Invisibility is a common plot used in many Hanna-Barbera cartoon series. Such ability was commonly used for the purpose of thwarting a villain's schemes, secretly foiling criminal activity, and at times, mischief. When a character becomes invisible, his or her clothing usually vanishes with him or her.
There is speculation that invisibility plots may have occurred because the artists who designed the characters may have needed a break from drawing, thus making an invisibility plot very useful to fill the episode order.
Examples of invisibility plots
- "The Clockwork Smurf" (1981): In an attempt to get Prince Gerard to his coronation safely without harm, all of the Smurfs and Prince Gerard become invisible using a special glowberry formula, which the effects last for only two hours. Prince Gerard becomes visible prematurely while running past his enemies, while the other Smurfs were still invisible.
- "The Chief Recordsmurf" (1983): Papa Smurf accidentally creates an invisibility formula, and later makes good use of the formula by turning himself and a few other Smurfs invisible in an attempt to rescue some Smurfs abducted by Gargamel.
- "Jokey's Cloak" (1986): Jokey borrowed an invisibility cloak to play pranks on the Smurfs. When a bucket of water fell on Jokey while wearing the cloak, he started to become invisible even without the cloak.
Pixie and Dixie and Mr. Jinks
- "Jinks' Mice Device": Mr. Jinks creates a device that made Pixie and Dixie invisible by mistake, and the mice take full advantage by causing mischief.
- "Barney the Invisible"
- "One of our Aircraft Carriers Is Missing" (1980) While Richie and Gloria Glad are looking for gadgets to help find missing carriers, Dollar the Dog discovers a special ball-point pen that sprays an invisibility formula. Professor Keenbean accidentally makes his head invisible, but mentions the effects last only one hour.
- "Villains, Inc." (1981): Richie uses invisible paint he borrowed from Professor Keenbean in an effort to foil organized crime.
Tom & Jerry
- "The Invisible Mouse" (1947)
- "The Vanishing Duck"
Mork & Mindy
- "The Invisible Mork" (1982): Mork drinks a beverage containing strawberries, which he is allergic to, and made him invisible when consumed. He used his invisibility to secretly fight a bully in order to win back Mindy.
- "Bear for Punishment": Yogi asks a traveling magician to make him and Boo Boo invisible so they can steal picnic baskets without being seen by Ranger Smith.
Josie and the Pussycats
- "X Marks the Spot" (1970): While on tour in London, Josie and her friends encounter Mr. X, who became invisible after drinking an experimental formula he had stolen. Alexander, Melody and Alexandra create another batch of the formula, but it makes them only partly invisible.
Hong Kong Phooey
- "The Little Man Who Wasn't There" (1974): Hong Kong Phooey pursues Dr. Nowhere, a diamond thief who uses a special invisibility formula, along with an antidote.
- "Invisibly Yours, George" (1985): George becomes invisible while testing one of Mr. Spacely's inventions. George's clothing isn't affected, and his invisibility wears off while he is totally nude.
- "Out of Sight" (1973) In Egypt, Professor Rishna discovers an invisibility solution, which he uses to kidnap Debbie and Mark while Tinker and Speed Buggy come to their rescue. Debbie, Tinker and Mark eventually make themselves invisible as a last ditch attempt to foil Rishna's schemes.
The Great Grape Ape
- "The Invisible Ape" (1975) Grape Ape is doing a soap commercial when the soap suds make him invisible, except for his head and feet. Later, two criminals steal the soap formula, in hope of using it to commit robberies.