You must have very fond memories of Tom and Jerry as a cartoon. We really enjoyed it as children. No dialogues and comedy that really got to us, it made adults and children alike.
And then one day we revisited out favorite childhood cartoon one more time. And something changed. Back in our head, we started feeling a tiny bit sorry for Tom didn’t we? But we pushed that thought away because Jerry is always the quintessentially good guy.
Tom is the bad guy, right?
Then as we watch more episodes, we start sympathizing with Tom more and more. It is only after a long time that we realize that Jerry is not the victim as we thought him to be. He just comes across as an asshole.
1. Let’s start from the top. Tom is a pet cat. He is allowed inside the house. Jerry isn’t.
Jerry is a rodent. And he seems to love destroying everything in sight. If you remember how he one tried to destroy a good buffet by eating everything on the table. Tom was simply preventing Jerry from destroying a party.
2. Most of the times Tom is just laying back and relaxing before he is disturbed by the scheming Jerry
Tom either relaxes or keep profoundly stupid things, like trying to win one over Jerry. But that will never happen and never does. Try to observe the next time. It is always Jerry who comes barging into the room and wrecking havoc.
3. Whatever Tom does seems to be in retaliation, although he does try to eat Jerry on multiple occasions
Tom does try to eat Jerry and the bird and his other rodent friends. But that is just because Jerry pissed him off at first. Jerry basically painted a huge target on himself. Nothing else.
4. Whatever Tom really tries to do is protect his master’s property from the destructive Jerry
Many episodes show how Tom valiantly tries to protect his master’s property and instead gets scolded by the lady because Jerry disappears in the end. Tom suffers the beating of the lady after that and the episode ends with him lying down in a sad state, beaten by two entities in a single day for no fault of his.
5. And Jerry absolutely destroys Tom by doing things that are basically gross violence
Tom has had his teeth completely cracked and broken.
Jerry has dropped whole anvils on Tom.
Jerry has plucked Tom’s whiskers one by one as he remains trapped helpless.
And let’s not even talk about how many times he has been beaten on the head and foot by a hammer.
6. On top of the physical assault, Tom has to suffer the intense psychological humiliation of losing again and again.
Imagine that you lost every day on a loop all day every day. It was like fate had ordained him to lose every day. You wonder as an adult how he never gave up.
7. And Jerry continued his assault punishing Tom without compunction. Is Jerry really a hero as we believed him to be?
Jerry never gives up his sadistic behavior. He just keeps on punishing Tom again and again.
The reason we probably empathized with Jerry was because Jerry was small, and Tom looked dominant. Jerry’s “disability” of a small size was not an issue, though. He used his brains to make life hell for Tom. And Tom was never as clever as Jerry.
Which resulted in his humiliation, every time.
Put your hands up if you have felt sorry for Tom.
Maybe that’s why we empathize with him as adults. Because we have felt like Tom did at some part of our lives.