Tom and Jerry Wiki

Fit To Be Tied is a 1952 Tom and Jerry cartoon. In a rare reversal of roles, Tom finally defeats Spike, twice, even knocking him out once.


After the main events of The Bodyguard, Spike is happily prancing along the backyard, he steps on a nail and yells for help. Jerry removes the nail on Spike's foot with a hammer after hearing the dog's pained cries, and as a reward, Spike becomes Jerry's protector, providing him with a bell to ring whenever he is in trouble. Jerry walks away, carefree and pleased with his good deed.

Tom sees a good opportunity to catch his unaware rival and hides until Jerry walks around the corner, catching the mouse by surprise. After snatching up Jerry, Tom becomes curious as to what the bell could be for and rings it. Spike drops right on top of him and throws him onto the concrete twice, then picks him up onto his back and prepares one last move which he apparently has learned on television ("I learned this one...on television!"), spins around, and slams the cat to the concrete, who breaks apart and reforms in the space of a second.

Spike returns the bell to Jerry and skips away, but not without being seen by Tom. Making the connection, the cat tries an alternative by covering the mouse with a flowerpot such that he cannot ring the bell; unfortunately, there is a hole in the bottom, which the mouse sticks the ringing bell out of. Spike's fist extends itself from clear across the block and knocks Tom into a gumball machine, which then falls back onto the cat such that gumballs roll out of his head.

Eventually, under pain of canine catastrophe, Tom is forced to become Jerry's "slave" around the house. Tom sets out five trays of cheese for Jerry, and while the mouse sniffs one, Tom attempts to filch the bell. Jerry thwarts him and eats a big wedge of cheese, causing himself to expand to the size of the wedge. Meanwhile, Tom reads the daily paper and is delighted to notice this headline: LEASH LAW PASSED: Public safety puts dogs on leash.

Pleased with his freedom from both mouse and dog, Tom jaunts outside with the paper and 'tsk's at the dog while pulling at his leash. Tom measures the leash's length, draws a line in the grass, and slaps the dog with the paper. Spike attempts to bite at Tom repeatedly, but the leash barely restrains the dog. Tom pies Spike, smashes his head between cymbals, and punches him with a boxing glove, and then lets the dog's chomping teeth turn a log into a baseball bat. At his leisure, Tom knocks the dog out with it and then uses it as a pool cue to shoot Spike back into his doghouse.

Tom returns, ecstatic, to Jerry and bops him on the head, and when the mouse rings his bell, no response is heard. Tom slaps him again and offers the mouse four other bells as further embarrassment. When these fail to work, Jerry realizes the truth and flees with his small bell. Tom corners him and beats him silly to the point that Jerry swallows the bell. Jerry runs to Spike's doghouse and rings himself, pleading for help. Spike, with sad eyes, presents his leash.

Tom takes a break from chasing Jerry to tantalize Spike again, and holds out a lead pipe as Spike angrily tries to bite the cat again. All the dog's teeth fall out, and Tom nonchalantly sweeps them back up and returns them. Picking up on the pattern, Spike angrily rubs out the line, draws a new one in a spot he can reach and plops back down innocently. Tom chases Jerry both ways and stops to torment Spike again, but Spike lands directly on the cat this time. Realizing he's been tricked, the feline leaps out of his skin!

Before Spike can process this information, Tom steals his skin back and escapes into a croquet field. Jerry runs through the field until he sees Tom, but cannot avoid being pelted by Tom's mallet. As Jerry hits the starting post, the bell is expelled from his stomach; Tom catches both the mouse and the bell and continuously rings the bell as the cartoon fades to a new scene.

Tom has now pressed Jerry into servitude, using the bell as his signal. Jerry brings Tom's tray of food to him and falls under its weight. While Tom gobbles a turkey leg, Jerry reads the paper which shows the leash law's reversal: LEASH LAW LIFTED: Happy hounds hail freedom, due to citizens' protest against the leash law. Ecstatic, Jerry hits Tom with the newspaper, causing Tom's turkey to be lodged in his throat. Before the cat can capture him, Jerry rings his bell, and nothing happens for the moment. Tom, still believing the dog to be tied up based on Spike's non-appearance, rings the bell and bops Jerry alternately. Spike, carrying a newspaper himself, sneaks behind Tom and whacks him. Clueless, Tom rings the bell and gets smacked again. Tom then rings the bell one more time and ducks the newspaper's swing, then peeks behind him and briefly sees Spike; Spike whacks the cat a third time, then cordially returns the bell to Jerry and engages Tom in a brutal fight. After the brawl, Spike and Jerry are strolling down a street, with Tom inside a dog's leash and collar. Spike kicks Tom whenever Jerry rings the bell.




An animation cell from the short.


  • Even though there are many episodes where Tom has attacked Spike, this is one of the very few (if not the only) moments where he torments Spike for no reason aside from sheer amusement mostly because with Spike leashed up, he won't be able to do anything to hurt Tom. Usually when he attacks Spike, he does so either to get him out of the way against Jerry or just to save himself from getting beaten up by the bulldog.
  • This short was shown in the 1994 movie, Baby's Day Out.
  • This is one of the only two shorts where Tom literally beats up Jerry. The other being Little School Mouse. This is the parallel version of Jerry beating up Tom several times in Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Mouse.
  • This is one of the five cartoons where Spike attacks Tom off-screen. The others are Quiet Please!, Love That Pup, Cat Napping, and Tops with Pops.
  • This is the 69th short of the series.
  • This is one of few times Spike beats Tom without threatening him.