Thirteensomething Air Date: 9/14/92
Written by: Sherri Stoner
Storyboard by: Tony Craig & Jim Fletcher, Jon McClenahan & John Hayes, Lou Police, Brian Mitchell & Joey Banaszkiewicz
Directed by: Jon McClenahan
Animation by: StarToons

The plot: Babs wants to be on her favorite primetime soap, "Thirteensomething" (obviously a parody of "Thirtysomething"). Buster bets that she doesn't have the moxie, until Babs takes that bet and leaves for New York.

And of course, what would a NYC trip be without a cameo by Ralph Kramden?

Anyway, after a series of hurdles once there (such as Elmyra, who is strangely taking a vacation there), Babs makes it to the "Thirteensomething" audition building, where she wows the woman casting director. BTW, the "You are SO lost!" is one of the better running gags in this episode.

Meanwhile, back in Acme Acres, Buster holds auditions of his OWN- to replace Babs ("Go ahead, try and find a replacement, I -dare- you." ). They range from the sultry but clueless... the dorky and voice cracked... my personal favorite, an actual, "real world" rabbit.

Plucky informs Buster (via translating Variety-style headlines, another fave joke of mine) that Babs has indeed gotten a part on "Thirteensomething", and Buster becomes depressed, wanting Babs to come home.

There's even a moment when Babs, on the set, begins to miss Buster and the wacky antics of her cartoon upbringings, and calls Buster. However, both of them play it cool and don't reveal their true feelings to each other, leaving both to believe that neither misses each other. It's one of the better moments in the episode.

Eventually, Buster concocts a plan to get Babs written out of the show, including revealing that Babs is a rabbit, and she returns home, where she rewards Buster with a kiss. (cue shipping fanboy squealing)

Summary by Speedy Boris

Review and Discussion

I mostly like this one, but a few things bug me: I don't particularly like the way the characters are sometimes drawn in this one. Everyone sticks out their chest a little too much and Buster's ears are way too short. Personally, I like how StarToons drew the characters better in their first effort, "Henny Youngman Day".

That said, there are some great facial expressions in this one, such as the screenshots above and many more moments. The phone scene is a great example of running the gamut of emotions and trying to suppress humility in admitting they want the other to come home.

In addition, I love the channel surfing when Babs is first famous, especially when Babs corrects a parody of Geraldo by saying, "Uh, excuse me, you didn't pronounce my name right. It's Babzzzzzzzzzzzzah."

Oh, and it's hard to miss, but Babs has cleavage in this episode (and possibly this episode only, am I right?). You naughty animators.
--Speedy Boris

Wow, I didn't realize there were so many storyboarders for this episode.

Anyway, I had this episode on a VHS tape a while back(it was paired with the prom episode) and I really enjoyed it. The jokes were pretty humorous and I liked the character development between Buster and Babs. The episode kinda moves their relationship more into "we're more than just friends...but we won't admit it" phase. The facial expressions were something that also stuck out to me as a kid.

Wasn't this episode produced near the end of TTA?

I really like the relationship between Buster and Babs in this one. Also, I love StarToons' animation on Tiny Toons. They made Plucky and Shirley cute. StarToons did a better job on the Tiny Toons characters than the Warner siblings from Animaniacs.
--Kazuya Prower

"Thirteensomething" wasn't one of my favorite episodes, but it was all right. The animation was solid and the story was pretty good. I'm not too crazy about the episodes where Buster and Babs act like a married couple, but still it's a good episode if you like Babs (which I do).

I always said that StarToons was basically an entire homage to Chuck Jones' direction, and this ep. was one of those prime examples. The animation is quick and subtle, with blink or you miss it glances to the audience, etc. I do confess they animated their female characters the best(like the chick that auditions before Babs), even better than TMS.

There aren't enough hours in the night to gush about this episode. It's my all-time favorite, not only of Tiny Toons but of episodes of anything. I'll just repaste what I said about it in my Jonny Mack interview:

I have a lot of good memories about Season 3 of Tiny Toons. Every day I'd turn TT on and wish it was a new episode instead of the ones I'd seen eleven times already. One afternoon I was filling a cassette tape with random nonsense, so I set the recorder up to the TV right before Tiny Toons came on...and instead of another rerun, the words "thirteensomething" slid onto the screen. Wow, I thought, a new episode finally! (And I still have the cassette, though I taped it to video when it first re-ran.)

What followed was one of my favorite half-hours in TV history. Your animation and the resulting expressions on the character's faces were amazing. The Gershwin-heavy soundtrack, which hadn't been used in a WB TV cartoon beforehand (it was later used to death for the Goodfeathers) was scored fantastically. And the writing--man! That was the best part....

My favorite scene in the whole thing is this one part where Buster is flipping through the channels, and the first show he sees is Babs on Geraldo.....

...In that scene Babs says on the spur of the moment, "Excuse me, but you pronounced my name wrong. It's BabZZZZ-a." Buster changes the channel and every following TV show spoof is not only hilarious on its own, but features everyone stumbling over her name: "BAAAAB-ZUUUUUH!!"

That one moment influenced my writing career more than any other TV moment at the time. The ones that come closest would be the "TV Executive" episode of Dinosaurs and the "Timmy O' Toole" episode of The Simpsons, which worked a similar theme: something they showed wasn't currently happening in real life, but if it was, that was exactly how it would go. I was young, but I was bright, and I knew an actual celebrity could decide to change her name's pronunciation tomorrow on a whim, and within the next 24 hours have every announcer and talk show host in the country struggling over it. I thought that joke was so sharp that it has stuck with me all these years, and the thought behind it has influenced a lot of my work.


A definite classic.

Another couple of great moments:

- Buster and Babs each arguing over the lousiness of what the other wants to watch. The way the editing makes it seem like one sentence between the two of them is a riot.

- The way Buster's expression changes when the scene goes from him looking at the coin to sitting in front of the TV. (Also love Plucky's line: "It was a two-sided coin. I just forgot which side was twoed.")

I always did like thirteensomething... favorite moments:

- Johnny Carson coming out of his then-recent retirement just to interview Babs (and hog-tying Jay Leno).

- The song Babs sings while on the bus for New York; wonder if that song was an actual song from somewhere?

- Babs' audition (with the dopey-sounding fat guy).

- A (presumed) scene from "Her Royal Wackiness" seen on the TV the human actors were watching.

- Plucky's face smashed against the screen, urging us to "feel free to change the channel..."

There are not enough words to describe the overall brilliance of this episode. If this is not the definitive "Babs episode", it's certainly in the top three. I am a sucker for great facial expressions, and this episode is just overflowing with them. Bravo to Jonny Mack and company.

It seems like everybody's already hit on many of the best gags. I'll just add:

-Plucky (ever the opportunist) and Shirley trying to audition for Babs' role.
-Babs setting up Professor Wile E. Coyote: "Hey teach! What happens if you go inside the tunnel? ...I just can't help myself." (and Shirley giggling in the background as she knows what's going to happen to Wile E.)
-"They'll make a TV movie out of this starring Eve Plume!" Egad! Another Eve Plume reference!
-And another Carol Burnett Show reference: "Vickie Lawrence High School"
-Finally, anybody notice that when Donald Trump scraps Elmyra off the windshield, there are still some little chunks of her left behind on said windshield (Skippy: "SPEEEEEEEW!"). Definite Ren & Stimpy influence on some of these later episodes....

This is another one of the episodes that MUST be screened to the crew if, through some miracle, TTA ever returns...
--Fifi Fanatic

Though not my top favorite, this one is definetly a close second. I wouldn't know what else there is to mention other than what everyone else has already said.

Besides the gags/plot/etc, the real thing that grabs me for this episode is Startoon's animation - those fast, quick jumps from pose to pose yet still being fluid and interesting always amazed me, along with those quick extreme changes in facial expressions. Indeed this is one of the episodes that inspires me to further my animation studies.

The only real thing that irked me was in that one scene where Buster and Babs were arguing over which show they were going to watch, it was the was Buster's face was drawn in certian parts... Just seemed really, really odd to me XD


-Finally, anybody notice that when Donald Trump scraps Elmyra off the windshield, there are still some little chunks of her left behind on said windshield (Skippy: "SPEEEEEEEW!"). Definite Ren & Stimpy influence on some of these later episodes....

Every time I saw that I thought "Ewww... Elmyra bits!... maybe those are the cause of the dreaded Elmyra Swarm" (And yes I realize the 'Swarm' only really appeared in a much earlier episode.. =P)

Joke Credit

The Character of "Flint" Is In No Way Based On Flint Dille.
Honest, Flint. No, Really ...

Who you gonna call? Obscurity Busters!

Flint Dille = Hollywood screenwriter you've never heard of. He had nothing to do with Tiny Toons to my knowledge.

Buster says "I'm like Sonny without Cher! I'll probably become the mayor of Palm Springs." That is indeed what Sonny was doing at the time. He would then become a senator before his death.

Mary Hart's voice caused a seizure that year. I don't care how dated it is now. I still think having it mentioned on Tiny Toons is a riot.

Today's Ending Bit

Buster & Babs: "Say good night, Babs." "Good night, Babs."