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Yakko, Wakko and Dot Warner, also known as "The Warner Brothers (and the Warner Sister)" or just simply "The Warners", are the three title cartoon characters featured on the animated series Animaniacs. The trio of red-nosed Warner siblings were considered to be the stars of the ensemble of characters on the show. They all appear in the Animaniacs logo, and the show usually begins and ends with gags performed by them. The characters are of indeterminate species, being purposely drawn in the style of early black and white cartoons. As with other Animaniacs characters, the Warner siblings were part of a loosely-defined cast of players and often made appearances in other characters' segments, often as a literal running gag, as well as hosting occasional appearances by other characters in their segments.


Series creator Tom Ruegger initially modeled the Warners’ personalities heavily after those of his three sons.

Originally, the Warners were intended to be ducks, but Tom Ruegger had come to the conclusion that “...everybody had ducks” (see Disney’s DuckTales and Darkwing Duck, not to mention Plucky Duck from Tiny Toon Adventures and Count Duckula), so the Warners became a type of "...generic animal creature." Although they looked somewhat like cats with floppy ears, a snout, and tails, the Warners’ specific species was never explicitely declared. Ruegger had said that the Warners were cartoon characters, and that their species was "'Cartoonus characterus.'"

The image of the Warners is a homage to cartoon characters of the early 1930s. Characters consisting of simple black drawings with white faces were very common in cartoons of the 1920s and 1930s, including Bosko and Honey, Felix the Cat, Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, Bimbo, Flip the Frog and the early version of Mickey Mouse, Pete, Foxy and Minnie Mouse.

Species representation

A running gag throughout the Animaniacs series is the question of what animals, if any, the Warners are meant to be modeled after. The series' other characters are cartoon representations of various animals such as mice, birds, monkeys, and squirrels, but the Warners are intentionally ambiguous. Various characters in the series question the Warners about this and refer to them as a variety of different animals, frequently "puppy children" owing to their ears and tails. When asked what they are, most often they state, "We're the Warner Brothers! And the Warner Sister." The Warners themselves often use this ambiguity as a source of humor; in one episode an entire musical number is devoted to guessing their species to which they declare "...what we are dear Doctor - is cute!"


In the opening to the some episodes of the series, a faux newsreel, Newsreel of the Stars, is played with an abridged history of the Yakko, Wakko, and Dot Warner; in the 1930s, they were created and starred in several cartoons until their zaniness caused a falling out with the studio. Subsequently, all films related to trio and the siblings themselves were sealed away, never to be released or acknowledged, until today when they escaped.

In the “65th anniversary” episode, their history is elaborated as a retrospect with interviews of witnesses to their rise and fall. The Warners were created after animation director Weed Memlo wanted some new characters to make the cartoons of the Looney Tunes character Buddy more interesting. Animator Lon Borax stayed up all night trying to come up with new characters until, in a fit of madness and exhaustion, he created them. The Warners starred alongside Buddy in a new cartoon, which Melmo showed to Thaddeus Plotz, the head of the Warner Bros Animation Department. Plotz thought the cartoon was unusual and weird but compelling and greenlighted more. The Warners' slapstick soon began to overshadow Buddy, who was eventually fired. Plotz then gave the Warners their very own series of cartoons (which was Plotz's "second biggest mistake of [his] life"). The Warners' cartoons were all thoroughly bizarre, including an eight-hour cartoon in which they tried to pull fly paper off their backsides. But the Warners became huge stars despite it, mixing with Hollywood stars and starlets of the time. Dot was said to be close friends with Fanny Brice, while Yakko had a famous feud with Milton Berle.

The Warners drove the studio crazy with their antics, however. For example, Wakko kept eating up the scenery and backgrounds. Thaddeus Plotz wanted to cancel the Warners, but they still had one more cartoon on their contract. Wakko got to direct the last cartoon that involved Wakko playing Yankee Doodle with his armpits (which was Plotz's "biggest mistake of my life"). Plotz was furious about that cartoon. The moment he saw it, he unilaterally canceled their contract, angering the Warners' agent Irving "Swifty" Laboo (actually Chicken Boo in costume).

With no more cartoons to make the Warners were free to run around the studio lot as they pleased, causing even more chaos for the company. Eventually they were captured by studio security and locked away in the Warner Bros. Studios water tower in Burbank, Californiamarker. The Warners’ cartoons "which made absolutely no sense," were supposedly so insane and nonsensical that the studio executives also locked the films away in vaults, never to have them released. Later into the series run, a fictional celebrity and acquaintance of the Warners had revealed that the Warners were actually quite popular in the thirties, until, as he had said: “...they (the Warners) pantsed Jimmy Cagney,” at which point, “something had to be done,” so the Warners, who made even less sense than their cartoons, were locked away, also never to be released. The Warners were held in the water tower until, as said in the show, “this very day,” meaning the 1990s, when the series premiered. Although the Warners supposedly hadn’t escaped until "this very day," Yakko, Wakko and Dot were able to escape frequently and at will. Later episodes showed that they often escaped during various points in history, being let out for a day every few years while the water tower was being fumigated, and were occasionally loaned out to other animation studios, particularly during the 70s.

When the Warners most recently escaped, they again began to cause chaos in the Warner Bros. Studio. In response to the Warners escape, Studio Executive Thaddeus Plotz asked the studio psychiatrist, Dr. Otto Scratchansniff, to "de-zanitize" the Warners, or make the Warners less zany, to stop the chaos in the studio. Plotz had also ordered the studio guard, Ralph, to capture the Warners whenever they escaped. Although the Warner siblings escape from the water tower as often as they can, they treat the water tower as their home, and always return to it when they are done wreaking mayhem.

It should be noted that in the 33rd issue of the Animaniacs comic book, there was a "long lost" fourth Warner named Sakko (who was obviously modeled after Rip Taylor); he has not been mentioned outside this comic, however, and his existence is considered non-canonical by fans.

Alternative royal lineage

While it has never been clearly official, certain hints have suggested that the Warners may also come from a royal family. For example Dot's full name starts with princess and Yakko was King of Anvilania in the episode King Yakko. In this episode the oldest sibling stated that because he is the last remaining family member in the royal blood line it makes him the last rightful king. Finally in the movie Wakko's Wish, it was revealed that the Warners were the children of the late King and Queen of nation. They were then given the throne and were last seen wearing royal clothing.


The comedy that the trio performed can be described as an updated version of that of The Marx Brothers and early Bugs Bunny cartoons; each segment would usually involve them at odds with an authority-figure antagonist, defeating any attempts at control with a non-stop barrage of slapstick comedy and wit. However, one notable difference is that while Bugs was usually defending himself against an aggressor, it is characteristic for the Warners to wreak havoc only because they enjoy it. Their initial behavior is generally good-natured, sometimes affectionate, and often merely annoying. However, anyone who yells at them, tries to hurt them, or generally acts like a jerk will be labeled their "Special Friend," whereupon the Warners exercise even less restraint in the mayhem they inflict upon that person.

The Warners were not completely without reason, however: in an episode titled "The Sound of Warners," they wouldn't fight back against a Julie Andrews-esque nanny because she wasn't attacking them, only being excessively mothering and annoyingly saccharine — hence, establishing a sort of moral core for the Warners. Wanting her gone but seeing their hands were tied, they opted for help from Slappy Squirrel, a Screwy Squirrel-type character who freely inflicted severe injury on her adversaries. This character trait was further emphasized in the full-length episode, "Taming of the Screwy." In this episode, after being asked (and begged and pleaded) by Dr. Scratchansniff to keep their lunacy under control for one evening during an important studio banquet, the three siblings did so and were very well behaved...until they were promptly asked to leave the banquet hall before they caused any trouble. Feeling snubbed and insulted, the Warners then sneaked back into the banquet hall and began causing mischief in their own fashion. In later episodes, Dr. Scratchansniff occasionally takes on a protective if weary role towards them. They, in turn, also think of him as a father figure and act as they do because they love him.

Unique characteristics

Each of the trio has a different personality and role in the group, including purpose in a skit and separate obsessions with different celebrities, etc. Yakko is the "smart one" and the leader. Dot is the self proclaimed "cute one". Wakko is the "other" one or, "due to Middle Kid Syndrome" as Yakko puts it, the most insane one.

Yakko Warner

Yakko (voiced by Rob Paulsen) is the tallest, oldest, and most verbal, and serves as the ringleader of the three siblings. He has the amazing ability to talk an unsuspecting (yet deserving) person's ear off (thus the name "Yak"ko). He's a big-time smart alec, and can come up with a comeback to just about anything. Highly reminiscent of Groucho Marx, he wears tan slacks with a black and yellow belt, in which he can store massive amounts of bologna and retrieve a number of improbable objects including a yak. He and Wakko have a tendency to pounce on attractive women (or just about anyone who is female), with variations of their catchphrase, "Helloooooo, NURSE!" Yakko can sing the names of every country of the world that existed at the time, as well as every word in the English language (although he's only shown singing words from the letters A, F (briefly), L and Z). He can even say Dot's full name without error as seen in "Cutie and the Beast". In "The Taming of the Screwy", Yakko demonstrates a proficiency in speaking (proper and actual) Japanese (and many other languages properly) as well. His idol is Michelle Pfeiffer. He is considered by many fans to be "the brains of the outfit"; the wittiest and most clever of the three Warner sibs. He also has the ability to rap. Generally seen as the oldest (while his actual age is unknown, but supposedly 10, and has been shown to have an intermediate appearance), much of the show's more adult-leaning gags and one-liners are supplied by Yakko; he will often recognize adult-oriented euphemisms, blow a kiss to the audience, saying his other catchphrase, "Goodnight, everybody!" Being perceived the oldest, several times Yakko has shown a surprising amount of responsibility dealing with the welfare of his two younger siblings, particularly in the movie, where he was more of the parent-like sibling. He is also, in his own words, "allergic to anything that has lactose in it," thus making him lactose intolerant. It should be noted that in the episode "King Yakko" that he is king of Anvilania. Yakko even has a habit of hesitating before coming up with a sentence, eg. "Aaaaaaaaaahhhhh, a little help?", along with the habit for wiggling his eyebrows and winking, similar to that of Groucho Marx.

His Japanese voice was done by Ryūsei Nakao.

Wakko Warner

Wakko (voiced by Jess Harnell) wears a sky-blue turtleneck and a red cap turned backwards with holes cut out for his ears. Although he is the only one of the siblings who wears a shirt, he makes up for it by not wearing pants. He's the middle child, and the most weird and absurd of the bunch. He speaks with a Scouse accent that Harnell explicitly modeled after Ringo Starr (initially Harnell created a John Lennon-esque voice for Wakko until he saw that the character was short, so he just raised the pitch), he also has the deepest voice out of the three. He often carries a "Gag Bag," from which he can produce objects as needed, and also uses a large mallet when situations call for it. More often than not, his tongue is sticking out of his mouth. He generally supplies the more crude humor, which Yakko will often react to. He is the most physical of the three, and thus tends to lean toward physical humor. Wakko can walk backwards just as well as he can forwards, and is very flexible (there are a few episodes where the others make use of him for ladders and measuring tape). Wakko appears to have a voracious appetite in the show, and will eat almost anything, including gum found under a seat and even rocks for shock value or perhaps simply to see how they taste, which is a result of his self-proclaimed hypoglycemia. He also had a phobic fear of clowns (cf. "Clown and Out"). He's a big fan of Don Knotts and, like his brother Yakko, he will also hit on any girl despite his young age (though he may simply be imitating Yakko). Like Yakko, he has a catchphrase: "Faboo!" meaning fabulous or great. Often his siblings use variations of "faboo", as in calling a male antagonist "Dadoo" to annoy them. According to the song "Hello Nurse" he is seven years old; this was the only reference ever made to their age, and was not considered canonical by the writers (all the Warners are technically in their 60s, since they were created in 1930). His cap is his trademark; when the Warners wear costumes, Wakko will usually keep his cap on, which holds Elvis Presley hiding in the cap's hammerspace. Occasionally, he'll take it off, which makes him look very similar to Yakko, as seen in the movie "Wakko's Wish." He follows in Yakko's footsteps by singing all the fifty US states and their capitals, in "Wakko's America." Wakko is usually the least talkative of the three unless he is the main character, and in some segments, he doesn't say anything at all. He also appears to be the most musical as well, being able to belch pieces of classical music (under the stage name "The Great Wakkorotti"), play both the violin and the piano, and get behind a drum kit to deliver the occasional sting after a punchline. (However, both Yakko and Dot can play piano as well - Yakko as accompanist for The Great Wakkorotti, Dot while showing off for Ludwig van Beethoven; she can even play using her tail.) In the episode, "Chalkboard Bungle", Wakko can impersonate Ray Charles pretty well.

His Japanese was done by Yū Mizushima.

Dot Warner

Dot (voiced by Tress MacNeille), the youngest of the three (supposedly 6 years old) wears a pink skirt and a yellow flower tie in her ears. Whenever Yakko and Wakko introduce themselves by saying "We're the Warner Brothers!", she always follows with "And the Warner Sister!" Her full name is "Princess Angelina Contessa Louisa Francesca Banana Fanna Bo Besca the Third" (a reference to Pippi Longstocking's long real name, "Pippilotta Delicatessa Windowshade Mackrelmint Efraim's Daughter Longstocking"), which is the reason why some fans call her "Princess Dot" for short, as revealed in Wakko's Wish. This also makes her and her brothers possibly the descendants of a royal bloodline as well. (Her last name is Warner but is not added to her full name.) Extremely cute and thoroughly aware of it, she is very confident but a bit vain and selfish at times. She is arguably the cutest one; she even sings a whole song about how cute she is in the episode "I'm Cute." She is also the most overtly aggressive. As she says in the first episode, "Call me Dottie, and you die." However, she's been called Dottie a few times and the source remains unharmed, but this is not always true. In one episode, she throws a bomb at Yakko and Wakko for calling her that. She is easily miffed at her brothers' reactions around women; afterwards she often says, "Boys: go fig."

However, even though she views Yakko and Wakko's behavior around beautiful girls repugnant, she has reacted similarly to attractive men, most notably Mel Gibson (She said she would "marry that man"). Dot also carries around a pet, contained within a tiny box, that is revealed to be a horrifying monster much too large to have fit inside the box. In one episode, one of her pets ends up marrying a Xenomorph. She also seems to have a sense of humor much like her brother Yakko. But, like Wakko and his hat, even when Dot is in a costume she usually has a little flower in her ears or hat (unless she is in her pajamas and/or going to sleep, then she wears curlers). Her voice is like that of Babs Bunny, but with a younger, sweeter tone to match with her apparent age as the youngest sibling. Also, as explained in the Animaniacs movie, it has been discovered that Dot was born from a beautiful flower in a garden on the first day of spring, which is possibly the reason why she wears a flower instead of a bow. However, when Yakko tells her this story at bedtime, he makes it sound a lot like a fairy tale, but there is no proof that it is.

It is also believed that Dot's personality has evolved quite a lot in the series going by, starting from being a typical girly girl to more mature.

Her Japanese voice was done by Ikue Ōtani.


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