A smug grey cat named Jasper (later renamed Tom) takes great pleasure in tormenting a small mouse named Jinx (later known as Jerry). Jinx is trying to run away from Jasper but Jasper keeps grabbing him with his tail so that he runs nowhere. Eventually Jinx breaks free but goes into Jasper's mouth, narrowly escaping. Jasper then draws a mousehole on the wall to trick Jinx into entering it. Jinx bangs against the wall until he is knocked silly. Jasper revives him using water and picks him up. Slowly realizing the situation, Jinx pinches Jasper with a binder clip, making him yelp in pain. The incensed cat chases the mouse into a flower stand, where it cracks and destroys the flower and its pot. Mammy Two Shoes enters the room and scolds Jasper for his behavior, telling him that if he makes one more mess, he will get kicked out of the house. The cat promises to obey and sulks off, but nearly runs into a vase. Jinx chuckles at him as he puts the vase back and this causes the cat to chase him, but when the mouse holds a cup over the edge of the table, the cat backs off, not wanting to get in trouble again.
After Mammy comes by with the remains of the flowerpot, Jinx puts the cup down. Seeing his chance, Jasper rushes at the mouse, but the mouse holds back the cat by threatening to drop the glass again. The mouse then drops the cup and Jasper rushes to catch it. Jinx throws more cups and it becomes hard for Jasper to catch them all. As Jinx walks away with the last cup, the angry cat drops pillows on the ground. When the mouse tries to humiliate the cat by dropping the cup, it stays intact when it lands on the soft surface of the pillows. The mouse tries to escape but Jasper catches him by the tail. The cat inadvertently throws the mouse onto a shelf, where he escapes and begins throwing dishes at the cat, making sure that his enemy will "get the boot." Jasper begins to tire of holding all the dishes, after which the mouse humiliates the cat by dropping one last dish on the ground.
Mammy enters the room once again just as Jinx swims in Jasper's milk bowl, uses the cat's tail as a towel and finally kicks the cat, causing him to scream in pain and drop all the dishes, creating a huge mess. Irate, Mammy tows Jasper out of the house as he hisses angrily. Once the cat is gone, Jinx waves goodbye to him, sticks out his tongue, puts a HOME SWEET HOME sign in front of his hole, and enters it.
- Clarence Nash - Jasper
- Bill Hanna - Jinx
- Lillian Randolph - Mammy Two Shoes (original)
- June Foray, Thea Vidale - Mammy Two Shoes (edited)
Puss Gets the Boot marked the debut of Tom and Jerry. In 1939, Joe Barbera and Bill Hanna teamed up together in animation. Their first idea together was a cartoon series about a cat and a mouse. They built the cartoon but just as they were making the cartoon series theme, after releasing the short the boss of MGM's cartoon studio Fred Quimby asked them to pursue other themes believing that cat-and-mouse cartoons were old and boring. However after the success of the cartoon Fred Quimby changed his mind.
Puss Gets the Boot was directed, drawn and written out by Hanna and Barbera but they gave sole credit to their close friend; animation teacher Rudolf Ising who actually just looked it over and permitted release of the short.
Originally produced as a stand-alone cartoon, the entry was so popular with audiences that MGM commissioned additional cartoons from Hanna and Barbera. It was with the second release, The Midnight Snack, that the characters were explicitly named Tom and Jerry. Puss Gets the Boot was nominated for an Oscar, losing to The Milky Way.
At over nine minutes, Puss Gets the Boot has the longest running time in the series.
Interesting Fact- From commentary on the Golden Collection you can see that Jerry disappears for 1 frame as he is walking along the top of the bureau after Tom has just laid out the pillows on the floor. It happens about 2 seconds before Jerry walks up to Tom peering at him from the other side of the bureau.
- DVD - Tom and Jerry Golden Collection, Disc 1; Tom and Jerry Spotlight Collection, Volume 2, Disc 1; Cartoon Funnies: The Complete Collection
- VHS - Tom & Jerry's 50th Birthday Classics
- Tom and Jerry
- MGM Cartoons
- Mitchell Beausejour Films