Herman the Mouse is the main protagonist of the infamous mid-1940s to 50s show Herman and Katnip. He is the mortal enemy and arch-nemesis to the more clownish and dim-witted Katnip, and he is the leader of his four loyal cousins. He was voiced by Arnold Stang.
Why He Sucks
- He is a straight-up Gary-Stu, one of the most over-exaggerated, overdone, and irredeemably sadistic Gary-Stus ever made.
- He never, if ever, gets his comeuppance for his cruel actions against Katnip, who is a scapegoat & torture-victim that is always perceived as the villain. Instead, Herman wins in every single episode, making him a total Karma Houdini on top of that.
- Speaking of which, Herman is someone we are supposed to root for since he is obviously ripping off the heroic ideal of Jerry the Mouse from Tom & Jerry, especially since Herman is made out to be this protagonist who is keeping his cousins safe from danger and entertaining them in the process. But he is barely well-intentioned and doesn't really have anything we should like about him defeating Katnip daily, much to the point that he usually comes off as more of an irredeemable, detestable sadist and much more of a villain towards Katnip than the titular Katnip is made out to be.
- This is especially evident where Katnip in an episode would be either sleeping or simply doing his job without bugging anyone while Herman, or even his cousins, are causing trouble around wherever Katnip goes.
- Speaking of which, there were times when Herman and his cousins act like bullies by making fun of Katnip whether he is not around them or even when Herman is still torturing Katnip, just to make him even more 'likable' than he already was.
- In fact, he is so recklessly cruel, malicious, and sadistic that he even makes the worst version of Jerry look like an absolute angel in comparison.
- He is also very manipulative towards his ineffectual archenemy, much to the point that it always comes off as mean-spirited at best, to downright cruel and completely harsh at worst. Especially where the attacks he pulls on Katnip are way too murderous and underhanded to come off as morally righteous. To make the matters worse, none of the attacks he pulls on them aren't funny at all, and instead, they come off as extremely hurtful, to the point that it makes Herman a lot more hateable than forgivable.
- With that said, he never gives Katnip, an utterly ill-starred and fallible schlemiel of a guarding housecat, any mercy whatsoever. Herman either enjoys murdering Katnip or making him suffer from everything a lot of the time like sending violent brutes to attack Katnip even when it's uncalled for.
- Because of all these qualities, he isn't likable in any way, shape, or form.
- His weird voice that has a vague hinting of a Brooklyn accent in it is very awkward to hear. It sounds like an oddball prototype of Mario's voice from Hotel Mario.
- His singing is very bad, thanks to his accent.
- All of his attempts at humor or making witty lines always fail and fall flat on his face because of lacking any real comedic touches with his sayings and one-liners (e.g "There is more than one way to skin cat" from the episode "From Mad to Worse" when Herman makes a stereotypical depiction of Chinese people for a joke. Even for a cartoon mouse, that just comes off as extremely disturbing and offensive ).
- His design might be passable, but it comes across as unimaginative and lazy just like Katnip, since his design looks heavily derivative to a poorly-done copy of Jerry Mouse's design from Tom and Jerry, albeit with pants and shoes.
- Despite being one of the biggest Gary-Stus around, he can be rational and show some common sense towards Katnip's foolishness.
- He was shown to be briefly likable in shorts that don't revolve around him being against Katnip, especially in some cartoons where he is paired with Henry the Rooster where he helps the rooster stand up against his utterly abusive wife Bertha/Chickenpie. He was also decent in "Campus Caper" and "Cheese Burglar". (Unfortunately, when he is paired with Katnip, he suffered from Flanderization and character derailment by becoming more of a ruthless, sadistic jerk than before)
- While lazy and unimaginative, his design comes off as either cute, poorly done, or just passable, depending on your view.
- Itchy from The Simpsons' Itchy & Scratchy Show is based on Herman because of Herman's sadism and his cruel & manipulative tendencies towards Katnip.