http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/My_cage_logo_200711.png
[[caption-width:189: "This is King Features calling to inform that you have been cancelled."]]

''My Cage'' is a syndicated comic strip by Melissa [=DeJesus=] and Ed Power. It features a world of anime-inspired anthropomorphic animals, including our hero, Norman T. Platypus, who looks to survive the daily rigors of his soul-sapping office job at McGuffin Inc. when he would much rather be poor and creative. He's joined in his personal hell by his co-workers, included Ashley, a tiger that delights in tormenting him, Maureen, his attractive gold-digging office mate, Jeff, an incredibly stupid shark that works out of a bathtub, Rex, a doberman who is the egotistical fiance of Violet, a chihuahua with the darkest of hearts, and finally the boss Max, a red dog who Norm believes to be Satan himself. Rounding out the cast is Norm's freespirited fiance, a dog named Bridget, and Squishy, Norm's beloved pet amoeba whom he appears to love more than anyone else.

The strip ran from May 6, 2007 until it was suddenly canceled, with its finale running on October 31st, 2010. Ed and Mel's blog for the strip seems to have expired after some severe technical difficulties, but the strip has been in reruns on [[http://www.gocomics.com/mycage gocomics.com]]. Additionally, the creators announced plans to try and revive the series as a webcomic in the future once the rights to the characters revert back to them.
----
This comic strip provides examples of:
* AcmeProducts: [[MacGuffin McGuffin]] Inc. and its rival DeusExMachina Industries
* AddedAlliterativeAppeal: Emil the Emo Emu.
* AfterTheEnd: Maureen explains to Lily that humans disappeared off the Earth a long time ago and animals eventually took over society. The comics summary on its current gocomics.com run explicitly mentions the apocalypse backstory.
* AmazingTechnicolorWildlife: Norm is a platypus, but he's blue. We also have an orange shark and pink and purple dogs.
* {{Animesque}}: King Features boasts of it being the first anime-inspired newspaper comic. Despite evidence [[TheBoondocks to the contrary.]]
* ArtEvolution: The strips art changes greatly in the course of three years, starting with heavy animesque influences against largely white space before gradually becoming rounder, more expressive and more colorful.
* AuthorGuestSpot: Ed Porker and Melissa [=DeHaresus=] appear in the "Meet Your Maker" story.
* BishieSparkle: Maureen does her impression of a "celebutante".
* BookEnds: The final strip, much like the first, has Norm reading a Snapple fact on a bottlecap. This one says "The End".
* BrandX: Parodied when buying [[ISOStandardUrbanGroceries more generic groceries]] Norm asks what's in the box labeled [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin "Food"]].
* CallBack: Norm tells Bridget that Ashley is a 300-pound crack addict with a rare skin disease. About five months later Ashley returns the favor.
* CarnivoreConfusion: Parodied in one strip: Ashley (the ''tiger'') mentions she's a vegetarian. Norm replies "We live in a world of talking animals! If we're not vegetarian we go to jail!"
* {{Catchphrase}}: Ashley tries to make "Gorilla Cookies" a catchphrase, which turns out to be [[StrangeMindsThinkAlike quite popular.]]
* CatGirl: Ashley, who will quickly remind you that she is a Bengal Tiger.
* CatsAreMean: Ashley has a penchant for playing very elaborate and mean-spirited pranks on her coworkers. [[ShipTease it's implied that she torments Norm especially because she's]] [[BelligerentSexualTension attracted to him]].
* CharlieAndTheChocolateParody: Norm imagines a remake with Oompa-Lumpa Ninjas.
* ChildrenAreInnocent: Played semi-straight with Maureen's daughter, Lily, though Norm is working his hardest to dispel it every time he babysits her. Violet and Rex's daughter Sunny, on the other hand, is an outright [[EnfantTerrible aversion.]]
* ChirpingCrickets: Chris pulls this trope after one of Max's attempts at a motivational speech. Easy to do since he actually is a cricket.
* CoolBigSis: Though she started out as a simple GoldDigger, Maureen started to evolve into a workplace equivalent of this to Norm, in a strange sort of way.
* CrapsackWorld: Of the "Happiness is a punishable offense" variety.
* {{Crossover}}: With Slylock Fox and Cassandra Cat.
* CrustyCaretaker: The Creepy Janitor is ''probably'' a serial killer and speaks of things like wearing Rex's skin.
* DeadpanSnarker: Violet the receptionist has no patience for ''anyone.''
* DevilInPlainSight: Max. He even wields a pitchfork in one strip and in another admits to being the devil.
* TheDitz: Jeff the Shark plays this role until the "unicorn" shows up and makes him a genius by comparison.
* DuelingShows: The strip has been strongly compared to ''ComicStrip/{{Dilbert}}'', simply because they're both set in an office. Lampshaded a few times.
* EmbarrassingMiddleName: Not really embarrassing, but implied that everyone's middle name is "The".
* EnfantTerrible: Sunny is the most adorable little hellspawn you've ever seen in your life.
* EpicFail: How did Jeff get stuck in the water cooler?
* EvenEvilHasStandards: Even Violet is touched by ''"ItsAWonderfulLife"''.
* EverythingsBetterWithPlatypus: Norm.
* EverythingsEvenWorseWithSharks: Actually in Jeff's case, everything's even worse '''for''' sharks.
** Serves as one of many examples of how the strip subverts AnimalJingoism.
* ExplodingCalendar: Bridget's desk calendar's pages keep falling off.
* EyePop: In the form of a contagious disease known as "Creator/TexAvery Virus."
* FantasticRacism: Norm's neighbor is a "flight supremacist."
** During the 2008 elections, Max didn't vote for Bearack Obama because he was "white-furred."
** It's also common to frown on InterspeciesRomance.
* FetusTerrible: During Violet's ultrasound the doctor is quite terrified that the baby's heartbeat sounds like the theme from ''Film/{{Jaws}}''. The strip was cancelled before this could be properly built up into an arc.
* FishOutOfWater: Jeff in the literal sense. His desk is in a bathtub filled with water; however, he doesn't seem to have any problems "walking" around like anyone else. Though like Comicbook/{{Aquaman}} he does splash himself with water from the cooler every so often.
* FourGirlEnsemble: Norm admits everything how knows about women is what he's seen on TV.
* FurryConfusion: Subverted with Squishy the Amoeba.
** [[http://www.gocomics.com/mycage/2011/05/17 Parodied here.]]
* GeekyTurnOn: Norm has a thing for smart women. Its also why Norm and Bridget belong together.
* GenderEqualsBreed: Subverted. Bridget (A Dog) has a daydream about her future children with Norm (A Platypus): A platypus girl and a puppy boy. However, their hair colors do match gender.
* GettingCrapPastTheRadar: Showed up from time to time, and the official blog used to run the ones that did get caught. It became increasingly common during the final couple of months.
* GoldDigger: Maureen the "Poverty Avoider" though she's been shown to have HiddenDepths. Furthermore, she wants money less to blow it all on superficial things and more to ensure financial stability for her daughter.
* HairColors: Violet's hair is uh... Violet, Bridget's is pink. Not many other characters have hair over their... fur. (Norm, who is prematurely bald, doesn't even have fur on his head.)
* [[{{She Cleans Up Nicely}} He Cleans Up Nicely]] Bridget comments how good Norm looks in a suit. He tells her to savor the image as the suit makes him sweat in buckets.
* HilarityEnsues: Subverted and Lampshaded as Violet gets ready to have her baby, and its not as "wacky" as she'd thought it would be.
* HitYouSoHardYourXWillFeelIt:
-->'''Ashley''':And Norm, if you tell anyone about this, I will hurt you in ways Film/TheThreeStooges would envy.
* HorseOfADifferentColor: Kenny The Unicorn.
* IdeaBulb: Parodied; when Jeff has an idea about making the office more green, he conjures up a compact-fluorescent bulb.
** Additionally, when the strip takes place in Norm's head, Creativity is a lightbulb.
* InterspeciesRomance: Norm and Bridget.
* LampshadedDoubleEntendre: Subverted. Norm mentions to Rex that even though he wasn't able get a dinner reservation he and Bridget still have "plans" (complete with ribbing and winking). Rex correctly guesses that said "plans" are eating mac and cheese in front of ''Series/{{Heroes}}''.
* MeaningfulName: "Norm" is Average. Rex and Violet is a play on "Sex and Violence", their daughter's name is [[LouisCypher Sunny]]. "Ash"ley is the Perky Goth.
* NoAccountingForTaste: Rex and Violet's Marriage.
* NoCelebritiesWereHarmed: Parrot Hilton, Kevin Sloth, Halle Beary, Matthew Iguanahey, Vin Weasel, Jessica Albatross, Quack Black, Brad Pitbull, etc. Becomes something of a RunningGag.
** Possibly averted with Megan Fox, but then again [[FridgeBrilliance they didn't need to change her name]].
* NoodleImplements: It's probably best we not know what Ashley was planning to do with a welding torch and Norm's work ID.
* ObliquelyObfuscatedOccupation: Nobody can really say what "{{MacGuffin}} Inc" does.
** Lily once did a report on her mother's job for Take Your Daughter to Work Day. All she discovered was that they had free internet access and limited supervision.
* OfficialCouple: Norm and Bridget. A big segment of the finale centered around [[CrowningMomentOfHeartwarming their wedding]].
* OhMyGods: "The Cartoonists" are the supreme beings. [[{{Peanuts}} Charles Schulz]] is the most powerful of all.
* OscarBait: Norm writes a screenplay called "Saving Private Gump" were Tom Hanks plays a mentally challenged soldier during World War II.
* PaperThinDisguise: "Sam".
* ParentalAbandonment: Norm's mother died when he was young. Norm's Dad isn't exactly Mr. Sunshine.
* PerkyGoth: Ashley.
* PettingZooPeople
* PointyHairedBoss: Max, who is even red to make him look even more like the Devil. At one point, he even [[LampshadeHanging lampshades it]].
* PowerTrio: Norm's Brain, Heart and Libido.
* PerpetualFrowner: Violet.
* PrankDate: Serves as both Maureen's most horrifying experience and Creepy Janitor Guy's CrowningMomentOfAwesome.
* PrettyFlyForAWhiteGuy: Or a Red Dog anyway...
* RedOniBlueOni: Max and Norm, and this ''was'' Lampshaded.
* SarcasmBlind: Jeff can't enjoy ''TheDailyShow'' for that reason.
* ScheduleSlip: The strip's official blog experienced some severe technical difficulties in late 2010 and has since become defunct, which caused a screeching halt to the reruns prior to the move to gocomics.
* SequelHook: The final daily strip hints at [[http://www.amazon.com/Santa-vs-Dracula-Ed-Power/dp/0988226316 "Santa vs. Dracula"]] being published as a book. The joke being that it is Ed Power and Melissa [=DeJesus=]'s actual second project together.
* ShipTease: Norm and Ashley get a lot of deliberately acknowledged moments. Ashley once commented that she's only attracted to Norm when he's in a relationship.
** Culminating in an ''epic'' ShipTease with Norm and Ashley finally admitting their true feelings to each other...only to be interrupted by a personification of KingFeaturesSyndicate, come to inform them that the strip is being cancelled. (The revelation was dropped immediately thereafter and Norm and Ashley's relationship went back to normal for the ending strips.)
* ShoutOut: To TheComicsCurmudgeon, of all things.
** Probably because Ed Power was a commenter there before the strip started and a lurker/occasional poster for its entire run - many of the 'Mudges were big ''MyCage'' fans as well.
** The strip for October 17th, 2010 made another shout to the Comics Curmudgeon community and its founder, Dean's Comic Booth, The Daily Comics Review, and several Curmudegeonites and other fans of the strip by name.
** To Creator/JohnHughes in a Sunday Strip shortly after his death.
** Ed revealed in a comment on Gocomics that Bridget T. Dog was named after Bridget Jones because his wife was reading one of the books while he was assembling the proposal for the strip.
* SmallNameBigEgo: Rex practically personifies this, to the point where he is almost completely incapable of speaking about any subject besides himself in spite of nobody caring who he is.
* SpeciesSurname: Just about everyone, including the parody celebrities.
* StealthPun: [[http://www.gocomics.com/mycage/2014/03/10#.Ux4XXoUz0ik They're cereal killers.]]
* SuspiciouslySpecificDenial: Kenny The Unicorn is definitely not Max's illegitimate son.
* TakeThat: A story arc that originally ran in late 2009 ripped into the "Lisa Dies of Cancer" story arc in ''ComicStrip/FunkyWinkerbean'' when Jeff's son performed in a play based on it.
** Norm and Bridget's off-panel break-up was intended as a slam against ''ForBetterOrForWorse'', which ended its run with a WallOfText epilogue after a main character's wedding that attempted to explain what should have been shown in the strip in only a few panels. In ''MyCage'', the only people happy after the wedding are the bride and groom, because they hated the wedding and the honeymoon and they thrive off being miserable.
* TakeThatCritics: In one of the final strips, the authors made a special mention of a Comics Curmudgeon forumite named kahvigirl who had written a diatribe where she accused ''My Cage'' of being nothing more than "''{{Cathy}}'' in furry drag". They awarded this poster the Golden Squishy for "Best insult of 'My Cage' on the Internet".
* TemptingFate: Norm quits his job after yet another idiot was put in charge. "We'll be OK as long as there aren't any [[LawOfInverseFertility surprises.]]"
* TooDumbToLive: Jeff, on occasion.
* ToTheBatnoun: Norm imagines himself as Batypus, gets hurt, and asks for a bat-ambulance as he thinks he's ruptured his bat-spleen.
* UglyGuyHotWife: Used in a sitcom parody, and then later made official with Norm and Bridget's marriage. In still more LampshadeHanging, Maureen once complained about people expecting her to go through with this trope. Cue Norm's panicked attempt to distract Bridget.
* TheUnseen: Steve, who phones in why he isn't coming to work.
* UnusualEuphemism: "Go hunt yourself".
* VitriolicBestBuds: Norm and Ashley are Type 2.
* WhatMightHaveBeen: WordOfGod is that a planned RunningGag was for Rex and Violet's child, Sunny was to be an Anti-Christ like force of evil, opposed by Norm and Bridget's yet-to-exist child. Cancellation put the kibosh on those plans, though it might be revisited if/when the comic goes to full webcomic format.
* WingdingEyes: Apparently in this universe such pupils are medical condition. When Maureen learns her date makes 500K a year, her eyes bug out with dollar signs, which frightens her date and she has to be taken to the emergency room where she is treated for the "Creator/TexAvery [[EyePop Virus]]."
* XMeetsY: The typical format for Norm's FanFiction, such as "[[ScoobyDoo Scooby-Doo and Shaggy]] Meet [[TheSilenceOfTheLambs Hannibal Lecter]]."
----