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Top Cat, The most effectual Top Cat, Who's intellectual, Close friends get to call him T.C., Providing it's with dignity, Top Cat, The indisputable leader of the gang, He's the boss, he's the pip, he's the championship, He's the most tip top, Top Cat. Yes he's the chief, he's the king, but above everything, He's the most tip top Top Cat, Top Cat!


From left to right: Officer Dibble, Fancy-Fancy, Benny, Top Cat, Choo-Choo, Spook, Brain

Hanna-Barbera produced this Animated Series for ABC in 1961. Unlike the studio's earlier series, Top Cat was set in the midst of New York. Even before the first episode was broadcast, Bill Hanna knew that Top Cat was going to be popular.

Top Cat led his gang of alley cats through one Zany Scheme after another, keeping the cats ahead of Officer Charlie Dibble, the local beat cop. The series obviously took a page from The Phil Silvers Show, with "T.C." (as his gang called him) based on Phil Silvers' Sgt. Ernie Bilko.

In the late 1980s, Arnold Stang reprised his Top Cat role in the syndicated series Yogi's Treasure Hunt and the Made for TV Movie Top Cat and the Beverly Hills Cats. In 1990, T.C. and Choo-Choo had an entry in the Fender Bender 500 segment of Wake Rattle And Roll. Top Cat and his gang have also appeared on Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law.

A traditionally animated Top Cat movie has been released in 2011 in Mexico, where the show has been especially popular in the past decades.[1]

Tropes used in Top Cat include:
  • Animated Series
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: In one episode where Officer Dibble has been replaced by another, even more strict, cop, T.C. convinced said cop that city's mayor is Cha-cha Charlie, a gangster wanted by police for extortion, smuggling and leading a dance school without permission.
  • Big Applesauce
  • Black Bead Eyes: Benny. Also Dibble in the show, but he gained sclerae in modern depictions, as seen above.
  • Butt Monkey: Dibble and sometimes Benny.
  • Captivity Harmonica
  • The Casanova: Fancy-Fancy, in a PG-rated sort of way.
  • Casting Gag: Benny was the Doberman character and was fittingly voiced by Doberman himself, Maurice Gosfield.
  • Cats Are Mean: Averted - Top Cat may be a con artist, but he's also a pretty decent guy. He once helped out an immigrant hot dog vendor who had been conned (unbeknownst to the vendor) by another pair of swindlers.
    • On the other hand, he was planning on scamming him himself...
  • The Charmer: TC, big time.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Benny and Brain
  • Coin on a String Trick: Seen in the opening credits.
  • Completely Different Title: Don Gato (kinda like Mr. Cat) in Latin America
    • The name "Don Gato" was probably to make him look like a Mafia Don. Top Cat is the leader of a (small-time) criminal gang, after all.
      • While I understand that english speaking tropers only hear the term Don when presented with a stereotypical mafia boss. The term as used here in Mexico has nothing to do with criminals, it's more a term of respect and endearment for the topmost authoritative figure in a community, although usually only used in rural or low income communities. It's a very fitting translation to the name TOP Cat, that even better portrays how his followers feel about him.
  • Cool Cat: Top Cat and company, particularly Spook.
  • Creator Provincialism: Averted in the Mexican animated movie: Despite being animated in Mexico and voiced by Mexican voice actors, the setting will still being New York City rather than any Mexican city. This is justified, possibly for out to respect to the original setting.
    • Though many signs are written in Spanish.
  • Deadpan Snarker: TC
  • Depth Deception: Twice in the opening credits.
  • The Ditz: Brain.
  • Freudian Trio:
  • Ego - Top Cat and Spook
  • Superego - Choo Choo and The Brain
  • Id - Benny and Fancy Fancy
  • Friendly Enemies: TC and Dibble. The former will always find a way to humiliate the latter, while the latter is deliriously happy at every opportunity to arrest TC. But they'd give their lives for each other just as quickly.
  • The Fettered: Officer Dibble. He's passionately devoted to his duty, even when his duty causes him great grief and makes him the butt of all jokes.
  • Half-Dressed Cartoon Animal
  • Half-Hour Comedy
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: TC, and Officer Dibble.
  • Jive Turkey: Spook.
  • Landmark Sale
  • Laugh Track: Except in the Mexican dub.
  • Lions and Tigers and Humans, Oh My!
  • Meddlesome Patrolman: Officer Dibble
  • Mistaken Identity: Benny is subject to a few of these.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: In the episode "The Tycoon", a millionaire in search of a needy person to give a million dollars to, learned from Benny how off the gang was, so he wrote out a check to Top Cat. As a result, when all the merchants found out, Top Cat and his bunch were treated like royalty. But in the end, they lost everything again because Top Cat tore up the check because he thought it was for a twenty-five cent raffle.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: Fancy's voice is basically Cary Grant.
  • Non-Indicative Name: Brain is not very smart.
  • On One Condition: In "The Missing Heir", a rich person's disappeared cat had a deadline to reappear or else the butler would get the inheritance. Benny was mistaken for the missing cat, turning him into the target of the butler's ire. The real cat then appeared and got the money despite having missed the deadline. The viewers were left to assume it was because it was the butler who caused the disappearance in the first place.
    • Top Cat and the Beverly Hills Cats: With the disappearance of Mrs. Vandergelt's niece Amy Vandergelt, Benny was the next in line for the inheritance. (Mrs. Vandergelt had other relatives but despised them all for unspecified reasons) Provided Amy didn't return and nothing bad happened to Benny into the next 48 hours, he'd get the inheritance. If something happened to him, the butler would get the money.
  • The Other Darrin: All of the original cast reprised their roles for "Top Cat & the Beverly Hills Cats" with the exceptions of Maurice Gosfeld & Allan Jenkins, who had died in the interim. In the film, Avery Schreiber replaced Gosfeld and John Stephenson (who did Fancy) did double-duty as Dibble
  • Playing Cyrano: Top Cat does it for Choo-Choo. As usual with this plan, it does not end well.
  • Punny Name: The Mexican dub excelled at giving these to main characters and oneshots. The original version was more straightforward.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: The six of each other.
  • Repeating So the Audience Can Hear: Officer Dibble, every time he speaks to his superiors (or someone else) over the phone.
  • Ring Around the Collar
  • Serial Romeo: Choo-Choo. Poor guy.
  • Sneeze of Doom: Almost a Running Gag. Dibble sneezes while disguising himself as a statue when a curator dusts his face (curator says "Gesundheit"), Choo-Choo gives the gang away when they are hiding from gangsters (T.C. stops him with the finger trick, but then lets go) and Benny sneezes thrice in the show: first time he explodes a barrel, second time he explodes a safe and the third time he explodes a building.
  • Talking Animal
  • True Companions
  • Violin Scam
  • Wraparound Background: Well, this is Hanna-Barbera, after all.
  • Writing Around Trademarks: Known in the United Kingdom as Boss Cat, as there was a British cat food brand called Top Cat. Only the on-screen title was changed, the theme tune still used "Top Cat".
  • Xanatos Gambit: T.C. is a master at these, even when they devolve into Xanatos Speed Chess. Even when his plans go terribly wrong, he never ends up worse than when he started, and someone, whether Officer Dibble or one of his gang, always comes out better off.
    • In the movie, Top Cat makes The Big Bad self-destructs his entire system, after using a telephone he gained earlier. It turns out the telephone was a Red Herring and The Big Bad had never lost control of his system,as TC made him think.
  • You Gotta Have Blue Hair: The cats have interesting fur colors.
  • Zany Scheme
  1. where it's known as "Don Gato y Su Pandilla"