Pinky and the Brain are two genetically enhanced lab mice who live in a cage in the Acme Labs research facility. Each week, Brain comes up with a new plan for the two to take over the world and it ultimately ends in failure.
In common with many other Animaniacs shorts, many episodes are in some way a parody of something else—usually a film. The series won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Special Class—Animated Program in 1996. The show was produced by Oscar winner Steven Spielberg.
The shows taglines are as follows:
Pinky: "Gee, Brain, what do you want to do tonight?"
Brain: "The same thing we do every night, Pinky: Try to take over the world!"
The Brain bears a resemblance to Orson Welles, particularly in his vocal characteristics (voiced by Maurice LaMarche). LaMarche won an Annie Award for “Outstanding Individual Achievement for Voice Acting by a Male Performer in an Animated Television Program Production” for this role in 1998.
Brain is highly intelligent and is constantly developing plans to take over the world.
Pinky (voiced by Rob Paulsen) is another genetically modified mouse who shares the same cage at Acme Labs but is substantially less bright. He speaks with a heavy Cockney accent (though English people familiar with genuine Cockney accents may well dispute this).
He frequently says nonsensical interjections such as "narf", "zort","poit", and "troz" (the last of which Pinky started saying after noticing it was "'zort' in the mirror"). He also used "fjord" and "gnurf" on unique occasions, and "natch" in an episode set in the film noir era. Rob Paulsen won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Performer in an Animated Program for this role in 1999.
*Brain becomes a country singer who plays a hypnotic message in his video. His stage name is 'Bubba Bo Bob Brain', which Pinky cannot pronounce. Brain becomes the country's most popular singer (since he hypnotises his audiences to buy all his records), and on the night he does a nation-wide show, he plans to give the hypnotic command to obey him as the country's leader.
But when set to give the command, Pinky once again calls Brain by the wrong name. A frustrated Brain snaps 'Just forget my name. And while you're at it, forget you ever knew me!'. The crowd obeys the command and forgets about Brain all together, foiling his plan once again.
*Brain has run for President of the United States. His running mate is Admiral Pinky (parodying Admiral Stockdale), who in his only television appearance states, "Zort, what am I doin' here?" Appearing to be charismatic and lovable, Brain rises in the polls, but never makes a public appearance. When he finally does the night before the election, the public is shocked to discover that Brain resembles a mouse because he is a mouse. Brain promptly loses the election.
* In one episode, Brain uses a machine that can increase or decrease intelligence, and uses it so that Pinky can become smart enough to understand that he is the cause of Brain's failures, due to research Brain conducted. (Brain will later discover he miscalculated his research, and that he himself is the cause of his failures.) Pinky, depressed over the fact that Brain doesn't like him when he is smart, uses the machine to make himself stupid, so Brain will like him again.
However, Brain, realizing he has botched his own plans, and believing both of them to be better off with Pinky as the genius and Brain as a moron, uses the machine on himself as well. In the end, both of them are idiots, and thus, are too dumb to operate the machine and restore either of them to their intelligent selves. This is reflected in the episode's final lines.
Pinky: What are we going to do tomorrow night, Brain?
Brain: The same thing we do every night, Pinky.
Pinky: What's that?
Brain: ...I have no idea.