Puss n' Toots is a 1942 one-reel animated cartoon and is the 6th Tom and Jerry short. It was produced in Technicolor and released to theatres on May 30, 1942 by Metro-Goldwyn Mayer and re-issued on April 24, 1948 and August 1958. It was produced by Fred Quimby (uncredited on original issue) for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, directed by William Hanna and Joseph Barbera, music by Scott Bradley (uncredited) and animated by Pete Burness, Jack Zander, George Gordon, Irven Spence, Bill Littlejohn, and Cecil Surry (all uncredited). The name of the short is an allusion to the fairy tale Puss 'n' Boots.
Tom is watching Jerry as he runs around an empty fishbowl. Jerry tries to escape the bowl, but Tom pushes him back in. Then the doorbell rings and Mammy Two Shoes goes to answer it. Tom then puts the flowers back in the bowl, grabs Jerry, and hides him in a filing cabinet under the letter "M" for mouse. Tom now has to hide under the cabinet as Mammy comes directly towards him, and she answers the door to receive a cute female cat to take care of temporarily. Mammy sits her up on the couch as Tom sees her and instantly falls in love. The cat is struck by Cupid's arrow and dresses up by smoothing down his hair, curling his whiskers and tail, and spraying himself with cologne. He then proudly walks over to her and she smiles back. He offers her a goldfish and a canary, but she is not hungry for either.
Seeing a chance to humiliate Jerry, Tom instead goes over to the filing cabinet to release him. Jerry escapes and runs away, but Tom takes his time looking through a magazine to shake him off his tail before giving chase. Tom catches Jerry by his tail just before he runs through his mouse hole, releases him, and sits on the couch. As Jerry runs toward him, Tom holds out his arm for Jerry to climb, and Jerry climbs it and is then caught between the cat's fingers.
Tom then holds Jerry in his hands, blows into them and makes Jerry disappear like a magician, although the camera shows that he is holding Jerry by his tail. Tom pokes his fingers into the bow around the girl cat's neck and reveals Jerry. This makes the cat smile as she apparently begins to fall for Tom.
Tom rolls up his hands, grabs a box of chocolates and opens it to reveal Jerry is sitting in the middle of it. Tom then grabs a handkerchief and stuffs Jerry into it before throwing the handkerchief in the air, and Jerry parachutes down to the couch. The cat quickly covers Jerry, then hides him fast enough for the girl not to notice. Then, he opens the handkerchief and Jerry has "disappeared", though of course, Tom is actually sitting on Jerry.
Underneath the cat's rear, Jerry tries to escape, but he can't, so he grabs a ribbon which pulls part of a hat with a hat pin in it into the mouse's reach. Jerry grabs the pin and sticks Tom, allowing him to escape. The mouse leaves the pin out for Tom to (almost) stick himself on the fall, and then runs over to the desk and quickly raises the telephone to call for help. Since there is no response, Jerry then runs inside a full automatic record player, but Tom turns on the turntable, causing the mouse to go nowhere fast. Tom then presses the button to change records, but forgets he is sitting on one. Jerry flops himself to get off the turntable just before Tom falls onto it and is "played" by the turntable due to the record on his tail. The girl cat now wonders where her beau is and peeks at the developing scene.
Jerry, inside needle container in a record player, digs himself out only to see he has been impaled repeatedly with the needles. After shaking them out of him, Jerry avenges himself by causing the records to change again, and it hits Tom's head, causing the cat to assume a Zen Buddhist caricature as the table spins. Happy with himself, Jerry dances to the Oriental music, then changes the record to a Spanish tango, which causes Tom's rear to gyrate in time, supplemented by Jerry kicking it. The mouse continues to dance to the music, but accidentally sits on the Stop button, freeing the cat. Tom is eager for revenge of his own and pounces at the mouse, but Jerry takes stock of the situation fast enough to restart the player as Tom jumps through the record passer, causing Tom to be lodged in it. Now, the cat tries to escape the turntable, but is forcibly slapped back onto it by the needle whenever he does, and is then planted directly on the record and smacked by the reader as he makes the revolutions. Jerry then presses the start button to stop Tom and get him running on a record again. Jerry then starts pressing random buttons and waves at the helpless girl cat as records fly at her and then continually break over Tom's head, except for one that doesn't. Eventually, with help from the needle holding Tom into place, the last record knocks Tom out as it breaks and Tom is thrown through the player as it self-destructs. Jerry then goes over to the mirror, makes himself beautiful, kisses the girl cat and prances proudly into his mouse hole.
- Clarence Nash and William Hanna as Tom Cat
- William Hanna as Jerry Mouse
- Lillian Randolph as Mammy Two Shoes (1942 original)
- Thea Vidale as Mammy Two Shoes (1989 redubbed)
- This is the first appearance of Toots.
- Jerry speaks in this cartoon. He shouts "Help, help!" into the phone when Tom chases him. This is one of the only ten cartoons where Jerry speaks. The others are Puss Gets the Boot (1940), The Lonesome Mouse (1943), The Zoot Cat (1944), The Milky Waif (1946), Kitty Foiled (1948), Saturday Evening Puss (1950), His Mouse Friday (1951), Blue Cat Blues (1956), and Mucho Mouse (1957).
- Tom presents a box of chocolates to the girl cat. In real life, chocolate is considered toxic to cats.
- For unknown reasons, in the DVD release of this cartoon in the Tom and Jerry Spotlight Collection Volume 2, the blue MGM lion 1954-1958 title card is replaced by a later 1961 black Gene Deitch-era MGM cartoon title card (the one with Leo the lion). The original audio is preserved, however, Leo the lion's roar doesn't time well with Tanner the lion's original roar. However, TV showings retain the blue title card rather than plaster the black 1960s card over it, but this may be a Turner print, rather than a restored print. A copy with the original 1942 opening and closing cards is known to exist.
- The female cat Tom had a crush on later appeared again in The Mouse Comes to Dinner (1945).
- As originally released Fred Quimby was not credited as producer and he would not until The Milky Waif (1946).
- This was the first cartoon to use one of the recycled William Hanna Tom Scream sounds (both Fraidy Cat and Dog Trouble used earlier Tom screams that were only heard in those cartoons).
- The censored scene where Tom pretends to be Chinese has become a viral Internet meme in September 2020 under the name of Tom Ching Cheng Hanji.
- There is a very short scene when a record disc lands on Tom's head. Tom's eyes become slanted and his whiskers straighten downwards, making him appear like a Chinese caricature, and Jerry then proceeds to imitate his foe's predicament. This is cut from a number of network and cable stations in the US (including Cartoon Network) as it is deemed "racially insensitive" towards Chinese people. (It is, though, uncut on the Spotlight Collection, Volume 2 DVD, as well as the Golden Collection, Volume One Blu-ray/DVD).
- Mammy Two Shoes' appearance, in the beginning, was removed on local syndication.
- During 1942, the USA had already joined the battles of World War II since the Attack on Pearl Harbor was broken. The end of the short features a message about war bonds: "America needs your money. Buy war bonds and stamps every pay day" to collect the money from the watcher of this cartoon. This has been removed from the re-release print.