A MundaneFantastic comic set in suburbia, chronicling the adventures of Alice Otterloop, a child in preschool; her brother, Petey, a neurotic and [[ExaggeratedTrope absurdly]] PickyEater; and their family, friends and neighbors.

It began in 2004 as a SundayStrip in the ''Washington Post Magazine''. The setting was explicitly somewhere in suburban DC, but after going to nation-wide syndication in September of 2007, the setting changed to a more generic suburb, though there are still references to the original setting. The strip ended in 2012 after the author, Richard Thompson, decided to concentrate on managing his case of Parkinson's disease. Thompson died on July 27, 2016 from complications related to the disease.

Can be read [[http://www.gocomics.com/culdesac/ here.]] Has nothing to do with the Creator/RomanPolanski film.

Now has its own [[Characters/CulDeSac Character Sheet.]]
'''This comic strip provides examples of:'''
* TheAllegedCar: Dad's car runs perfectly fine, but it's apparently small enough to fit in a bathtub or get buried in a sandbox.
* AncientConspiracy: The 'Future Adults of America' society. One day, they will control everything.
* ArtShift: Whenever a comic by Petey, Andre, or Loris appears.
* ArtEvolution: Like most other comic strips, Thompson's character designs have evolved. For example Alice originally had long hair, and Petey was much more rounded-looking.
* BeleagueredBureaucrat: The dad started off like this, when the setting was explicitly in DC.
* BerserkButton:
** Don't call Sophie "New Kid" or "Soapie" over and over again.
** Never refer to Viola D'Amore's instrument as a xylophone. ''It's a '''[[InsistentTerminology marimba!]]'''''
* CallBack: An early strip involved a group of cows at a theme park getting annoyed with Mrs. Otterloop mooing at them, planning on quacking next time. Years later, when driving by a cow on the side of the road, Mrs. Otterloop asks the kids if they know what sound a cow makes, and Petey jokingly quacks.
* CharacterizationMarchesOn: Petey was a bit more of a {{Jerkass}} in the early years of the newspaper run, but quickly evolved into the neurotic grumpy mess we know and love today.
* ClapYourHandsIfYouBelieve: The origin of Ernesto. Well, [[MindScrew maybe]].
* CloudCuckooLander: Pretty much everyone in the strip, but especially Ernesto, to the point where Petey's convinced Ernesto is a figment of his imagination.
** Alice's friend Dill is also pretty out there -- he peeks in on Alice's family through the mail slot and claims he can hear everyone in the world (including Santa Claus) with his hat.
** Cul de Sac is CloudCuckooLand
* Egging: Alice's grandmother habitually throws deviled eggs at passing cars
* EldritchLocation: The jungle gym. It's apparently alive and continually growing.
* GuestStrip: Early in 2012, several weeks of these ran as Thompson was undergoing treatment. These were drawn by talents Mo Willems, [[ComicStrip/TomTheDancingBug Ruben Bolling]] and [[ComicStrip/BigNate Lincoln Peirce]]. Stephen Pastis contributed what was basically an extra ''ComicStrip/PearlsBeforeSwine'' about his inability to copy Thompson's style as a Sunday strip on April Fool's Day.
* TheGhost: Dill's brothers are frequently referred to, but never actually seen.
** One was seen in a July 4 strip, wearing a [[CoolMask giant George Washington head]].
* HalloweenEpisode: There's a set of Halloween strips every October, interspersed with regular strips.
* LargeHam: Ernesto, Mr. Danders, Alice, Dill, Petey when he's upset. Actually, enough are like this to qualify for WorldOfHam.
* LittleProfessorDialog. Ernesto. Sometimes Alice and her classmates say things that, while not quite this advanced, are more articulate than the average preschooler.
* MemeticMutation: In-universe example; the size of Grandma's dog Big Shirley.
* MeaningfulName: Otterloop. Of [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Interstate_495_%28Capital_Beltway%29 the Beltway]]. Say [[StealthPun it slowly]].
* MundaneFantastic: Petey's various adventures.
* NeverMessWithGranny: Grandma Otterloop throws deviled eggs at passing cars.
* NoIndoorVoice: Alice can be like this. And Andre at cartoon camp.
* NoNameGiven: Averted. Both parents names are known (much to the chagrin of Alice); dad is Peter senior, and mom is Madeline, and her maiden name is Urqhart.
* OneTwoPunchline: The "two punchlines in last panel" variation is frequently seen.
* OurWerewolvesAreDifferent: Ernesto's lycanthropy is caused by a ''food allergy''.
* PickyEater: Petey takes great pride in it.
* PowerTrio: [[TheSpock Petey]] ,[[TheKirk Andre]] and [[TheMcCoy Loris]] form one of these.
* PutOnABus: Mr. Danders, the talking guinea pig, hasn't been seen in some time.
** He reappeared; he's 'working' at a petting-zoo/animal centre type place, so CommutingOnABus?
* SeriousBusiness: For Dill, shopping carts.
* SixthRanger: Sophie, the weird new kid from Camp Blisshaven.
* ShoutOut/Crossover: PJ Piehole's a 'restaurant' that appears in Thompson's other comic 'Richard's Poor Almanac' was the subject of one strip and a source of angst for Petey.
** Petey's [[ComicStrip/LittleNemo Little Neuro]] comics.
* SummerCampy: Both the 2010 and 2011 summers, but with a day camp. For Alice it's Camp Blisshaven(Basically a camp version of her pre-school) and for Petey it's Cartoon Camp(where he and other kids draw comics and what not). Notable for introducing Sophie, Andre and Cloris.
* ThatCloudLooksLike
* WhereTheHellIsSpringfield: Odd example, in that the strip was originally located in the suburbs of Washington DC. After the strip became nationally syndicated, the setting changed to a more generic suburb.
* WomenAreWiser: The mother, Miss Bliss, Nara.