is a newspaper comic strip created in 1958 by Johnny Hart. It focuses on a small band of cavemen, led by one named B.C. Others in the strip include Peter, Clumsy Carp, Curls, Thor, Wiley, Grog, the Fat Broad and the Cute Chick. There is also a cast of talking animals that includes John the Tortoise, Dookie Bird, a family of ants, an anteater, dinosaurs, clams, snakes and an apteryx: a small flightless bird with hairy feathers
(a.k.a. a kiwi to the rest of us).
was a gag-a-day strip. After Hart became a born-again Christian in 1977, the strip gradually began adding more and more of Hart's religious and political beliefs
until most strips were Christian-themed. Some newspapers refused to print certain strips that were deemed overly proselytizing. After Hart's death in 2007, it reverted to a mostly gag-a-day strip maintained by daughter Perri Hart and grandson Mason Mastroianni.
- Anachronism Stew: Parodied and Exaggerated. For a supposedly prehistoric comic strip, it's had references to movies, hippies and several other things that didn't exist until modern times (not to mention that Clumsy Carp wears glasses). Plus it's called B.C. (Before Christ) and is about Christian cavemen who celebrate Christmas, a holiday about the guy they worship before that guy was born. Some strips hint that it may actually take place After the End and Earth All Along.
The Fat Broad: (answering a ringing telephone) Prehistoric times. (suddenly realizes what she's doing and runs away screaming) A TELEPHONE!!
- Animated Adaptation: A Thanksgiving and Christmas special aired in 1973 and 1981, respectively.
- Aside Glance: Happens quite often after a character does something unusual or stupid.
- Author Tract: After Johnny Hart became a born-again Christian, he began injecting his religious beliefs into more and more strips. One particularly controversial one featured a menorah turning into a cross.
- Awful Wedded Life: The ants Jake and Maude.
- Ballistic Discount: An ant tries to buy a pack of cigarettes but is underage. He asks to buy a gun instead, then points the gun and asks for the cigarettes again.
- Bamboo Technology: Among other things, a telephone built into a tree.
- Big Friendly Dog: Wolf, more or less.
- Bizarre and Improbable Golf Game: Characters have actually been known to make golf swings while hanging by their feet from a tree branch. For a bonus, there's Bizarre And Improbable cheating when Clumsy Carp balances a submerged golf ball on his nose and raises it out of the water for a friend to hit, in exchange for a share of the winnings. Another time, B.C. (or possibly Thor) somehow wound up, after his swing, with the ball balanced on the head of his club. Consulting the massive rule book, Peter found a rule that "covers it explicitly," and told the unlucky fellow they had to shoot him.
- Box-and-Stick Trap: In the strip for 2-25-13◊, Thor has set up this kind of trap. When he hears it fall he goes to open it. He finds the Fat Broad inside, holding the piece of cheese he used as bait.
Thor: Diet not going well?
Fat Broad: Be quiet and close the lid.
- Cassandra Truth: Early on when BC himself discovered the secret that the clams had been hiding.
BC: Clams got legs!
- Catch Phrase: "Great Zot!"
- Cloud Cuckoo Lander: Several characters veer into this trope. B.C., Clumsy Carp and Wiley appear to be the biggest offenders.
- Deadpan Snarker: Curls
B.C.: I'd like you to meet Curls, master of sarcastic humor.
Clumsy Carp: Let's hear you say something funny.
Curls: I'm pleased to meet you.
- Department of Redundancy Department: The strip for September 25th 2013◊ has a meeting of the Redundancy Department with Peter as the Speaker.
Peter: First off, roll call will be followed by a brief head count, after which we can quickly take attendance. But first, let's just see who's here today.
- Exactly What It Says on the Tin: Fat Broad is a fat broad. The Cute Chick is all the men's dream girl.
- That being said, the Fat Broad appears to be more thick-muscled than fat, even though the characters (herself included) reference her being fat. She's proven herself multiple times to be the strongest character in the comic.
- Expy: In the early 60's Hart created a series of ads for Dr. Pepper called "Harmon the Caveman" featuring a whole new cast of caveman, still drawn in his usual style but Super-Deformed.
- Funny Animal Anatomy: The anteaters in the comic not only have aardvark-like ears but two mouths: one at the tip of the snout (the correct location) and another at the base.
- God Save Us from the Queen!: Ida, the (usually-unseen) Queen Ant, apparently rules the colony with an iron fist.
- Green Aesop: Hart actually did a bit of proselytizing before being born again, it just took a different form.
- Hates Baths: Wiley, to the point that he fears water in general. One strip had him tentatively poke the tip of his peg-leg in water, and scream in terror.
- Hermit Guru: The bearded gent who sits atop the mountain and dispenses wisdom to B.C.
- Jumping the Shark: In-Universe: one strip has a character offer Thor condolences for "Jumping a shark".
- The Klutz/Meaningful Name: Clumsy Carp.
- Clumsy once attempted to raise his confidence by insisting people stop calling him that. After he falls flat on his face while standing still, he settles on the name "Clumsy Pike".
- Lions and Tigers and Humans... Oh, My!
- Loads and Loads of Characters
- Midair Motion Shot: All the wheels.
- One Million BC
- Perma Stubble
- Pokémon Speak: Grog can only say his name.
- Raptor Attack: Raptors are featured in more recent strips, trying to eat the other characters.
- Removable Shell: John has one.
- Reptiles Are Abhorrent: The reason the poor snake keeps getting beat up by the Fat Broad.
- Running Gag: Fat Broad's clubbing snakes, the apteryx' introduction of itself as "a wingless bird with hairy feathers," countless more.
- Seldom Seen Species: the Apteryx.
- In this Sunday strip, Thor made a barbecue grill from the ribs of an Indricotherium and the tibias of a Megaloceros (misspelled as "Megaceros").
- Stock Dinosaurs: Gronk appears to be a generic sauropod. Apatosaurus, Tyrannosaurus rex, Velociraptor, Pteranodon, Dimetrodon, Utahraptor, and Ankylosaurus appear in later comics.
- Suddenly Voiced: The Dinosaur (aka Gronk) in later strips. Also Grog in one commercial and a strip from January 24, 1977.
- Talking Animal: All of the animals except for Wolf.
- That Cloud Looks Like: B.C. did a few, such as "all the ills suffered by mankind" (a mushroom cloud) and "the dust cloud raised by a herd of stampeding mammoths" (cue stomping as it turns out it is, indeed, the dust cloud raised by a herd of stampeding mammoths).
- Those Two Guys: John the Tortoise and Dookie Bird. It has also been known to veer into Interspecies Romance.
- Walk This Way: In one book, a character asks for a book on levitation. Cue the bookstore owner walking in mid-air while saying this trope…
- Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: John is scared of spiders, to the point of paranoia.
- Writer on Board
- Written Roar: "GRONK."