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Her name is derived from fellow New Age aficionado, Shirley MacLaine, while the latter part of the name is an obvious pun. More often than not, other toons refer to Shirley as "Shirley the Loon" rather than "Shirley McLoon."
Shirley is a young clairvoyant loon with extraordinary psychic powers. Her intelligence is somewhat obscured by a thick Valley girl accent and obsession with superficial New Age paraphernalia. Many characters regard Shirley as a flake, but she takes their skepticism philosophically; "I know I'm at one with the spiritual plane. Besides, in your next lives, you're all coming back as avocados, so there." Always in a state of unflappable cosmic oneness, Shirley is the spaciest toon in Acme Acres.
She is our New Age space cadet and mystic. Her head is in the clouds and her mind is in a galaxy far, far away. She's into E.S.P., telekinesis, astrology, crystals, tarot cards, tea leaves, palm reading, levitation and reincarnation. Shirley has hundreds of past lives. You name it, Shirley has been it. The aura can float out of her body, punch somebody, then return, all while Shirley is serenely meditating. The aura sometimes lags behind, causing Shirley to lean back into a room and whistle for it.
In the Music Day episode segment, Loon Lake, Shirley is a keen ballerina who has to face prejudice when attending an upmarket ballet school otherwise attended exclusively by Perfecto Prep swans, including Giselle. Jealous at her superior dance skills, they mock her accent and try to sabotage her performance at their recital, but are soon thwarted by Shirley's nimble moves and a behind-the-scenes Babs, staging a sabotage of her own.
When not meditating (sometimes levitating while chanting, "Ohm what a loon I am... Ohm what a loon I am...") or fortune-telling, Shirley hangs out with her Acme Looniversity classmates and best friends, Babs Bunny and Fifi La Fume.
Auras and Powers Edit
Shirley is adept at mind reading, channeling and projecting her aura (a glowing likeness of herself with a mind of its own). She can levitate herself during meditation, commune with her aura (which is sometimes a separate entity from her) and also fire force-blasts from her hands when agitated. In the Love Disconnection episode segment, The Amazing Three, where Babs Bunny, Fifi La Fume, and Shirley attend a prom at Perfecto Prep (a rival university), red punch gets spilled on Shirley and she begins a rampage very similar to that of Carrie (although much more G-rated), from the Stephen King novel of the same name. The scene even goes as far as when Fifi asks what is Shirley doing, Babs dryly remarks, "Remember the movie, Carrie?"
In the Test Stress episode segment, Never Too Late To Loon, she demonstrates that she apparently also has the power to change a person's intellect, personality and appearance. When Plucky begs her to give him Einstein's intellect to help him pass a math test, which she adamantly refuses many times, she eventually gives him Einstein's intellect after his constant pestering, but in the end this doesn't help him as she (perhaps deliberately) forgot to mention that when he was a kid, Einstein failed math too. Presumably the effect is only temporary, as Plucky is back to normal in his next appearance.
Shirley is usually sitting in a lotus position, chanting, "OHMMM," while floating several feet above the ground. When the rest of the gang tries in vain to scale a wall, Shirley simply floats over it. Known to answer questions before they're asked, Shirley is not your average toon. Buster thinks Shirley is a hoot. Babs can relate to her; they're both "out there." Fifi believes in Shirley's prophesies, especially when they relate to romance. Monty doesn't believe in Shirley at all.