Blog post

Whose side were you on, Tom or Jerry’s?

21 April 2019Joanna K.

Some time ago, I saw a Facebook post which reminded me of a favourite cartoon series. So, two cartoon heroes are lying in bed. The one is trying to cover himself as the other pushes the first out of bed, on the floor, to have the cover all to himself. The post also reminded me of how much I used to sympathise with one of them.

You got it right. The cartoon series it the Tom and Jerry show. The story revolves around the rivalry between Tom and Jerry; a big cat and a small mouse. Action takes place mainly in the house where Tom lives as the family pet and Jerry, as an unexpected guest. They are chasing around the house to loud music, no dialogue, only giggles and surprise screams here and there, to highlight the chase.

The two heroes

Tom has a space of his own and seems to be pampered. Jerry is his unexpected neighbour, living in a hole in the wall. Tom is filled with determination and energy. Jerry is full of pep and knows his way round. Tom lacks what Jerry enjoys to a great extent: physical strength. Little Jerry lifts weight which Tom may find challenging. I wonder how he may have felt about that.

Action!

Each episode opens with Tom planning to get his hands on Jerry. No, not for the same reason a cat would chase a mouse offline. Rather, to prove to himself that he is the strong one, or to carry favour with people who expect him to catch Jerry.

Tom tries hard and sees his attempt end in failure. Jerry slips through the cracks every single time. What if he has broken a vase, or taken the cheese in the fridge, or left the tap running. In the end, Tom is usually told off. Oh, I definitely don’t justify Tom’s actions. However, what he usually goes through isn’t fair. It takes two to tango. Let me stress that!

Whose side I was on

Well, I was on Tom’s side. In fact, I felt sorry for him. What he needs to prove tends to get him in trouble. It makes him look helpless. I wonder if he understands that Jerry knows. Otherwise, Jerry wouldn’t rattle his cage. True, I don’t approve of Tom’s actions, the way I don’t approve of Jerry’s attempt to get back to him. That sounds like revenge. Pointless! It’s not nice to put Tom’s tail in the wall plug to have him electrocuted, or cut the tree branch where Tom is sitting to have him fall off.

Children’s series usually have a message to convey. They aim to prepare children for the world of adults, without causing fear. As a child, I somehow felt the need to take sides. To protect Tom. To ask Jerry to put an end to his tricks. Not again! Tom’s tail is tied around the table leg!

Today

It is Easter time and I remember something that skipped my attention then. True, there is competitiveness between Tom and Jerry. There is friendliness as well. How else would you describe the fact that when the one is in (real) danger, the other tries hard to save him? Or when a baby is in danger, they work together to save the baby? They join forces. Their differences can wait.

So, if I were to answer the title question today, I would utter one name: Tom. I may chew on that and add that I do appreciate Jerry for a certain behaviour. When Tom is in danger, Jerry is there for him, willing to help him.

Wouldn’t that be the meaning of Easter?

{Happy Catholic Easter}

Tom and Jerry: PNG images

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Comments (28)

  • Mary

    28 April 2019 at 05:35

    Awwww I was always team Tom as well. I always found myself feeling bad for him.

  • Erica (The Prepping Wife)

    26 April 2019 at 09:56

    Oh how reading this article brings back memories of these cartoons when I was a kid! I don’t know that I ever felt pulled to sympathize with either one of them, really. It was just funny to me how they interacted and the antics that ensued.

  • Elease

    26 April 2019 at 04:25

    I always went back and forth feeling bad for them! ha– never really thought about it before now.

  • Tracy C

    25 April 2019 at 21:50

    I haven’t thought about Tom and Jerry in years! I was definitely on Team Jerry. I only felt sorry for Tom when the bulldog was about to get him.

  • Elizabeth | Tiredmom Supermom

    25 April 2019 at 06:02

    Such a funny article! I still can’t choose a side, but i’m closer to Jerry because it’s funny watching Tom fail hahahaha

    1. Joanna K.

      25 April 2019 at 08:36

      I’m glad you have enjoyed the article. I enjoyed writing it.
      So, you are closer to Jerry. I see. Let me think about the sequel, of the article 🙂

  • Tessa

    25 April 2019 at 02:31

    I love this question! I actually was on Jerry’s side. I thought he was the underdog – or undermouse? But after reading your post, I get that there was no right or wrong one – they were both right. You made me think that we should stop and think about the other person’s experience before we judge them. Thanks for that reminder.

    1. Joanna K.

      25 April 2019 at 08:39

      Tessa, thank you for your profound and humorous comment – undermouse! 🙂
      Happy Orthodox Easter

  • Joyce Osiango

    24 April 2019 at 22:17

    ohh you just reminded me of those days, I still watch them run around. I’ll say I love them both, they are all demand to finish something http://www.thecozyme.com

    1. Joanna K.

      24 April 2019 at 23:18

      So we are driving down memory lane together. A nice answer, beautifully related to (Orthodox) Easter (this coming Sunday).

  • Subhashish Roy

    24 April 2019 at 16:56

    I used to love Jerry’s mischief but also loved Tom because I used to feel for him. I loved the way you related the story to Easter.

  • Snehal

    24 April 2019 at 15:10

    I was on jerry’s side 🙊 because i liked it how he used to trouble tom and always being a pain in the neck 😅🤣 reminds me of me and my friend 😄

    1. Joanna K.

      24 April 2019 at 21:38

      Snehal, thank you for sharing fond memories. It sounds like a nice drive down memory lane.

  • Ashley | One Journey Away

    24 April 2019 at 11:58

    I don’t actually think I ever watched Tom and Jerry growing up, although I’ve certainly heard of them! You’ve used a great analogy for Easter!

    1. Joanna K.

      24 April 2019 at 21:35

      Ashley, thank you for your comment and your good words. You see, Easter is the biggest religious holiday in my culture.

  • Nicole Anderson | Camping for Women

    24 April 2019 at 07:04

    This certainly brought back old memories. As a child, I guess I was on Jerry’s side more as I thought he was being picked on and pursued by Tom as the much larger animal. It was probably a way of me thinking that, just because you might be bigger, doesn’t make you the better or smarter. I also thought that Tom often got just desserts for targeting someone a lot smaller than him. Perhaps it appealed to my sense of justice. In any case, the show was a lot of fun for all and always turned out ok in the end.

    1. Joanna K.

      24 April 2019 at 21:33

      Ah, we like and need to look back on fond memories.
      It is interesting how we learned critical thinking in a fun way. Watching the rivalry unfold in every episode, trying to understand what the issue was.

  • Trish Veltman

    24 April 2019 at 04:42

    I’d forgotten about watching Tom and Jerry – man, those cartoons were violent when we were young. Don’t think I ever took a side – loved Jerry’s smarts, and Tom’s persistence.

  • Lindsay Brown

    24 April 2019 at 02:46

    Tom and Jerry, that brings back memories! My brother and I used to watch this show on Saturday mornings. He was a Jerry fan and me, merely wanting to be different, was an avid Tom sympathizer. I love these old cartoons and have tried to get my own kids to watch them for nostalgic reasons but they will have none of it lol

    1. Joanna K.

      24 April 2019 at 21:26

      Saturday mornings, that’s the time for cartoon series. Right now, I am wondering if kids today are stll watching cartoons on TV or opt for series on the Internet.

  • Nahashon Kyalo

    23 April 2019 at 23:33

    After reading your astounding story and going through the comments, it’s safe to assume each one of us learned something from the cartoon series.

    But I was a jerry fan. Maybe its because, at first glance, he was the inferior party, but time and again, he proved that size doesn’t matter, and you can change the situation if you’re willing to fight a little bit harder and think a little bit smarter.

    Thank you for sharing the interesting story though.

    1. Joanna K.

      24 April 2019 at 15:58

      Nahashon, thank you for your beautiful comment.
      I hadn’t thought of that, perseverance being one of the lessons. Jerry didn’t give in. He persevered until he could find a way out. Even if that meant getting back to Tom, in a non-fun way.

  • Luna S

    23 April 2019 at 21:56

    I was small when I watched Tom & Jerry (90’s baby). I somewhat remember the show but I don’t remember a lot about it, I don’t believe I had a side. I just enjoyed watching it for what it was.

    1. Joanna K.

      24 April 2019 at 15:51

      Hello 90’s baby. Maybe that was the meaning of the rivalry; for us kids to learn to observe, to hear others, without taking sides.

  • Melody

    23 April 2019 at 21:48

    Tom and Jerry! Loved it as a kid. One of my favorites. I tended to side with Jerry, though. I always viewed Tom as the unrelenting adversary, even though I could also see how Jerry would set him up. I think it’s interesting how we all view things like cartoons through a different lens and end up with a different take away.

    1. Joanna K.

      24 April 2019 at 15:48

      So, one more Jerry fan. Melody, hello and good bye (my way of joking)!
      Well, I like your conclusion. So true. It makes me realise that we can learn to appreciate diverse viewpoints at an early age, in a fun way.

  • Scott J DeNicola

    23 April 2019 at 21:12

    A group of friends and I were just having a similar discussion the other day about in regard to all of these older cartoons. I loved Tom and Jerry and my oldest used to watch it when she was young. It brought me back to my childhood when I watched it with her. I began to show her all those old cartoons and realized just how violent they were. There was always an enemy and a hero. Tom and Jerry, Bugs Bunny and Elmer Fudd, The Coyote and the Roadrunner. I was more of a Jerry fan but I felt for Tom as well. In the end, he was trying to catch the mouse though I’m not sure what he would do should he ever catch him. I assumed harm as a child. I guess the lesson in Tom and Jerry was don’t give up.

    1. Joanna K.

      24 April 2019 at 15:43

      Scott, how nice, to watch cartoons with your daughter. I’m certain she appreciates that.
      I know what you mean about violence in older cartoons. I think they were trying, in their own way, to prepare us kids for acts of violence in adult daily life.

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