Mary Melody is a female African-American character on the television show Tiny Toon Adventures. As Montana Max and Elmyra Duff do not consistently attend Acme Looniversity, the show's principal setting, Mary is the only human student on the show with a name and recurring appearances. Mary's name is a play on the Merrie Melodies shorts produced between 1931 and 1969 by Warner Bros., the same studio that produced Tiny Toons. Mary is one of the few characters on Tiny Toons who does not have a clear analogue to a character in the Looney Tunes cast. Her closest analogy might be the nameless women depicted in various cartoons as the successive owners of Sylvester the Cat and/or Tweety Bird before this position was exclusively taken by Granny.
In her first appearance, "Furrball Follies," the character Furrball escapes Elmyra's house and ends up living with Mary, who is a much better pet owner than the unintentionally destructive Elmyra. Eventually, Furrball leaves Mary and returns to Elmyra, who missed the cat very badly. Later appearances would show that Mary attended school with the other characters on the show. In the episode "Prom-Ise Her Anything," for example, Mary is depicted as being a reporter on Acme Looniversity's campus news show. No episode of Tiny Toons ever focused specifically on Mary, however. In turn, Mary's character would crack jokes about her small role. In an episode parodying the story of Robin Hood, for example, Mary appears as one of the Merry Men. She quips, "Another cameo, another paycheck," and then does not speak again for the remainder of the episode. Like Elmyra, Mary's voice was done by Cree Summer.
In an interview with the website Platypus Comix, Tiny Toons producer Tom Ruegger discussed why the character never developed. "We liked the name "Mary Melody." She was a very late add to the mix, and didn't receive any character development. She basically filled the role of "Nice Generic Human Girl," and we used her when we needed a sympathetic and warm human character...as opposed to Montana Max and Elmyra, who oozed very limited sympathy. When Babs Bunny, Fifi La Fume and Shirley the Loon came into better focus and could carry a great deal of the feminine appeal of the show, we had very little need for Mary Melody." In the same interview, Ruegger denies that Mary Melody was designed in reference to the character So White from the Warner Bros.-produced Coal Black and de Sebben Dwarfs.