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Hero Overview
Oh, my stars and garters!
~ Penelope Pitstop from Wacky Races (2017)

Penelope Pitstop is one of Hanna-Barbera's most popular animated heroines.

Overview

Penelope Pitstop was the only female driver on Wacky Races. She drove car #5: the Compact Pussycat, which was essentially a beauty salon on wheels. Iwao Takamoto said in an interview that he and Jerry Eisenberg created her as an afterthought, as Joseph Barbera had suggested that a woman be included in the Wacky Races cast.

Character

  • She is the only female racer in the Wacky Races lineup, (not that she minds), driving a pink feminine car known as The Compact Pussycat which has personal grooming facilities that would sometimes backfire on other racers, such as shampoo foam hitting their faces. She always has time to relax and worry about her looks, because her car is like a beauty parlor. Penelope Pitstop also has a habit of holding her arm out in the breeze to dry newly applied nail polish, which the others mistake for a turn signal (this habit once sent the Roaring Plenty into a cactus).
  • Peter Perfect had a crush on her, a feeling that was returned, and always tried to help her; in "Dash to Delaware", they almost end up married. She later has two children by him, Parker and Piper Perfect. She also has a sister, Pandora Pitstop.
  • Unlike other drivers, Penelope rarely was targeted by the other racers (except Dick Dastardly of course), as it seems they also liked and tried to help her as Peter did. Penny was always thankful for their assistance and was perhaps the most peaceful racer on the track, though she twice gave the Creepy Coupe's dragon and serpent a good bashing with her umbrella. In the 2017 version, she eventually shows martial arts skills.
  • Penelope is an attractive southern belle. Although she is blind to the fact her guardian is her arch nemesis in disguise, she is very smart and often manages to get herself out of trouble before her true guardians the Ant Hill Mob can get to her in time.

Appearance

  • In Wacky Races, Penelope has long blond hair in a full fringe. She wears a purple racer helmet with goggles. She also wears a dark pink rider jacket with a purple turtleneck and purple gloves, pink skirt with red pants underneath and white boots. 
  • In The Perils of Penelope Pitstop, Penelope's eyes resemble those of Daphne Blake, and despite having white sclerae, she wears red lipstick. Her helmet is replaced by a magenta pilot helmet with matching white goggles. She now wears a hot pink long-sleeved jacket with a matching belt and long magenta scarf, which is hanging loose on the right side. Even though she still wears her red pants and white boots from Wacky Races, her gloves are now white.
  • In "Cross Country Double Cross", Penelope's blond hair is loose as she uses her helmet to block the hose which the Hooded Claw used to flood the train car.

Personality

  • Penelope is a beautiful, sexy, sweet natured, attractive and bubbly southern belle. Although she is blind to the fact her guardian is her arch nemesis in disguise, she is very smart and often manages to get herself out of trouble before her true guardians the Ant Hill Mob can get to her in time.
  • She wears a purple helmet with white goggles, a purple scarf, a pink-purple jacket, white gloves, red pants, and white go-go boots.
  • Penelope is often very positive and friendly. She considers all the other racers friends of hers, including Dick Dastardly and Muttley. On one occasion when Dick Dastardly was kicked out of Wacky Racing, Penelope ensured he'd get back into the league as Wacky Racing wasn't the same without his cheating attempts.
    • She also engineered a plan where the racers would purposefully lose to Dastardly so he could impress his father.

Portrayals

  • Penelope Pitstop was originally voiced by Janet Waldo, and by Kath Soucie in all her appearances in TV shows and video games, and now by Nicole Parker in the 2017 Wacky Races series.

Overview

  • Penelope Pitstop was the only female driver on Wacky Races. She drove car #5: the Compact Pussycat, which was essentially a beauty salon on wheels. Iwao Takamoto said in an interview that he and Jerry Eisenberg created her as an afterthought, as Joseph Barbera had suggested that a woman be included in the Wacky Races cast.
  • Aside from Dick Dastardly, the male racers are very chivalrous toward her, and rarely attack her car, sometimes even allowing her to pass them. The Turbo Terrific driver, Peter Perfect, is particularly fond of her, frequently calling her "Pretty Penny".
  • In her own series, The Perils of Penelope Pitstop, she had become a jet-setting heiress in 1912. The Ant Hill Mob had become Penelope's bodyguards, protecting her from the Hooded Claw and his twin henchmen, The Bully Brothers.
  • Janet Waldo performed Penelope's voice in both series. Penelope later had guest roles in the Yogi's Treasure Hunt episodes "Snow White and the Seven Treasure Hunters" and "Goodbye, Mr. Chump". She was radically redesigned for Penelope Pitstop GT, a Cartoon Network Web Premiere Toon.

Penelope Pitstop in popular culture

  • Penelope appeared with a few other Wacky Races characters in MetLife's television commercial during Super Bowl XLIII in 2012.
  • A range of Penelope Pitstop graphic shirts have been released in Singapore under Zara Kids.
  • Penelope is mentioned in the lyrics of a few popular songs, including "How Could She?" by Type O Negative, "The Influence" by Jurassic 5 and "N*ggaz Never Learn" by Big Daddy Kane.
  • On page 2 of the webcomic story "Dasien Meets Pulsar Pureheart", the villain Goldie says when stopped by Pulsar Pureheart, "Now, beat it, Penelope Pitstop! I don't have time for the a [sic] junior league superhero!"

Casting history

  • Janet Waldo: Wacky Races, The Perils of Penelope Pitstop, Yogi's Treasure Hunt, Wacky Races Starring Dastardly and Muttley
  • Kath Soucie: Wacky Races Forever
  • Nicole Parker: Wacky Races 2017

Trivia

  • Penelope's car, the Compact Pussycat, and the Crimson Haybaler are the only cars not named during the opening titles.
  • The Compact Pussycat never appeared in the Perils of Penelope Pistop; it was replaced by a green limousine-like vehicle.
  • The Hooded Claw does change between his true identity twice in frout of Penelope. The first time wasn't as obvious as he was bending down behind a desk, the second time she refuses to believe the truth and finds in an insult to her guardian.
  • In the 2017 Wacky Races series, she has a twin sister named Pandora.
  • Penelope holds the distinction of being the winner of the last Wacky Race from the classic series, The Carlsbad or Bust Bash.
  • Penelope was originally going to appear in the 2020 animated film Scoob!; she would be involved with the Mystery Inc. Gang along with other Hanna Barbera characters. Her appearance in the movie was scrapped for reasons unknown, although she made a cameo on the side of an abandoned arcade machine.

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