- Humans, go fig. - Rita (When Rita Met Runt)
Rita is a feisty, independent, and lovely gray and white cat who is often singing. She accompanies her best friend, Runt on their adventures to find a home.
She is voiced by actress and singer, Bernadette Peters
- 1 Personality
- 2 Bio
- 3 Relationships
- 4 Behind the Scenes
- 5 Appearances
- 6 Rita's Songs
- 7 Gallery
Rita is an independent, funny, aloof, intelligent and sarcastic cat who is sometimes tough. However, this is a front masking a soft side of her that really longs for affection. This side of her is shown in numerous episodes, such as "Smitten With Kittens".
Images coming soon.
Storytelling and humour with Rita focus on her disdain towards Runt and/or other people. Normally, Rita is in the right due to the arrogance of the people she meets. Sometimes, Rita can get too comfortable in a new home she settles into, only to find out there’s something in the home at the expense of her life. She is capable of escaping situations on her own, but there are times she is saved from the home by Runt.
Rita’s kittenhood is unclear, just that she received disdain for getting “less adorable” the more she grow. It appears to be the cause of her apathetic view on humans.
Rita is sent to the Pound due to her owner considering her "too independent". Rita meets what appears to be another, yet stupid cat in the cell next to her who becomes her only friend, to the point she tells him about her kittenhood. When Rita and the “cat”, called Runt, don't get adopted, Rita decides to escape, but not before making a small joke at Runt’s expense. However, Runt wants to escape too and Rita finds she’s unwilling to leave him to be put down. She returns and opens his cell, plus learning Runt is a dog. Runt however thinks Rita is a dog and saves her from the Pound worker. Rita keeps saying she plans to part ways with Runt, but Runt doesn’t take it in.
Rita and Runt’s main desire is to find a home, as made clear in Rita's songs, "A Place Called Home" and "Let's Try for Two". Usually, if they're both successful, the home turns out to want Rita and/or Runt for something at the expense of their lives. They either flee the home or are thrown out of it.
While Rita is the focus most of the time in Rita and Runt, Runt is usually the heroic one. However, there are some exceptions. In "Phranken-Runt", Runt was sucked up into a castle for his brain and his first thing to say when they were safe again (thanks to Rita, but Runt also defends her from a rat while they were escaping) was “Can we jump off the castle again?! That was fun!” Rita is underwhelmed and considers Runt near brainless.
Rita sometimes goes along with the “I don’t know you. You don’t know me.” plan she made at the start of her stray-life. Such as when in Ancient Egypt, she got adopted by Cleopatra and Runt was taken away to help haul material for temples. She was disappointed when the Palace gave them the same bed. Rita was merely in danger the whole time as the Palace planned to sacrifice her (by burning her) and Runt saved her life, though she was a bit unthankful due to Runt’s sudden intrusion and began putting her luck on Las Vegas.
Her favourite places are Monterey and Chicago. Unfortunately, she and Runt fail to get to those places, though they leave for Chicago at the end of the episode, "Up a Tree".
Rita’s softer side is unclear. When she and Runt find a pair of kittens, Rita’s reaction is letting them cuddle close to her, then the thoughts of parenting come to mind and she wants nothing to do with them. She gets a nice lady to adopt them and appears to be so sad about it, she has a tear. In "Puttin' on the Blitz", Rita and Runt are found by a little girl in the Poland Invasion. When they find the father however, Runt misses the train when he stops the Germans’ leader’s dog from hurting Rita. Rita jumps off the train and scares the dog away from Runt. Rather than mad at Runt, she expresses that she’s fond of him, showing Rita loves Runt back rather than simply views him as a nuisance.
Though Rita and Runt are homeless and have once invaded the Warner Bros. studio for food in "'Twas the Day Before Christmas", they are capable of joining up with the rest of the cast, though no proper interactions are ever shown except with Pinky and Pesto.
The events of Wakko's Wish are uncanon as of the 2020 series.
Rita and Runt roam Warnerstock for a home and food. They join up in the big race to the Wishing Star by stalling away in Dr. Scratchansniff and Hello Nurse’s carriage being pulled by Phar Fignewton. They find joy in being in the carriage until they begin being bumped and thrown about by the speed. Almost at the Wishing Star, everyone is imprisoned by King Salazar. A escaped Wakko Warner wins the race, who wishes for two Ha'pennies.
With the Ha'pennies, Rita and Runt are adopted by Scratchansniff and start producing Scratchy Cola.
In "Good Warner Hunting", Rita and Runt get imprisoned with the entire cast by a furious Chicken Boo after he is left out of the reboot. Yakko Warner is the first to notice their disappearance. In the end, Rita and Runt are freed and chase Chicken Boo out of town.
Aside from this occasion, Rita and Runt are absent, assumingly still looking for a home elsewhere.
Rita’s original owner went through a divorce and relied on Rita for cornfort. She was merely made uncomfortable by Rita’s “aloofness” and gave her to the Pound. Rita sarcastically tells her to get a kid as she leaves.
Rita is often frustrated by Runt's dimwittedness, at first treating him with disdain and stating that once they found a home, she would leave and he was on his own, but gradually warms up to him throughout the segment, even giving him a kiss on the head in one episode, and displaying relief in seeing him when she is captured by a chef. It appears that in the episode, Up a Tree, Rita occasionally sleeps in the hair on Runt’s forehead.
Her affection for Runt extends to when she is taken by a girl onto a train to live in a beautiful home, she jumps off when Runt is attacked by another dog before he could get onto the train, and she beats the stuffing out of the other dog, going on to tell Runt she has grown fond of him and she will never go anywhere without him, that they would find a home together or not find one at all.
Behind the Scenes
Bernadette Peters's credit appears at the bottom of the cast list when she appears, written: "And Bernadette Peters as Rita"
The Rita & Runt sketches were phased out after the first season of the 1993 series, as the producers had a hard time composing a song for each one and admitted it got expensive keeping Peters on the payroll. Her costar Frank Welker, however, remained a series regular, having voiced minor characters in other sketches. However, in 2020, Tom Ruegger, one of the directors of the original show, debunked this explanation and said the true reason why the Rita & Runt segments were discontinued was because they wanted to focus more on the other characters in the show.
Not all appearances are listed yet
Rita and Runt
- When Rita Met Runt
- Les Miseranimals
- The Cat and the Fiddle
- Home on De-Nile
- Puttin' on the Blitz
- No Place Like Homeless (mentioned)
- Smitten with Kittens
- Of Nice and Men
- Kiki's Kitten
- Up a Tree
- Witch One
- Nighty-Night Toon (does not speak)
- Taming of the Screwy (run-through cameo)
- Piano Rag (run-through cameo)
- A Moving Experience (does not speak)
- Potty Emergency (does not speak)
- Spellbound (cameo)
- Pinky and the Cat
- 'Twas the Day Before Christmas
- Three Tenors and You're Out (cameo during finale)
- Gunga Dot
- Mighty Wakko at the Bat (does not speak)
- Mindy in Wonderland (as the Cheshire Cat)
- Good Warner Hunting (does not speak)
Rita and Runt
- Mace Ventura Pet Hunter
- The Lunch Boat
- Wakko's Wish
In nearly every episode she appeared in Rita has sung.
- Humans Ain't What They Seem to Be (When Rita Met Runt)
- There is a Flat in Gay Paree (Les Miseranimals)
- Dig Down (Les Miseranimals)
- At the End of the Road (Les Miseranimals)
- A Place Called Home (The Cat and the Fiddle)
- All Wrapped Up in Love (Home on De-Nile)
- Let's Try For Two (Phranken-Runt)
- Together (Puttin' on the Blitz)
- I'm Nobody's Mama (Smitten with Kittens)
- Monterey (Of Nice and Men)
- Stereotypical View (Of Nice and Men)
- Miao (Kiki’s Kitten)
- Off to Florida (Icebreakers)
- Cats Always Get the Short End of the Stick (Icebreakers)
- Chicago (Up a Tree)
- Dizzy (Up a Tree)
- There's Nothing Quite Like a Cat (Witch One)
- Still There's You and Me (Witch One)
In Wakko's Wish, Rita sung in Never Give Up Hope, Train Bringing Wakko, So Much For Wakko's Ha'penny, The Wishing Star (The Wish Belongs To Me), and If I Could Have My Wish along all the other main characters.
Animaniacs Wiki has a collection of images related to Rita.