''Cathy'' is a NewspaperComic strip by Cathy Guisewite, which ran from 1976 to 2010. It revolves around the eponymous character's life as a single woman, her dealing with a stressful workplace, diets, junk food, being able to fit in swimwear, the dating scene, and an overbearing mother.

In the [[TheSeventies 1970s]] (the age of ''Series/TheMaryTylerMooreShow'' and the E.R.A.), [[FairForItsDay a comic about a single young woman trying to make a career was new and innovative]]. The strip was extremely popular in its heyday, with many women readers readily identifying with the title character as she dealt with common problems of modern single life. A rumor in the 1980s that she was finally going to marry her on-again, off-again boyfriend Irving sparked a lot of fan backlash from single women who didn't want to lose this character they could relate to. (Cathy finally ''did'' marry Irving in 2005, and the final strip in 2010 featured the announcement that Cathy was pregnant with a girl.)

These days, the strip is a frequent target of parody and {{Take That}}s, owing to its repetitive nature, devotion to MenBuyFromMarsWomenBuyFromVenus, and general blandness. ''ComicStrip/PearlsBeforeSwine'' and ''ComicStrip/LibertyMeadows'' satirize the strip frequently, and the Comic Book Doctor wrote a lengthy [[http://wondermark.com/the-comic-strip-doctor-cathy/ article]] on what the strip does wrong.


* AllWomenLoveShoes
* AnimatedAdaptation: The [[TheEighties 1987]] ''Cathy'' TV special, for which Guisewite received an Emmy.
* ArtEvolution: And how! The strip's artwork was insanely crude in its first couple of years; it wasn't until the early '80s that Guisewite's drawing skills became passable.
* AuthorAvatar
* BabiesEverAfter: The final strip had Cathy announcing her pregnancy.
* BigEater : Two pies, one fork. Also applicable to carbohydrates.
* BlackComedy: One comic features Cathy having literally flipped a desk onto a coworker who scared her at night. After he says he thought she was the cleaning lady, she lets it drop back on him.
* CatchPhrase / WrittenRoar: "Aaack!"
** Which is apparently [[spoiler: genetic: Cathy's baby is thinking ''aaack'' from the womb.]]
* ComicBookTime: Cathy's a Baby Boomer-Generation X person, with Depression-era parents.
* DeliberateValuesDissonance: [[InvokedTrope Invoked]] with Cathy and her clashes with her mother. See TheGenerationGap.
* DemotedToExtra: Andrea had always been Cathy's best friend. After Andrea got married, she had less free time, and she and Cathy seemed to have less in common, so Charlene shifted into best friend status. Later, Charlene ended up marrying one of Cathy's exes, much to Cathy's annoyance.
* DepartmentOfRedundancyDepartment: Used a lot, frequently.
* TheGenerationGap: Cathy wants to experience single life and make a career for herself. Her mother thinks that she should get married and have babies ASAP and become a {{Housewife}}, like the women of her generation.
* GenericCuteness: Averted--most cast members range from normal-looking to mildly ugly.
* {{Gonk}}: Cathy herself, drawn with oversized eyes, stringy hair, and [[TheNoseless no nose]]. She remarks that the only people who've ever called her attractive have been trying to sell her things.
* HollywoodPudgy: In-universe, Cathy.
* HypocriticalHumor
* HystericalWoman: Somewhat, in that Cathy ''does'' tend to freak out over mundane things.
* IncompetenceInc
* InexplicablyIdenticalIndividuals: Mabel, who [[NewJobAsThePlotDemands keeps changing jobs]].
* InvokedTrope: At one point, Cathy tries invoking YouWereTryingTooHard in order to attract a boyfriend. It doesn't work.
* IWantGrandkids: In the last strip, Cathy announces her pregnancy; Mom's reaction is pretty much one of pure delight.
* LotsOfLuggage: Irving is stunned by the amount of baggage Cathy intends to take on their shared vacation. Cathy observes, "Men pack. Women move."
* MarsAndVenusGenderContrast: Probably the main theme of the strip.
* MyHairCameOutGreen: Cathy once went to a salon, hoping that a new hair color would take her mind off problems with Irving. She ended up with bright orange hair, then tried using a home coloring product to fix it, [[FromBadToWorse which didn't help]].
* TheNoseless: Cathy. [[spoiler: In the very rare side views, she does have an extremely flat bump where the nose should be.]] Every other character has at least a line or knob.
** Oddly, Cathy is also the only one with full eyes, i.e. pupils, whites, lids, etc. All others just have BlackBeadEyes, occasionally topped with a line.
* ObnoxiousInLaws
* PrematurelyBald: Irving. He has a reason to worry, since his father is completely bald.
* PrintLongRunners: Just under 34 years in its original run.
* ProtagonistTitle
* RelationshipUpgrade: Cathy and Irving tied the knot in 2005.
* StupidBoss: Mr. Pinkley.
* TheyDo: Cathy ''finally'' married Irving in 2005.
* ThisLoserIsYou
* WeightWoe: Cathy ''defines'' this trope.
* WondrousLadiesRoom: Irving realizes he is puzzled about how: Cathy is always complaining about finances, but he never sees her shopping; Cathy is always talking about the need to diet, but he never sees her eating, etc. Irving then concludes that everything happens inside the ladies' room. The last panel depicts the apparent interior of a ladies' room complete with snack vending machines, a shopping boutique, and so forth.