[[caption-width-right:250:The dog's Sam and the rabbit's Max. TheyFightCrime]]

In 1987, the ''Franchise/SamAndMax'' franchise had begun with the comic books by Steve Purcell. It covered the surreal and satirical adventures of two [[FunnyAnimal anthropomorphic animal]] [[PrivateDetective private investigators]]: Sam, a six-foot tall "canine shamus" dressed like a stereotypical ''FilmNoir'' private eye, and Max, a deranged, trigger-happy white rabbit (sometimes described as a "lagomorph" or a "[[BuffySpeak hyperkinetic rabbity-thing]]"). Sam was always the more laid-back of the two, and usually the voice of reason keeping Max from unnecessary violence, though Sam's definition of "unnecessary violence" could be a bit flimsy at times. In most of their adventures, the two would receive orders from the faceless Commissioner to defuse some bizarre situation, doing so with a combination of violence, gunplay, and their wits.

!!Provides examples of:
* AttackOfThe50FootWhatever: Done in one of the comics, where Sam and Max travel to the Moon and find a civilization of man-sized rats, who are being preyed upon by a civilization of 50 foot cockroaches. Said cockroache lives in a giant human apartment that makes them look normal-sized in comparison.
* CouchGag: Each of the longer comics carries a title gag in the form of "[[InspiredBy Based on]] the [Media Type], [Silly Title]", such as Based on the famed [[Creator/TheBeatGeneration Beat-generation]] novel, "Sam and Max Drive Around in a Car" by Bucky Kerouac. This tradition carried over to seasons 2 and 3 of the [[{{VideoGame/SamAndMaxFreelancePolice}} videogame]].
* DrinkOrder: When the duo hit up a bar before travelling to ancient Egypt, Sam orders a root beer and an Orange Julius; Max demands dish water in a dirty glass.
* FunnyOctopus: Sam & Max get rescued from pirates in "Hit the Road" by "Ratso" and his "howling band of cephalopods." Sam comments on how their floppy heads look gross on land.
* GrievousHarmWithABody: In ''On the Road'', Sam grabs Max by the ankles and swings him at a biker, knocking him off his motorcycle. Max finds the experience refreshing.
* HyperspaceArsenal: Max, in the previous panel having been unarmed, is suddenly waving around a rather large firearm. Sam asks, "Where did you have that thing hidden, li'l buddy?" Max's response exemplifies this trope: "None of your damn business."
* ItsAlwaysMardiGrasInNewOrleans: In one comic, the duo searches for a group of ransacking pirates in New Orleans. During which, Sam points out that all citizens of New Orleans celebrate Mardi Gras year round.
* LooksLikeOrlok: A short Halloween comic featured what might be Orlok himself as the villain. Sam kicks him in the face.
* PaintingTheMedium: In one panel, Sam delivers an {{Infodump}} so lengthy that the speech bubble partly overlaps Max's face for want of room. Max complains that he's having trouble seeing because the speech bubble is in the way.
* RetiredBadass: Sam's Granny Ruth. She ran a Jail much like Alcatraz during the Cold War.
* TelevisionGeography: Parodied and lampshaded, with locations (and [[TimeTravel time periods]]) looking only vaguely correct and with Max sarcastically pointing out the level of research taken in the drawings.
* UsedToBeASweetKid: Completely Subverted in the single-page comic "Terror of the Tanbark". Despite said story labeling them as more soft and marketable versions of themselves, it turns out that Sam and Max were just as nuts (if not more so) as kids. (They're still marketable, just not exactly soft.)
** In this case "soft" is most definitely a ''physical'' descriptor.
* YouDirtyRat: Averted with the adorable FunnyBackgroundEvent rats, as well as the humanoid rats the duo are trying to rescue in "Bad Day on the Moon." A case of AuthorAppeal, since creator Steve Purcell is rather fond of rats.