Pondus is a comic strip created by the Norwegian cartoonist Frode Øverli. Since its start in 1995, it has become one of the most successful comic strips in Scandinavia. The strip has its own monthly comic book both in Sweden and its native Norway, and has been translated to several other languages, including English, French, German and Latin.The comic is centered around family man Patrick a.k.a. Pondus and his best friend, former layabout Joachim "Jokke" Jacobsen. They both obsess about the English football league, classic rock (especially the hardkind) and beer. In the early years, the strip usually centered around Pondus' and Jokke's bar discussions as well as Jokke's adventures in womanizing (which, half the time, got him smashed to a pulp by grotesquelyugly women, and the other half, got him in bed with them). But ever since Jokke got into a steady job and (for a while) a steady relationship, the strip is becoming more and more ensemble-oriented.
Includes examples of the following tropes:
Banned in China: In a way. The strip has been found "unfit" for an American audience. The "ugly ladies" are a mite too ugly.
The Cameo: Nemi, a character from the series with the same name has appeared in a few strips. Mads Eriksen, Another Norwegian comic book artist was given semi-Take Thats in the strips as a result of a minor war between the two. The famous comic character Gaston Lagaffe has made a cameo as the only customer who didn't get ripped off by the strip's recurring car repairman.
The Casanova: Eddie, a recently introduced character, who gets all the chicks he could ask for - and the pretty ones to boot.Subverted when Pondus challenged him in the case of one of the most hideously violent females in the bar. Eddie rejected the offer, stating that although he was fond of challenges, he was not a moron (cue the busdriver cap of Hugo flying through the room, followed by a pint of his blood).
Casanova Wannabe: Hugo, through and through. All women rejects him, including the ugly girls that Jocke used to get some action from.
Casual Kink: This comic has a lot of this. Often used as a tool to create awkward situations (Jocke and Camilla walking in on Jocke's mother and stepfather doing a scene), but sometimes just for cuteness (Pondus. wife bringing home her nurse uniform from the hospital in return for him taping her favorite Soap Opera).
Categorism as a Phobia: The titular character Pondus excels at this. He doesn't seem to have much real bigotry or even prejudice, it's just that he has this crippling fear of homosexuals and homosexual sex acts. He has nightmares about making out with guys, he starts shivering with fear at the sight of real life gays, and so on.
At one point, his friend Jocke felt like messing a bit with him. So Jocke asked him if he had ever masturbated, and of course Pondus said yes. Jocke then proceded to inform Pondus that Pondus had actually had sex with a man: himself. In the next panel, Pondus is screaming psychotically while washing his right hand, and Jocke is laughing at him.
Played for laughs when a weird combination of fat north Norwegian fisherman, black man and Sami entered the bus, making a gesture with his white stick while swearing in a Muslim way. At home, Pondus stated that while he was a quite tolerant guy, "blind, overweight fishermen-muslim-sami-negroes" might be more than he could handle (by the way, North Norwegian fishermen are a cathegory all by themselves, and this particular strip is therefore quite untranslatable).
Fan Disservice: The strip excels in the drawings of ugly women, all of Jokke`s early dates included. And then there is Else, his mother - when she loosens her bathing robe.
Flamboyant Gay: Most gays in this strip are very easily detectable by the way they dress and behave. They don't want you to guess what their sexual orientation is - They want you to see it from a mile away!
Kayfabe Music: Pondus believes that a certain rock band truly lives the creed of "Drugs, Sex & Rock'n'Roll". In one strip, the band is shown working out and eating healthy food. Suddenly their manager come in and yell at them that the journalists will be there any minute. And thus, they quickly trash themselves down to look as if they have been partying and boozing up all night. Then the scene switches to Pondus and his wife watching the television. A journalist is (or probably rather is pretending to be) surprised that the band members manage to stay healthy with this lifestyle. The singer explains this with "It's rock'n'roll", baby. It becomes a lifestyle." and Pondus tries to get his wife to accept this message as gospel.
Meaningful Name: Pondus is Norwegian for belly, and Pondus is somewhat overweight. Jokke is a slang term for humping, hinting at Jokke's love for picking up women.
Not Allowed to Grow Up: Played with. Both of Pondus' kids, Frida and Påsan, age, but Påsan has aged more rapidly than Frida.
Nothing Is the Same Anymore: Now, let's see: Jokke got a steady job, then he got a steady girlfriend, Camilla, then they had a kid. Meanwhile, Pondus quit his job as a bus driver and became a bartender. Then Jokke and Camilla broke up, before they got back together again. Oh, and the kids are getting older.
Real Men Wear Pink: Completely averted, at least from Pondus' own POV. He has a set of strict rules for proper male behaviour, and if you break any of them, you don't deserve to be called a real man. Do you like music with synths? You're gay. Do you wear necklaces of any kind? You're gay. You don't like football? You're gay. Do you - ARRGH!! - wear your sweater around your neck!!?? It doesn't matter what your sexual orientation is, because you're a freakin' eunuch anyway!!
Suspiciously Similar Substitute: After Jokke got together with Camilla and quit picking up ugly women in bars, the comic faced a problem in that the sequences with ugly women were highly popular among the coimc's fans. The solution? The supporting character Hugo, who had previously only been noted for his bottle cap collection hobby, was suddenly shown taking great interest in women of Jokke's standards, using the same horrible pick-up lines with the same luck.
There Are No Therapists: Double Subverted and maybe played straight! Dr. Zimmerknaben is a therapist, but he is usually the one needing therapy after listening to the problems of his patients, often taking happy pills. This was lampshaded in two strips, both involving Jokke (who used to see him on a frequent basis) taking the role as the "therapist" and Zimmerknaben taking the role as the "patient", with Jokke doing the job somewhat better than him both times.