Did Tom and Jerry Kill Themselves?

Helloooo, I’m the Nostalgia Critic. Yeah, I remember it, so you don’t have to. A while ago, an article appeared online, making the very grim claim that in the last episode of Tom and Jerry, they apparently commited suicide. If you search the Internet even more, you’d find there’s actually a lot of articles claiming the same thing. That in the last animated short by Hanna-Barbera, the episode grimly ends with them sitting on the railroad tracks waiting for death to take them. This couldn’t possibly be true, could it? But upon more research, you’d find that some channels have banned the episode and, even to this day, it gets few, if any, showings on American TV. Holy shit! This might actually be legit! Did the world’s most hilariously violent team-up end their days in the most disturbing way possible? I mean, we all know we’d see them in other projects and even some where we *wish* they were dead, but did the original creators, Hanna-Barbera, really do this to them? Did Hanna-Barbera really do something so terrible to two of their most famous icons? Sort of. There’s a bit more to the story. The episode in question is called “Blue Cat Blues”. And yes, it does open up with Tom sitting on the railroad tracks, waiting to be run over. Jerry watches, shaking his head, and, through inner monologue, gives us the story. Apparently, Tom and Jerry used to be the best of friends – but don’t worry, they still get smashed up pretty good – until a female comes into their lives and ruins everything. Tom falls in love, pushing Jerry aside, but then she falls in love with another cat. Tom does everything to try and win her back – even selling an arm and a leg for her – but absolutely nothing works. Eventually, she ends up getting married to the other cat, resulting in Tom being so beaten and torn that he lays himself on the tracks. Jerry, of course, justifies what a perfect relationship he’s got, only to find out his girlfriend as well ran off with someone else. Resulting in him asking Tom if he can scoot over a bit. Uhm… dem dames, eh?! Bros before… animalised, kind of humanistic hoes? Okay, so there’s a few angles to come at this from. One: Tom and Jerry have been squashed, smashed, beaten, hit with every object you can imagine. I think it’s more than likely they would survive the train. But then again, a flexible reality can go both ways. The Addams Family, for example, have done a lot that would obviously kill them but a bullet from the gun or threat of electrocution apparently are fatal blows. You could also make the argument that their acceptance of their doom is what suddenly launches them into reality. Grey area, to be sure, but there’s also the fact that Tom and Jerry’s timeline doesn’t follow that much continuity. Every episode is a little different. The house looks a little different, the owner is a little different… Hell, Jerry’s adopted son Nibbles is left on his doorstep God knows how many times. What, does he just keep sending him back after every adventure? That’s kinda douchey. So, again, kind of a flexible reality. Most importantly, though, well, this is one of the final episodes. It’s not THE final episode. The final episode is actually called “Tot Watchers”. And they don’t commit suicide, they look after a baby. A fucking baby! A touch less depressing, don’t you think? In fact, Hanna-Barbera still had two years of cartoons that came out after the supposed last episode. So it’s pretty obvious this was meant not to be the end for our depressed duo. So, then, why the controversy of their banning from other channels? Well, because Tom and Jerry ending their lives is kind of a f**king downer. People’s sensitivities have changed over time to race, gender, and yes, even some forms of violence. Now, that’s not to say people haven’t also died from shootings and falling off high places and so forth, but the tone is still kept pretty upbeat, and in a different reality. This, though still the punchline of the joke, is pretty heavy to watch for two main characters we know and love so much. Though again, I argue not quite as hard to watch as this. Rated G, by ass! It should be NC-17! I remember seeing this episode when I was a little kid and I wasn’t at all disturbed by it. I got the joke. Jerry thinks he’s being above it all, and that could never happen to him, and when it does happen to him, he comedically does the exact same thing. But, as much as I love grim humour, not every little kid is going to get it and could easily take it too seriously. Hell, if the Internet has shown us anything is that even *adults* can take it too seriously! So, did Tom and Jerry commit suicide in the last episode? Not really. We never see them get axed off, they survive much worse, it’s obviously the punchline of the joke and, most importantly, they had about a dozen cartoons after this one! If this demonstrates anything is that we’ve grown more sensitive to certain jokes in connection with certain characters. A suicide joke in an episode of Louie wouldn’t be that big of a deal, but in Tom and Jerry, eehh, many people can get uncomfortable. But, in turns of any grand shocking ending people are looking for, it’s certainly not here. It’s a funny little episode with what they thought at the time was a funny little ending. In the end, it’s not as epic or gothic as many would suspect, it’s just a silly joke about obsessing over romance. And really, when is anything related to romance in the media ever caused anybody to commit suicide? Don’t you believe it!

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