Is Dr. Scratchansniff Dead?

Okkay, okkay. Dr. Otto Scratchansniff is not dead. Toons never die, the just go insane and run away. Yes, rumors have been speading for years that the Warners actually DID drive poor old Scratchy insane and he dissapeared one day. The CEO of the studio, Thaddeus Plotz, didn't want any questions asked so he replaced the good doctor with a look-alike imposter! Even though Yakko, Wakko, and Dot didn't like the idea, they kept quiet. However, a secret of this magnitude could not be silenced forever! The Warners devised secret ways of informing the fans that ol' Scratchy was gone. Everywhere in the Warners' songs and shows are "hidden" clues that the real Dr. Scratchansniff is no longer actually with them.

Nobody can agree on the actual date of the doctor's dissapearance. It could've been anytime from 1993 when the show first began to as late as 1995, when Animaniacs moved to the WB network. Some speculate that Dr. Scratchansniff had demanded a raise for being added to the theme song after Pinky and the Brain had left to do their own spinoff series. These people believe that Scratchansniff walked out after the execs refused to take his demand seriously. However, due to the number of clues in the Warners' first album, perhaps Scratchansniff actually disapeared earlier in the Warners' lives. We may never know for sure.

So what really happened to Dr. Scratchansniff? Did the Warners drive him completely insane causing him to run away? Or did he really...*gulp*...die? The fact that a body has never turned up has led folks to believe that the real Dr. Scratchansniff really did run away and is living in peace somewhere on this great planet. However, no one has heard from the real Scratchy in such a long time that others believe there is no way he could still be alive. The Warners should have found him by now! They always had in the past. According to the clues left in the Warners' lyrics, whatever went horribly wrong happened on a Monday night and nobody knew it was coming (or at least the Warners didn't). It is speculated that if Dr. Scratchansniff did actually die, it might have been from a tree falling on his head or a result of food poisoning.

Was it all an elaborate coverup? An elaborate hoax? Or purely an elaborate fantasy created within the overactive imaginations of the die hard Animaniacs fans? Examine the following "Scratchy is Dead" clues and decide for yourself...

Album Clues

Animaniacs aka: The Shield Album (1993)

The world got some of its earliest Scratchansniff death clues with the release of the Warners' first album in 1993.

  • The cover of this album is very peculiar. If you take a mirror (or the back side of a CD) and place in right in the center of the word "ANIMANIACS" on the shield, something strange happens... You get funny symbols that look like the unversal icons on tape playing equipment for STOP, FAST FORWARD, PLAY, PAUSE, and RECORD (in that order). This is obviously a message to the fans to start checking out their albums. Play them any way you can in order to search for hidden death clues. The interesting thing is, REWIND is the only icon missing here. Maybe that's what the diamond shape between the FF and PLAY icons means. Perhaps the message is telling us to play our Animaniacs albums backwards for hidden clues. Hmmm... what an interesting idea...

Yakko's World (1994)

The whole Yakko's World album project in 1994 came as a result of the Warner's scouring the globe in search of poor Dr. Scratchansniff.

Variety Pack (1995)

Variety Pack in 1995 became the first Animaniacs album to actually feature Dr. Scratchansniff on the cover (the first Scratchy tribute album?), which provided many more death clues in itself.

  • The Warners on the album cover appear on mock cereal boxes, or something close to it. The odd thing about these boxes are the strange messages witten on them. Dot's hand seems to be showcasing the message on Yakko's box, so start there. Yakko's box is the most unusual. Under "Nutritional Facts" it says, "If you want facts, try the new age section". Why would it say that? Everyone knows that books about ghosts, horoscope charts, and other unusual or unexplained things can be found in the new age section. Could Yakko be telling us to look there for facts about Dr. Scratchansniff's mysterious death?

    Almost as if you acknowlege this, Wakko's box asks, "does that surprise you?" As in, "does that surprise you" that we're telling you to look in the new age section for answers to what happened to Dr. Scratchansniff? Of course, this was actually a response to the above text stating, "Calories: Mostly Empty..." Or was it??

    By now anyone would be a bit spooked. And for good reason. Especially after, even more curiously, Dot's box assures us to, "Be afraid be very afraid". Cooincidence? I think not! I don't know about you, but it sure makes me want to run down to the bookstore right now. See you there!

  • On the second to last page of the lyrics booklet a ghostly image of Dr. Scratchansniff appears. His finger points to the phrase, "in charge". What could this mean? Who is really in charge of this whole conspiracy? We may never know...

    Also, the album credits reveal some strange clues. Rob Paulsen as Dr. Scratchansniff??? Could that be the imposter's real name?

  • On the back cover of the lyrics booklet, Dr. Scratchansniff is pointing to Yakko. Maybe Yakko really is the walrus!

    Also, in the lyrics booklet, Yakko points to the phrases "just one week" and "no one understands" from the song, "Variety Speak". His hand also looks as if it's trying to grab a hold of the phrase, "everyone involved is gone". Folks believe these phrases are riddled with meaning. Why else would Yakko be pointing to them!? "No one understands" meant that no one understood what was going on because the whole cover up was really hush-hush. "Everyone involved is gone" explained that everyone involved in the coverup had gone to make plans to replace to good doctor. "Just one week" implied that it took just one week to find an imposter to replace the real Dr. Scratchansniff.

  • In the lyrics booklet, Dot is pointing to the phrases, "I can't take that riot" and "I want quiet! Quiet! Quiet!" from the song, "Dot's Quiet Time", a song that Dot sings. Is Dot channeling the spirit of Dr. Scratchansniff in this song? It seems that he is speaking beyond the grave. Scratchy "can't take that riot" caused by the zany Warners. Even in death he can't manage to escape them and calls for "Quiet! Quiet! Quiet!"

The Faboo! Collection (1995)

The Faboo! Collection in 1995 housed the Warners' first and third previously released albums as a two CD set. Why? Because it was a great way to put out the existing "Scratchy is Dead" clues along with a few new ones!

A Hip-Hopera Christmas (1997)

Just three years after the release of this album, Animaniacs as a show would no longer exist. Had Dr. Scratchansniff's disapearance played a part in it? A Hip-Hopera Christmas came out in 1997... the Warners' later years. It's really weird. It's obvious that the death of Dr. Scratchansniff had taken its toll on the Warners. Not at all happy and perky like their earlier albums.

Wacky Universe (1999)

(description coming soon)

Go Hollywood (1999)

(description coming soon)

Episode Clues

  • Notice that the Warners call the Scratchansniff imposter "Scratchy" a lot. This is a reference to Scratchy, the cat from the "Itchy and Scratchy Show" on The Simpsons. Scratchy the cat is almost always the one who dies by the end of the cartoon.

Other Clues

  • The coloring book, "Slappy Squirrel's Now THAT'S Comedy" includes an image of a man that looks very much like Dr. Scratchansniff... with a mustashe! Is this the impostor before he joined the show or is this the real Scratchy finally revealed after all this time? Click here to see the full page.

Have you noticed any more evidence that supports the dead Scratchy theory? Email me and let me know!


Okkay I fess up. This page, unlike my "Is Wakko a Long Lost Beatle Page", is entirely fictional, made up. If ya haven't figured it out yet, THIS IS ALL JUST A JOKE, silly. Or is it? You tell me. You can make anything connected if ya look hard enough. But gosh, if Paul could be dead, then why couldn't any of this stuff be true?
Get Back, Ringo, Get Back!
LAST UPDATED: Monday July 17, 2000.

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