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Comic Strip: Sherman's Lagoon
Sherman's Lagoon is a newspaper comic strip by Jim Toomey. Starting in 1991, it is about the adventures of a cast of sea animals in the eponymous lagoon. Sherman is a dimwitted shark who is also a Big Eater of epic proportions, and he has a control-freak wife named Megan. They have a son named Herman. There is Sherman's friend Fillmore, an intelligent but socially awkward turtle who can't seem to find a mate, and his adoptive son Clayton.

Other denizens include Hawthorne, an easily-angered hermit crab who wears a beer can, and Ernest, a bespectacled teenage fish who is also a computer geek. Up on shore, there's a polar bear named Thornton who hibernates down on the beach. They are ruled over by a deific Moai statue named Kahuna, who occasionally transforms the characters into other things.

Human characters include Captain Quigley, who has it out for Sherman, and an assortment of "hairless beach apes" who often get eaten by Sherman or pinched by Hawthorne.


This comic shows examples of:

  • Bears Are Bad News: Averted with Thornton as all he ever does is sleep and lounge on the beach while drinking martinis.
  • Big Eater: Sherman
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: Once, Sherman tries to tag along on a trip Hawthorne is taking because "the readers expect it." Hawthorne replies, "Ha! What have the readers ever done for me?"
    • Sherman also once referred to himself as a cartoon character, specifically "A roly-poly cartoon shark suitable for plush toys!"
  • Butt Monkey: Fillmore.
  • Carnivore Confusion: Averted, big time. Sherman and Megan have no qualms eating other talking fish. They don't eat friends, but that's not to say they haven't been tempted...
  • Casanova Wannabe: Fillmore
  • The Cracker: Ernest uses his computer skills to launch a Mars rover, steal underwear from Baby Gap, and start an 86-minute war between Vermont and Canada.
  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: In the beginning, there was a seahorse character named Broderick. Now...there isn't. Another example is Jean-Claude the pirate ghost.
  • Eenie, Meenie, Miny Moai: Kahuna.
  • Extreme Omnivore: Sherman has eaten hundreds of fish, hundreds of humans, lots of human food (some of it rotten), a pizza box, a chili pepper that killed 1000 vegetarian piranhas, a bomb, and even a Twinkie!
  • Five-Man Band:
  • Flipper Fingers: All of the characters who have flippers or fins, most prominently Fillmore.
  • Fluffy Cloud Heaven: Sherman goes here after being hit with a speedboat.
  • Gadgeteer Genius: Ernest
  • Gasshole: In one storyline where Sherman is making a lagoon militia, Bob the Bottom Dweller tries to sign up. When asked what sort of ability he has, Bob responds with a large belch. Sherman comments "Wow! Weapons grade!"
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: A strip in the early 2000s had Sherman say "slut".
  • Green Aesop: Many story arcs involve the conservation of marine life.
  • Half-Dressed Cartoon Animal: Parodied when Megan's necklace was stolen. She screamed about she was now naked, and the others obliged by not looking at her. Megan responded "You could at least act like you want to peek."
  • Humanlike Foot Anatomy: Thornton.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Hawthorne may be rude and self-centered, but when the chips are down, he is always there for Sherman.
  • Kids Prefer Boxes: One Sunday strip has Sherman give his son Herman an expensive robot toy, and goes on about how 'Santa' waited hours in line to get one. When he sees Herman playing with the box, he's understandably upset.
  • Kitchen Sink Included: In a battle between Kahuna and fellow deity Apu-Ko-Hai, Apu-Ko-Hai throws a kitchen sink at Kahuna.
  • A Mind Is a Terrible Thing to Read: One arc where Hawthorne gets a pair of mind-reading antennae.
  • Misplaced Wildlife: Thornton the polar bear, oh so very much. Freshwater animals often pop up in the lagoon, and the characters sometimes swim in freshwater.
  • Parental Abandonment: Ernest doesn't have parents anywhere. This gets lampshaded once by Fillmore.
  • Petting Zoo Person: Thornton.
  • Pinching Pain: Happened very often to the hairless beach apes by Hawthorne.
  • Ripped from the Headlines: The strip ran a three week story arc where the gang visits the Gulf of Mexico to aid their fellow animals in the Oil Distaster. [1]
  • Seldom Seen Species: Several obscure animals such as manatees and box jellyfish appear in the series.
    • Though that won't stop Sherman from eating one, if motivated. When visiting the Ganges river, he comes across a Ganges river dolphin, who takes advantage of its protected species status to be as obnoxious as possible. Sherman's response at the end of the strip? "They'll get by with 99. (Burp)"
  • Sewer Gator: A strip had Sherman and Megan lost in New York while on vacation. They get directions from an alligator in the sewer and comment that New York gets a bad rap since the alligator was very polite.
  • Shown Their Work: Many facts about marine life gets thrown in. For example, in one arc Filmore deals with a box jellyfish by cooking it in a casserole and isn't poisoned upon eating it since sea turtles are natural predators of the jellyfish and immune to the effects of the venom.
  • Sphere Eyes
  • Talking Animal
  • Tertiary Sexual Characteristics: Megan's pearl necklace.
  • Voluntary Shapeshifting: In one strip, Sherman has Kahuna turn him into a rabbit.
  • Weirdness Magnet: The entire lagoon; it's been attacked by swarms of obscure sea-life, a James Bond villain once tried to blow it up, not to mention that the Loch Ness Monster has used it as a vacation site once or twice. At one point, Filmore, in the face of another attack, asks what drives most of these things to "head their way."

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alternative title(s): Shermans Lagoon
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