[[quoteright:288:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/tom_poes_bommel_8688.png]]
[[caption-width-right:288:Olivier B. Bommel and Tom Poes, [[CatchPhrase if you understand what we mean...]]]]

''"Tom Poes"'' (also known as the ''"Bommelsaga"'') was a [[PrintLongRunners long running]] Dutch newspaper comic strip written and drawn by Marten Toonder (1912-2005) from 1941 to 1986. The series take place in an antropomorphic animal fantasy world. The main protagonist is Tom Poes, a noble, courageous and intelligent little white cat and his best friend, Olivier B. Bommel, a vain, cowardly, but good natured bear who claims to be a ''lord'' and lives in a large castle, with his own butler, Joost. The series was a text comic (comic strips without text balloons and the text below the images), but has been published in text balloon format too.

''Tom Poes'' was not the first Dutch comic strip, but is generally considered to be [[FollowTheLeader the one that inspired all other comic strip artists in the country]]. It started off as a children's comic strip, but quickly [[GrowingTheBeard transformed]] in stories with a ParentalBonus. It's also one of the few to have a considerable impact on Dutch popular culture, with many phrases and characters inspiring everyday Dutch words and expressions. In the Netherlands ''Tom Poes'' is highly regarded as clever {{satire}} with [[SceneryPorn exquisite art work]], very creative storytelling and lots of AntiquatedLinguistics. For years it was even one of the few comic strips in the Netherlands to be considered ''literature''. Creator Toonder received countless awards during his long and fruitful career and built the only comic strip studio the Netherlands ever had.

In 1983, an animated film was made: ''"Als Je Begrijpt Wat Ik Bedoel"'' (''"The Dragon That Wasn't (Or Was He?"[[note]] Though the literal translation is "If you understand what I mean[[/note]]))''. Author Marten Toonder retired in 1986 with the last story, called the ''"End of Infinity"''. It ends with Bommel marrying and finally settling down, Tom Poes leaving the setting and the author himself addressing the readers, thanking them for their support throughout the years. Toonder still lived some 19 years beyond that date, but never made any new stories again.

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!! Some ''eenvoudige, doch voedzame'' (''simple, but wholesome'') tropes:
* AnachronismStew: The series takes place in the mid to late 20th century, but medieval fantasy elements and 18th and 19th century fashion styles also pop up from time to time.
* AnimalStereotypes: Bommel is a dumb bear, butler Joost is a noble and trusty dog, Marquis de Canteclaer is a proud peacock, Tom Poes is a clever cat, Wammes Waggel a silly goose, Officer Bulle Bas is a police bulldog, Wal Rus is a sea captain walrus.
* AntiquatedLinguistics: Marten Toonder enjoyed playing around with language and introduced many new words and expressions to the Dutch language. It's also one of the reasons his work cannot be easily translated. Some of his words were archaic Dutch words and expressions, however.
** Professor Zbygniew Prlwytzkofsky speaks pseudo German.
* ArtisticLicensePaleontology: In one story the characters travel back to the Stone Age, where dinosaurs and antropomorphic animals share the same ground.
* BadassBeard: Hocus Pas and Professor Zbygniew Prlwytzkofsky.
* BadassMoustache: Wal Rus. Naturally since he is a walrus.
* BadCopIncompetentCop: Commissaris Bullebas who always misunderstands a situation and especially mistrusts Bommel.
* BarefootCartoonAnimal: Some characters walk barefoot, others don't.
* TheBarnum: Joris Goedbloed.
* BreakOutCharacter: Olivier B. Bommel
* ButtMonkey: Olivier B. Bommel, who isn't taken seriously by the other villagers.
** Garmt Grootgrut, a sheep who owns a store and frequently complains how "small shop keepers are always unlucky."
* CanineCompanion: Bommel's loyal butler Joost is a anthropomorphic dog.
* CatchPhrase:
** ''"Als je begrijpt wat ik bedoel."''- Olivier B. Bommel ("if you understand what I mean")
** ''"Een eenvoudige, doch voedzame maaltijd."''- Olivier B. Bommel ("a simple but wholesome meal" - given that he lives in a castle, these tend to be elaborate and extravagant)
** ''"Zoals mijn goede vader zei."'' - Olivier B. Bommel ("like my good father used to say")
** ''"Verzin toch eens een list, jonge vriend!"'' - Olivier B. Bommel ("Do think of a plan, young friend" - it should be mentioned that the phrasing implies impatience and excessive demand)
** ''"Hihi, wat enigjes"''- Wammes Waggel ("hihi, how delightful" - this is a bad translation, but the phrase is almost untranslatable. It is the expression of delight from a character who is very childish/mentally underdeveloped in nature)
** ''"Fi Donc"''- Marquis de Canteclaer (a French expression of shock)
** ''"Wie is er weer de dupe? De kleine middenstander!"'' - Garmt Grootgrut ("Who again is the victim? The small proprietorship")
** ''"Ei Ei Ei"''- Joachim Sickbock (The sound made by an evil scientist character who is intrigued by something. Similar to "my, my, my")
** ''"Ik ga je opschrijven, Bommel, wat is je naam?"'' - Bulle Bas ("I will write you down, Bommel! What is your name?")
** ''"Met uw welnemen"''- Joost ("with your permission")
* CivilizedAnimal: Bommel claims to be a lord and the Marquis de Canteclaer is so snobbish that he uses French and Latin expressions to look more posh.
* CloudCuckoolander: Wammes Waggel. Also, to a lesser extent, Bommel.
* ContemporaryCaveman
* CoolCar: Bommel's car, ''"De Oude Schicht"''
* CowardlyLion: The bear Olivier B. Bommel who always panicks in every situation.
* CulturalTranslation: The stories have been translated to other countries, but have never been so succesful as in the Netherlands.
* CunningLikeAFox: Joris Goedbloed.
* DogsAreDumb: Officer Bulle Bas is a bulldog who always draws the wrong conclusions about suspects.
* DubNameChange: In Swedish, the characters are called Oliver B. Bumble, Tom Puss, Greatgrit, and in short, pretty much nobody's name remains the same as in the original.
* EvilSorcerer: Hocus P. Pas
* FeatherFingers: Wammes Waggel, a goose, has them.
* FictionalCountry: The entire world is an anthropomorphic animal world. Sometimes humans are seen, but not often.
* FrenchJerk: Marquis de Canteclaer, who is a very snobbish rooster. He speaks in French loanwords and always looks down on Bommel.
* FunnyAnimal
* TheGhost: The Ghost in ''"Het Spook van Bommelstein"''
* GiftedlyBad: Bommel tries to take up painting in the story ''"Eh... dinges"'', but is ridiculed for his lack of talent.
* TheGoodCaptain: Captain Wal Rus, though he is grouchy and also mispronounces Bommel's name.
* GoodIsBoring: Tom Poes, the protagonist, is the least memorable of all characters.
* GratuitousFrench: Marquis de Canteclaer uses a lot of French expressions to appear more ''chique''.
* GratuitousGerman: Zbygniew Prlwytzkofsky throws in a lot of German loanwords and grammatical sentence structures.
* GratuitousIambicPentameter: The language is always very colorful.
* HalfDressedCartoonAnimal: Olivier Bommel only wears a coat, nothing else.
* HeterosexualLifePartners: Tom Poes frequently stays over at Bommel's castle and always sticks up for him. Yet they are clearly just good friends. The strange aspect of their friendship happens in the final story where Bommel finally marries his long love interest Doddeltje. For no particular reason Tom Poes decides to leave and [[WalkingTheEarth walk the Earth]], thus ending the series.
* HomeBase: Bommel's castle in the village Rommeldam.
* HurricaneOfPuns: The series makes uses of a lot of word play and puns.
* HyperCompetentSidekick: Despite being the protagonist Tom Poes is treated as a sidekick by Bommel, even though Tom always has to save him.
* InterSpeciesFriendship: Bommel, a bear, and Tom Poes, a cat.
* TheJeeves: Joost, who is Bommel's faithful servant. Although he resigns his position about once per story, only to come back at the end.
* TheJerk: Marquis de Canteclaer who acts really snobbish, especially against Bommel. This is because Canteclaer is ''real'' nobility, and Bommel is ''pretend'' nobility - i.e. just a rich idiot who owns a castle, but no ''class''.
* KindheartedSimpleton: Wammes Waggel, who is a literal silly goose who enjoys having fun and never understands any real danger.
* MagicMirror: Plays an important role in the story ''"Tom Poes en de betoverde spiegel"''.
* ManChild: Wammes Waggel, who is so carefree and na´ve that he seems to be mentally challenged or at least very infantile.
* MatureAnimalStory: This looks like a general "funny animals" comicstrip, but the language, themes and allusions are very much adult.
* MeaningfulName: The town's psychiatrist is named ''"Zielknijper"'' (literally translated: ''"Soulpincher"''), which became a Dutch neologism later.
** Wal Rus is a walrus.
** Hieper is the small villain, while Super is the large one.
** Professor Sickbock is a goat, therefore his name (which literally translates into ''Goateegoat''.
** Hocus P. Pas, an evil wizard, whose name alludes to a typical magic spell.
* MeddlesomePatrolman: Police officer Bulle Bas.
* MirrorMatch: Officer Bulle Bas, the local police offer and Bul Super, a local criminal, are both similar looking bull dogs.
* {{Neologism}}: The comic strip introduced a lot of neologisms in the Dutch language like ''"kommer en kwel", "denkraam", "grootgrutter", "minkukel", "zielknijper"'',...
* MyNameIsNotDurwood: Captain Wal Rus always mispronounces Bommel's name.
* OnlySaneMan: Tom Poes.
* OverlyLongName: Zbygniew Prlwytzkofsky.
* PantslessMalesFullyDressedFemales: Bommel only wears a coat, but no pants. His love interest, Doddeltje, wears a 19th century style dress and bonnet.
* ParentalBonus: ''Tom Poes'' can be enjoyed by both children and adults.
* PoliceAreUseless: The local police force always suspects Bommel, who is usually innocent.
* PrintLongRunners: From 1941 until 1986.
* ProperlyParanoid: Officer Bulle Bas, who always suspects Bommel of any crime that takes place in Rommeldam.
* PunnyName: Most of the characters, including the main protagonist Tom Poes, whose name is a pun on the food ''"tom pouce"''. Some of them ''became'' puns later, as the neologisms in their name caught on.
** Wal Rus, a pun on ''walrus''.
** Hieper and Super, puns on ''hyper and super''.
* TheRival: Bommel and the Marquis de Canteclaer have a rivalry going on. They are both rich noblemen, but the Marquis is so snobbish that he always belittles Bommel whenever he can.
* RunningGag:
** Marquis de Canteclaer looking down upon Bommel and insulting him every which way he can.
** Wal Rus mispronouncing Bommel's name.
** Garmt Grootgrut complaining that ''the small proprietorship is once again the victim''.
** Bommel always boasts about his talents, achievements and aristocratic background, but nobody seems to take him seriously. Also, he is rather incompetent and whenever danger is about he chickens out.
** Police officer Bulle Bas always suspects Bommel is guilty, while usually he is not.
* {{Satire}}: A mirror of our modern society.
* SceneryPorn: Toonder's drawings are rich with details.
* ShapeShifting: The dragon, ''"Zwelbast"'', is a tiny creature, but can grow to enormous size when he is mad.
* ShoutOut:
** Marquis de Canteclaer, whose last name is a reference to the rooster Chantecler in ''Literature/ReynardTheFox''.
** Creator/VanKootenEnDeBie: When de Vieze Man (''The Dirty Man'') drives through a pool of water he wets the poor shy Mr. Foppe. He then tells him he should take off his wet pants and walk around without them, ''like Bommel does.''
* {{Slapstick}}
* SlobsVersusSnobs: Marquis de Canteclaer is a snobbish rich nobleman who sees himself above everyone else.
* SmartPeopleWearGlasses: Professor Sickbock and Professor Zbygniew Prlwytzkofsky.
* SpellMyNameWithAnS: Professor Zbygniew Prlwytzkofsky ("with a 'z' in der middle").
* TalkLikeAPirate: Captain Wal Rus.
* TimeMachine: Tom Poes, Bommel, Hieper and Super travel back to the Stone Age in one story.
* WalkingTheEarth: In the final story of the series Bommel marries Doddeltje and Tom Poes leaves the party to walk the earth.
* WorldOfFunnyAnimals: Subverted, some characters are inexplicably human.
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