Top 10 Pinky & the Brain Moments (ft. the Voices of Pinky & the Brain!)
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Top 10 Pinky & the Brain Moments (ft. the Voices of Pinky & the Brain!)

VOICE OVER: Rebecca Brayton
These "Pinky and the Brain" moments range from genius to insane. Our countdown includes saving the world, cloning a son, Larry, and more!

Top 10 Pinky and the Brain Moments

Welcome to WatchMojo, and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Pinky and the Brain Moments.

For this list, we’ll be looking at this diabolical duo’s defining moments across all incarnations, from “Animaniacs,” to their spinoff, to… “Animaniacs” again.

Are you pondering your favorite Pinky and the Brain moment? Let us know in the comments. Now, it’s time for the same thing we do every night, try to take over the worldwide web!

#10: Brain’s Origins
“Animaniacs” (2020-)

We all know that Brain wants to take over the world, but why? Sigmund Freud once deduced that Brain’s obsession stems from childhood trauma when he was taken from his tin can home, which had an image of the world on it. The “Animaniacs” reboot adds another layer to the Brain’s surprisingly sad origins. Opening up to Pinky, Brain reminiscences about how Acme Labs experimented on him. Presented with a plate of delicious cheese, little Brain is shocked every time he attempts to grab it. This fuelled Brain’s desire to seize control of his life and the world. Much like the cheese, the world is always out of his grasp. It’s a tragic backstory, although Pinky’s origins make the moment tragically hysterical.

#9: Brain Says the Incorrect Spell
“Animaniacs” (1993-98)

This “Animaniacs” episode was entirely dedicated to Pinky and the Brain, demonstrating that they had the potential to carry a show. On a medieval quest, the mice survive Witch Hazel, a troll, a giant Ralph, and a dragon. After all that, Brain just needs to say a simple spell that will grant him control of the world. Pinky’s stupidity and Brain’s ego prove to be their downfall, however. Throughout the episode, Pinky struggles to complete his songs, even though the rhymes seem obvious. This repeatedly frustrates Brain, culminating in him messing up the spell. It’s hilarious that Brain would throw away all that hard work just because he couldn’t let one little annoyance slide. We guess you could call it a real “cheesehead” move.

#8: Brain Meets His Parents
“Pinky and the Brain” (1995-98)

It’s always interesting whenever we learn more about the Brain’s upbringing. In the spinoff’s Season One finale, Brain is reunited with his parents. Since they’re ordinary field mice, he’s unfortunately unable to communicate with them. Brain invents a couple of devices that allow them to speak, but he quickly comes to regret this. The brilliant lab mouse clearly doesn’t take after his mom or dad, who are voiced by Tress MacNeille and Oscar-winner Ernest Borgnine, respectively. If anything, they have more in common with Pinky. Any grown adult with overbearing parents will relate to Brain as his folks nitpick every facet of his life. Thankfully, Brain manages to find a win-win situation by sending his parents to where all senior citizens eventually go: “FlAr-ida.”

#7: Pinky’s World Domination Plan
“Pinky and the Brain” (1995-98)

After numerous failed attempts to take over the world, the Brain decides to let Pinky come up with the next plan. Although Brain expects Pinky’s plan to crash and burn, the road to world domination is practically rolled out like a red carpet. What starts off as an oyster petting zoo leads Pinky becoming Mayor for a Day, which leads to him taking over a media empire, which leads to Bill Clinton making him Chairman of the Federal Reserve. As it turns out, Pinky’s plan was inspired by the Brain’s schemes. When you think about it, most of the Brain’s ideas are nonsensical on paper. Behind the insanity, however, there’s genius. Brain makes the mistake of taking over Pinky’s plan, though, resulting in another failure.

#6: Larry
“Pinky and the Brain” (1995-98)

Pinky and the Brain are a dynamic comedy duo like Laurel and Hardy or Abbott and Costello. So, when the network pressured the creators to add another character, they responded with Larry. Voiced by Billy West in the episode and Rob Paulsen in the credits, Larry resembles Louis Feinberg. We suppose the Brain would be Moe and Pinky would be Curly. Unlike the Three Stooges, however, Brain finds that there isn’t room for a third member, especially one with nothing to contribute. Trying to introduce a Larry - or a Zeppo for that matter - just ruins a dynamic that was already perfect. It’s a clever meta commentary on television network interference, although Kids’ WB would eventually get their way with “Pinky, Elmyra & the Brain.”

#5: Cloning a Son
“Pinky and the Brain” (1995-98)

Raising a baby Superman didn’t pan out, but Pinky and the Brain later welcome their own son into the world. Technically, Brain clones a son who he names Roman Numeral I, or Romy for short. Since Pinky’s toenail accidentally mixes with Brain’s tissue, Romy is a product of both mice. While Romy is smarter than Pinky, he lacks Brain’s ambition to dominate the world. We’re not sure if the writers were trying to make real-world commentary, but seeing two male characters raise a child was quite progressive for 1997. The episode is ultimately about letting your children choose their own path. In a touching resolution, Brain accepts Romy’s desire to become a ventriloquist and date a human woman. Love comes in many forms.

#4: Going to Hades
“Pinky and the Brain” (1995-98)

Following another botched plan, the Brain receives an offer from the Devil, voiced by Garry Marshall. Wait, is that a “Hocus Pocus” reference? In any case, Brain doesn’t give into temptation, but Pinky sells his soul to make his best friend’s dream come true. Brain finally takes over the world, although it’s meaningless without Pinky. While he won’t admit his affection for Pinky, Brain goes to Hell for him. In one of the show’s most heartfelt instances, Brain not only vows to give up his place as world leader, but his entire conquest for world domination to get Pinky back. While the Devil pulls a fast one on Brain in a rhythmic gymnastics challenge, it’s Pinky’s ignorance that ironically outsmarts the Prince of Darkness.

#3: “Animaniacs” Reunion
“Pinky and the Brain” (1995-98)

Aside from an occasional reference, the “Pinky and the Brain” spinoff didn’t feature many appearances from the rest of the “Animaniacs” crew. The series finale served as a reunion and a “Star Wars” parody. While Rita and Runt are absent, almost everyone else plays an integral role. Even Freakazoid briefly pops up! It’s great seeing all of these classic characters work off each other again, especially in a creative environment like this. As per usual, though, the best interactions are between Pinky and Brain, who stand in for C-3PO and R2-D2. The episode also has what might be their most self-aware “Are You Pondering” gag. The series doesn’t end with them taking over the galaxy, but more laughs would await in the next millennium.

#2: Saving the World
“Pinky and the Brain” (1995-98)

In an epic three-parter that practically flows like a movie, Pinky and the Brain set out to save the world… so they can dominate it later. The duo must thwart an intelligent cat and villainous clown who plot to drain everyone’s minds with a dance song inspired by the “Macarena.” It’s as silly as it sounds, but the “Brainwashed” trilogy also ups the stakes like never before, even resulting in Snowball’s cuddly undoing. The story builds to a funny, catchy, and large-scale climax in which the mice lead presidential aide Bobby Bob in a performance that reverses the Schmeerskahoven’s effects. Pinky and the Brain save the day, although their mousy worth goes unnoticed. Nevertheless, tomorrow is another night to take over the world.

Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions.

Christopher Walken as Christopher Robin, “Pinky and the Brain” (1995-98)
Just When You Thought His “Annie Hall” Monologue Couldn’t Get Weirder

Brain Cries Watching “The Tiger Prince,” “Pinky and the Brain” (1995-98)
Not to Be Confused with a Certain Disney Movie or Netflix Docuseries

Starting a Nuclear War Between the U.S. & Canada, “Pinky and the Brain” (1995-98)
Hillary is Still the Most Capable Clinton in 3502 A.D.

Brain Becomes a Country Music Star, “Animaniacs” (1993-98)
On the Top of the World Lookin’ Down on Creation

Inspiration From an Orson Welles Outtake, “Animaniacs” (1993-98)
Suddenly, We’re in the Mood for Frozen Peas

#1: Brain Reads Pinky’s Letter
“Pinky and the Brain” (1995-98)

“Pinky and the Brain” will always be best-known for satire, but it was the show’s heart that secured this Christmas special a Primetime Emmy for Outstanding Animated Program. Having delivered his hypnotic Noodle Noggin dolls around the globe, all the pieces are in place for Brain to take over. The Brain couldn’t care less about the letter Pinky forgot to send to Santa… until he reads it. Learning that Pinky asked Santa to give all of his gifts to his best friend, Brain and the audience are moved to tears. He’s so touched that he wishes the world a merry Christmas instead. He might not get the world, but when Brain receives an Earth-shaped keychain from Pinky, we believe his heart grew three sizes. Narf!