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Li'l Dropout (sometimes called "Dropout" or "Droppy") was an ape who was the pet/mascot of the Pallette Twins. He lived with them in their hidden art studio under Slingshot Mountain in Virginia. He was mischievous and also produced his own works of art.

When the Plenty family came to Slingshot Mountain to visit B.O. Plenty's birthplace, Li'l Dropout abducted Sparkle Plenty, apparently wanting to use her as a model. The Plenty's called in Dick Tracy to search for Sparkle, and the Pallette Twins' hidden studio was soon discovered. The Twins convinced Tracy and the Plentys that Li'l Dropout had meant no harm, and the Plentys did not press charges.

The incident had made Dick Tracy suspicious, and he returned to the twins' studio in disguise. While there, Tracy and Diet Smith hid surveillance equipment in the studio. Li'l Dropout discovered the devices and brought them to the twins' attention.

The twins realized that the police had discovered their drug smuggling operation, and they prepared to flee in a helicopter without Li'l Dropout. Dropout jumped onto the rear section of the helicopter, which caused it to crash. Dropout was thrown clear, and was later found. He suffered a broken arm, but was otherwise uninjured.

With no owner or guardian, Li'l Dropout then became a member of the Police Department Menagerie. He later befriended the newly-arrived Moon Maid, and the two produced artworks of each other.

Li'l Dropout's name later inspired the name of the gang of delinquents who worked for Matty Square. They wore buttons with an image of an ape on it.


  • Li'l Dropout was an ape, but it is not clear what kind of ape. His face was dark like a gorilla, but he was small and agile like a chimpanzee.
  • When Li'l Dropout first appeared, he was drawn without any distinct facial features except for his eyes that were in the middle of a hairy black mass. Later, his features were shown more clearly defined.