[[caption-width-right:330:Dennis and his dog, Ruff.]]

''Dennis the Menace'' is a long-running {{newspaper comic|s}} created by Hank Ketcham that first appeared in March 1951. It features the adventures of mischievous blond boy Dennis Mitchell, often at the expense of his parents or of his neighbor, Mr. Wilson.

It has inspired [[Series/DennisTheMenace a live-action series]], [[WesternAnimation/DennisTheMenace an animated Saturday Morning Series]], and a few [[Film/DennisTheMenace a live-action films]].

Dennis was also the mascot of Dairy Queen from 1971 to 2001. DQ dropped him because they felt children didn't relate to him anymore.

Dennis had his own comic book series for a time. In them, Dennis was depicted as just a normal small boy, realistically thoughtless and reckless for his age. His status as a "menace" was entirely due to the unforeseen consequences of his adventures and Dennis was usually responsible and mature enough to own up when he realised he'd done something wrong.

In the comic books, Dennis was occasionally the victim of his own menacing, such as the time his father accidentally gives him $10 instead of $1 (in the 1960's when money was worth a lot more) to buy food at a food fair and Dennis spends it all. Two words: Stomach Ache!

In Britain, the Cartoon and Film based on the Comic Book is simply called ''Dennis!'' due to the character mentioned below.

Not to be confused with the British comic book character also called [[ComicStrip/DennisTheMenaceUK Dennis the Menace]], which is a completely different and unrelated strip which [[NamesTheSame also coincidentally debuted in March of 1951]].

!!The comic strip provides examples of:

* TheAllAmericanBoy: Despite the name, Dennis is a pretty good example of this trope.
* AnimalAthleteLoophole: There ain't no rule that says a dog can't play football! There is, however, a rule that says plays cannot be made with a player's ''mouth'', so sadly Ruff is disqualified.
* BalloonBurstingBird: A variation happened in one episode of the animated series. Mr. Wilson parachutes from a plane, but a bird pecks at his parachute - leading to a long drop.
** It happened again in another cartoon episode when Dennis gets accidentally caught up in a hot-air balloon race. A flock of birds burst one of the hot-air balloons.
* BlackBeadEyes
* BratsWithSlingshots: TropeCodifier.
* BrokenGlassPenalty: Dennis and his friends frequently do this to the Wilson house.
* CatapultNightmare: In the [[http://comics.dp.cx/2012.06.10/Dennis%20the%20Menace-2012.06.10.gif June 10th 2012 comic]], Dennis has a nightmare where his father, Mr. Wilson and his dog Ruff have all been sentenced by his mother to sitting in the Corner of Shame with him.
* CompetitionCouponMadness: In the comic book story "Dennis vs. Television", Dennis collects cereal box tops without actually buying the cereal, hoping to win a big prize.
* CrankyNeighbor: Mr. Wilson -- to be fair, you'd be cranky too if Dennis was your neighbor.
** Well, [[MenaceDecay once upon a time]], at least.
* CuriousAsAMonkey: Dennis
* DependingOnTheArtist: The current two artists have very different styles. Marcus Hamilton, the Monday--Saturday artist, draws the strip in a very close approximation of Hank Ketcham's style in his later years, while Sunday artist Ron Ferdinand has a far looser and sketchier style compared to Ketcham or Hamilton.
* DotingGrandparent: Grampa Johnson, Dennis's maternal grandfather.
* DropInCharacter: Dennis, to the Wilsons. ''Mrs.'' Wilson doesn't object to this, but her husband certainly does.
* FranchiseZombie: Since Hank Ketcham handed the strip off to his successors, it has lost most of what made it unique, and has pretty much degenerated into Dennis making inoffensively cute remarks, much like ''TheFamilyCircus.'' The [[Webcomic/{{Wondermark}} Comic Strip Doctor]] did [[http://wondermark.com/the-comic-strip-doctor-dennis-the-menace/ a whole column]] on the strip's descent into lameness.
* GirlsHaveCooties
* GrumpyOldMan: Mr. Wilson again, and for the same reason.
** However, it's implied that he likes Dennis more than he is willing to let on.
* HatesBaths: Dennis
* InformedAbility
* IntergenerationalFriendship: Dennis has one with Mrs. Wilson. He ''thinks'' he has one with Mr. Wilson.
* LimitedWardrobe: Dennis always wears either his striped shirt and red overalls, except in church scenes where he's seen with a white button-down shirt, a tie, and a blue jacket and slacks.
* LoveTriangle: Dennis, Gina and Margaret
* MenaceDecay (the TropeNamer)
* {{Nephewism}}: Inverted -- Dennis treats the Wilsons like his grandparents.
* OneHeadTaller: In some installments of the comic strip Margaret has been drawn as noticeably taller than Dennis or Joey, even in flats.
* PantyShot: Margaret had a couple of these early on.
* PrintLongRunners: Six decades and counting.
* RegalRinglets: Margaret has this hairstyle.
* {{Retraux}}: The strip retains a 1950s drawing style, despite [[ComicBookTime always being set in the present day]].
* ShoutOut: The character Gina was named after Creator/GinaLollobrigida (the character's Italian ancestry is also a reference to her).
* SoapPunishment: In one strip, Dennis comes outside, with bubbles coming out of his mouth, and he tells his friend that he was "right about that word."
* TimeOut
* {{Tomboy}}: Gina Gilloti (who [[strike:was]] IS actually quite a cutie).
* TomboyAndGirlyGirl: Gina and Margaret.
* TrademarkFavoriteFood: Without a doubt, pizza ... to the point where (he thinks) he practically can live on it. [[DoesNotLikeSpam On the exact opposite of the spectrum]]: vegetables, especially when they were served as part of a meal that had no pizza in sight. Especially carrots at any time.
** In the comic books, it was ice cream.
* UglyGuyHotWife: Henry and Alice. Once Dennis referred to this situation:
-->'''Dennis (to Henry):''' How come everybody says ''you'' were lucky to marry Mom and nobody says ''she'' was lucky to marry you?
* UncleTomfoolery: An African-American kid named Jackson.[[note]]Not to be confused with Jay, a character created by DIC for [[WesternAnimation/DennisTheMenace its animated version.[[/note]]]]