Mortimer, Mortimer Mouse" in House Of Mouse — was originally a song penned by Mortimer to sing his own praises, but Daisy, Clarabelle and Minnie reworked the lyrics because as they were, the audience was not buying it.
  • Visual Pun: Happens quite a lot. For example, "The crowd is turning ugly!" (cue cut to Prince Adam turning back into a beast) and two line sketches saying that Mickey is lucky to be "overdrawn" because "We're not done yet!"
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Mickey's Magical Christmas: Snowed In at The House Of Mouse ends with everyone still snowed in at the House Of Mouse, but at least Donald has "Christmas spirit" now.
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: The unhappy customers in "Dining Goofy".
    • Also, the stew attack in "Goofy's Menu Magic".
  • Witch with a Capital B: Daisy tries to move some villains to different seats and Hades says "Witch" in this tone. It doubles as Insult Friendly Fire since he's sitting with Jafar, Ursula, and the queen from Snow White.
  • A Worldwide Punomenon: Aside from being anthropomorphic, the technology in the house seems to run entirely on this. One time, the battery for the main power went dead, until being startled awake by the Minnie and co charging it. Another time, Pete's evil plan revolved around taking money the thermostat owed him until it was broke.
    • There could probably be a whole page devoted to puns in House of Mouse. Here's another example:

 Geppetto: I didn't get a wink of sleep last night.

Pinocchio: I slept like a log!


The Mouseworks shorts provide examples of:

  • Affectionate Parody: The short "Dance of the Goofys" parodies a segment from Fantasia.
  • Ajax Products
  • Artistic License Geography: In "Mickey's Rival Returns", Mickey is flung into the sky where you can see a few states which are labeled... completely wrong. For example, Nevada has New York written on it and New Mexico is labeled as Florida.
  • Art Shift: Donald briefly turns into a CGI when getting sucked into his computer in "computer.don".
  • Author Guest Spot: The nasty fax Mickey intended to send to Mortimer ends up going to Roy Disney.
  • Badly-Battered Babysitter: Happens to Donald (and in one House storyline, Mickey) when he has to babysit Shelby the Turtle. Then we have the Mickey, Donald and Goofy cartoon "Babysitters"...
  • Black Comedy Burst: The Halloween themed shorts. Both Goofy's and Donalds are very dark but are Played for Laughs and full of slapstick.
  • Blatant Lies: Usually spoken by Mickey to get himself out of trouble. Never works.
  • Cardboard Prison: In the short where Mortimer frames Mickey for theft, he easily escapes from prison because the prison guard stupidly demonstrates the easiest way for a person to bust out (which is to knock him out and take the keys).
  • Canis Latinicus: Goofy, in a biking cartoon, is introduced as "Goofilious Bike-Pedalous".
  • Can't Get Away With Nothing: Often, especially when it comes to Donald - as usual, the fates punish him for every transgression, overblown or otherwise. A good singular example involves Mickey, however - he finds an envelope on the ground and instead of trying to find the owner he buys a bow for Minnie. Immediately after he finds out that the money was for orphans in order to keep them from being kicked out on the street. Ouch. Hijinks ensue.
  • Closer to Earth: Played straight with Minnie, played with with Daisy - both Donald and Daisy can play the more grounded in their relationship Depending on the Writer, as Donald is impulsive and temperamental while Daisy is childish and often oblivious to others.
  • Characterization Marches On: All of the characters have specific characterizations for their cartoons, which are consistent in show but somewhat different from what they've had previously. For example...
  • Couch Gag: Donald constantly tries to finish the Mickey MouseWorks title sequence with a display reading "Starring Donald Duck", which always backfires in some way.
  • Cutaway Gag: In "Mickey's Airplane Kit," and a whole series of them in "Daisy's Big Sale."
  • Exact Words: In one Pluto Gets the Paper short, Mortimer tricks Pluto to get into a taxi to which he tells the driver to take Pluto "to the other side of town and step on it." The taxi moves... just a few feet away and then Pluto gets oi. Mortimer soon realizes why; he sent Pluto to "The Other Side of Town" street and "Step on It" lane!
  • For Inconvenience Press One: "Answering Service" has Mickey, Donald, and Goofy dealing with the entire phone company being one of these.
  • Gilligan Cut: Donald says no to the idea of dressing up like Daisy in "Mickey's Big Break". One clockwise screen wipe later...
  • Goofy Print Underwear: Goofy tends to lose his pants quite a bit, and underneath it's always white boxers with red hearts.
  • I Lied: The narrator to a Nutcracker special goads Donald into playing the role of the mouse king by saying that he'll win in the end. When he doesn't, the narrator claims to have "made a mistake."
  • Jerkass: Donald, sometimes. Daisy, particularly in shorts starring Minnie.
  • Leitmotif: Everybody who had a cartoon starring them had a "title card" song that doubled as a leitmotif. That's Mickey, Donald, Goofy, Donald/Mickey/Goofy as a team, Minnie and Daisy. Each motif appeared in most cartoons in which they appeared, even if they were not actually starring in them. Other characters also had motifs as well, such as Mortimer and Huey, Dewey and Louie. The title card motifs eventually carried over into House of Mouse.
  • Mad Scientist: The customer in the short "Organ Donors".
  • Mickey Mousing: Of course.
  • Never Say "Die": Averted when Goofy asks a bunch of shadowy gangsters, "Please don't kill us."
  • No Fourth Wall: Goofy in most of his shorts.
  • The Not-Secret: Phantom Blot's Hidden Hideout. It's at the White Pages!
  • Noodle Incident: In the cartoon "Pluto's Seal Deal", Mickey mentions to Pluto to not have another incident with him saying at the end "No firetrucks and no news crew."
  • Not What It Looks Like: Minnie and Daisy come home to see both Mickey and Donald cross dressing while Goofy (with his pants down) takes their photo in "Mickey's Big Break".
  • Recycled Premise: A good number of shorts fall under the premise of "Mickey, Donald and Goofy are X. Hilarity Ensues", where X is a job such as being painters or car washers or whatnot, complete with almost identical opening scenes. Lampshaded when the jobs get ridiculous ("Organ Donors", anyone?), and subverted when their job goes Off the Rails.
    • Also, there's a fair amount of "How To X" starring Goofy, which were in turn recycled form even earlier goofy cartoons. And "Donald's Dynamite", where Donald Duck is threatened by Cartoon Bombs appearing out of nowhere at inopportune moments.
      • And "Pluto Gets The Paper", where Pluto always gets into some crazy adventure while trying to retrieve the newspaper for Mickey.
  • Slapstick Knows No Gender: with Minnie - though she doesn't tend to in Mickey's shorts she runs into a fair amount of slapstick in her own cartoons. Daisy, however, is almost never the butt of a joke - though that itself is part the joke as her character in the shorts tends to be "obliviously annoying kook who gets her friends into trouble while totally avoiding consequences."
  • Sound Effect Bleep: Goofy shouting at an umpire uses his air horn to censor out (supposedly) foul language.
  • Split-Screen Phone Call: In "Mickey's Big Break", Mickey pushes the split screen off while Goofy shouts in surprise at being shoved off.
  • Spotlight-Stealing Squad: Mickey, Donald and Goofy cartoons often boil down to Mickey getting the focus while Donald and Goofy are the sidekicks. Mickey Foils the Phantom Blot a good example as Mickey is really the only one who moves the plot along. This could be seen as a subversion from the Classic Disney Shorts, were the mouse was almost absent in favor of Donald and Goofy's antics.
  • The Tape Knew You Would Say That: Mickey tries to call Minnie, but the recording says that all the lines are busy. Mickey gets upset, but the recording not only tells him to not yell, but to not smash the phone.
  • Totem Pole Trench: Huey, Duey and Louie want to get on a ride in a theme park that Donald is guarding and says they're too small for. In one scene Donald sees a very tall woman wobbling about and approaching the ride. Donald stops the "woman" and rips off her dress to find she's just a really tall now naked unbalanced woman. Donald then gets punched in the face.
  • Unmoving Plaid: When the Phantom Blot became the Phantom Rainbow.
  • Visual Pun: In "Organ Donors", the toy maker explains to Mickey that he needs an organ (aka innards) after he explains this, Mickey exclaims that he has a screw loose. Then we see that the machine has a screw loose, which is then screwed tight.
  • Wholesome Crossdresser: In "Mickey's Big Break", Mickey and Donald use the fact that they're only a few Tertiary Sexual Characteristics away from being Minnie and Daisy's twins in order to replace a picture that they ruined. Donald doesn't get it right the first time, though, because his first attempt at looking like Daisy has hair and breasts larger than Daisy's! Mickey doesn't fare as well either, having a floppy ribbon bow and the wrong kind of shoes. Their second attempts hit much closer to home.