is a newspaper comic written and drawn by Darby Conley, that chronicles the day to day (mis)adventures of a Siamese cat named Bucky, a Labrador-Shar Pei cross named Satchel and their owner/roommate, Rob Wilco.
The three live in an apartment in Boston
, where Satchel has his own room, while Bucky takes a towel closet (he has not only complained about it, but seceded from the United States). Many of the jokes revolve around the mean-natured Bucky taking advantage of Satchel's na´vetÚ, driving Rob crazy, and incredibly lame puns
Seems to have become a Sunday-only strip as of 2013, with only reruns running on weekdays, although no official statement has ever been made about this.
This comic contains examples of:
- Aborted Arc
- Bucky was once blackmailed by the chimpmunkfia but by the next week the arc was completely forgotten. About a year later he got into debt with cat mafia who sent one of their Affably Evil goons to threaten him into paying. Bucky left with Satchel to buy them off with a blank check and Satchel's sprained arm (Bucky had offered to have Satchel win the money in a fight against two dogs, but Rob intervened) but we never found out what happened. The next week it was mentioned once and never spoken of again.
- A few comics had Satchel finally putting Bucky in his place. For a short time Bucky was terrified of saying or doing anything to upset Satchel. After about a week it's just dropped and never really brought up again.
- The Ace
- Bucky thinks he's one.
- Achilles' Power Cord: In the strip for February 26, 2013.
- Acquired Poison Immunity: In the strip for May 18th 2013, Bucky tries to build up an immunity to poison by eating spiders.
- Affably Evil: Whitey. He may be a mafia hitcat, but he's also very polite and friendly
- Air-Vent Passageway: Bucky tried to take this route once in an attempt to get to his ferret nemesis. He got lost.
- Alliterative Name: Mac Manc McManx, sometimes called M3
- All-Loving Hero: Chubby Huggs. He loves everyone. He even hugs his pillow every morning to thank it for being so soft. Bucky is terrified of him.
- April Fools' Day: Joined FoxTrot and Pearls Before Swine for a gag◊ involving◊ a Ouija board◊ in 2005.
- Art Evolution: The main characters looked a lot more realistic in the early comics. Just compare this comic to any current one. Bucky doesn't even look like the same character.
- Not just the characters, but take a look at the comic as a whole; the comic up till about 2005 had a much cleaner, neater, and more detailed look to both the writing and illustration, though from 2005 to today, it looks considerably rougher and a little more simplistic.
- Artistic License ľ Animal Care: Rob's mother tries to make her cat go vegetarian. Portrayed fairly accurately aside from the fact that the cat's still alive, as she is in obvious distress over the situation, even begging Rob to kill her.
- Ascended Meme: The strip had been compared to Garfield since it started. At one point in the comic Bucky gets a Garfield book and immediately notes how their lives are so similar.
- As the Good Book Says
- In one strip, Rob tries to get Bucky to treat Satchel better by quoting him one of Jesus' sayings from the Gospel According to Matthew; Bucky thinks he's quoting some random guy named Matthew. Bucky also assumes the chapter/verse were the time of day Matthew said it. (It was The Golden Rule, Matthew 7:12).
- Rob once told Bucky that "he [Bucky] would have to swear on the good book" (or something to that effect). Bucky leaves, and then stands on Richard Scarry's Best Rainy Day Book and says every bad word he can think of.
- Aside Glance: Rob does this from time to time after some of Bucky's more nonsensical comments.
- Badass Pacifist: Chubby Huggs.
- Beware the Nice Ones
- Every once in a while Satchel gets angry. One time he picked Bucky up and threw him out of the room, another time in a heated argument over Bucky wanting a 2-volume phone book when Satchel only got him a 1-volume phone book, Satchel obliges by tearing the phone book in half.
- Could also overlap with "Beware the Dim Ones", because Satchel has been known to do things, with the best of intentions, that nonetheless culminate in seriously tweaking out and/or injuring Bucky. For example, see a recent arc when Bucky, who had already had problems with Satchel's red-green colorblindness, used a granny smith apple for his threat level system, prompting Satchel to throw him out the window for his own safety. The landing broke Bucky's arm.
- Perhaps the best example of this is when Bucky casually makes a rude remark about one of Satchel's friends. Satchel flips out, grabs Bucky and loudly and angrily threatens him before storming off, leaving Bucky visibly terrified. It's as awesome as it sounds.
- Bucky is waiting to have his fang re-attached and Satchel comments they're in the same animal hospital that bandaged his arm. Bucky asked if it hurt, and Satchel goes on to happily describe it as one of the most painful experiences of his life, leaving Bucky worried and shaking. While it could have Satchel not realizing he was scaring Bucky, remember that Satchel was heavily sedated while his arm was worked on, and even said he felt good when Rob first saw him.
- Bilingual Bonus: Within the same language. Bucky's cousin from Manchester, Mac Manc McManx, speaks in Mancusian dialect and is largely unintelligible to the rest of the cast.
"Cracking dinner medals."
- Black Best Friend: Rob's pal Joe Doman, although he's not seen much these days since relocating to France.
- Boisterous Weakling: Bucky
- Box-and-Stick Trap: In the June 10th, 2013 strip Rob and Satchel team up to lure Bucky into a blanket-covered cage in order to take him to his annual veterinarian checkup.
- Brand X
- Busy Beaver: Subverted from the rejected characters file: Bricker Van Damme, the world's laziest beaver. He gets his wood from a store, and uses his tail as a kickstand.
- Camp Straight: Satchel. Often doubles as Ambiguously Gay.
- Canada, Eh?: Satchel is Canadian.
- Cats Are Mean
- Bucky could be the Trope Namer.
- Averted with Chubby, see below.
- Mac Manc Mc Manx and Foodar aren't as nice as Chubby, but they're pretty harmless, especially compared to Bucky.
- In one strip, Rob is debating the appeal of cats with Bucky, and asks Bucky which of his friends people (who aren't cats) seem to like best. Bucky rattles off a list, which Rob points out consists entirely of personable, easygoing cats, and states that everyone's favorite cats are the ones that act like dogs.
- Cloud Cuckoo Lander: Bucky spent the entire December 2010 run of strips expounding his theory that Muppets are Cold War-era Soviet experiments.
- Comically Missing the Point: During an early 2012 series of strips where Bucky tried presenting his greatest idea to Rob and Satchel, the "Buckcord" (which is actually a fork with an electric cord taped to it), Rob tries telling Bucky that forks and electricity do not mix. Naturally, Bucky then tells Rob that he came up with a safe way for kids to handle the Buckcord, by presenting a child-safe outlet to stick the Buckcord into, which actually turns out to be a toaster.
- Companion Cube: Smacky and Ms. Pretty, to Bucky.
- Cone of Shame: Used a few times. Even referred to as "the cone of shame".
- Continuity Nod
- As the comic went on, fewer references to noodle incidents were made and instead the characters refer to past events.
- Rob's glasses still show up. Sometimes he's actually wearing them because he doesn't have his contacts, other times they're just lying around.
- For a many number of years, Satchel wore a watch, and it was even a plot-point in a 2002 story arc in which he injures his paw when chasing a bicycle, thus breaking his watch, which upsets him greatly. Over time, however, Satchel's watch eventually just disappeared, something that did not go unnoticed by loyal readers - in fact, when fans began questioning Satchel's watch (or lack thereof), that was brought up in a strip, where Rob casually remarks to Satchel noticing he never wears his watch anymore.
- Crunch Tastic/Perfectly Cromulent Word: Bucky comes up with these on a regular basis, with "groovitude" being a recurring favorite of his. And don't forget "Dinnerfy" and "Eatification".
- Curse Cut Short
- There have been several variations of "Son of a...", including being interrupted by another character.
- In one strip, Bucky and Satchel keep having a laugh over Rob's high school year book photo, with his messy hair, large glasses, braces, and acne.
Bucky: So, were you voted, "Most likely to remain chickless"?
Rob: Dude, I'm about to be voted, "Most likely to kick your—
Satchel: Assuredly, that is the skinniest leather tie I have ever seen!
- Deadpan Snarker: Rob most of the time. Satchel seems to be slowly becoming one of these, probably because of Rob's influence.
- Delivery Not Desired: Satchel writes a letter to Ray Charles, thanking him for this music, because listening to it makes him happy. Rob then takes Satchel to the edge of a cliff overlooking water for him to mail it by folding it into a paper plane and sending it into the air.
- Didn't Think This Through: Bucky steals Satchel's yogurt and and promises to give it back only if he can make an anagram of the sentence "Satchel Pooch is an awful and annoying dog". Satchel simply rearranges it to "Satchel Pooch is an annoying and awful dog" forcing Bucky to concede.
- Dogs Are Dumb: Poor Satchel. He's so dumb he doesn't know what a loser is, so when Bucky makes the L sign he thinks he's being called a
- Drink Order
- Rob is partial to Corsendonk.
- In earlier strips, Bucky constantly drank Pow soda, but always insisted he be given a little umbrella in it.
- Drop-In Character: McManx keeps popping up. He seems to think he lives with Rob; even when he does get back to England, it's only for a visit.
- Dunk The Witch: Bucky uses this on Sachel half to bully him and half to give him a much-needed bath.
- Early Installment Weirdness: The focus of the comic is centered more around Rob in the early days, with a greater emphasis on his human friends, either visiting him and interacting with the pets and even following Rob to work where he tends to hear about his pets' crazy exploits over telephone. Almost all incidental characters now are animal friends of Bucky or Satchel and scenes of Rob at work are never seen anymore, with a good portion of the action in storylines following the exploits Bucky and/or Satchel get into while Rob is away.
- Lesser example: During the first 2 years, Rob almost always wore glasses, and it was implied he was Blind Without 'Em.
- Eskimos Aren't Real: Bucky tries to tell Satchel that Hawaii is a myth perpetrated by the Liberal Media. He also claims that Harry Potter is fictional because it contains fictional elements, namely owls, trains, and England
- Everything's Better with Monkeys: Monkeys are an obsession (and would-be Trademark Favorite Food) for Bucky.
- Evil Laugh: Bucky's is more of a "disturbing smirk" ("KEH!").
- Evil Tastes Good: Parodied
- Extreme Omnivore: Satchel admits he'll eat pretty much anything, and at one point is tricked into eating a pillow. Bucky would like to think of himself as an Extreme Carnivore, mostly to spite his vegetarian owner.
- Five-Man Band: Only temporarily in one story arc, but....
- Flipping the Bird: Bucky does this to an expert on valuables... somehow.
- Funny Animal: Almost every animal that appears is a mix between this and Talking Animal.
- Funny Foreigner: Bucky's cousin Mac Manc Mcmanx is one of these.
- Fun with Acronyms
- Canines Against Traffic; Atlantic Research of Supernatural Entities; Intelligence Department, Institute Of The International Cathood.
- Possibly lampshaded in one strip, when Joe wore a shirt with A.C.R.O.N.Y.M printed across it.
- Getting Crap Past the Radar
- Thanksgiving turkey, Easter bunny, Valentine's Day beaver...
Rob: ...Wait, Valentine's Day what??
- There's one arc where Bucky tries to trick Satchel into sewing soccer balls for him. Rob angrily finds out, but Bucky tries to calm him down by giving him the soccer ball catalog. The name? Katt's Balls.
- March 13, 2013. Rob tells Bucky that he's talking out of (his ass).
- One strip had Bucky using a knock-off Super-Soaker. The toy was labeled "La Super Doucher."
- When Cousin Willie returns home from his tour of duty in Iraq, his reaction to Dunkin Donuts no longer making crullers, "Really? How the hell long was I over there?" is left completely uncensored.
- Gosh Dang It to Heck!: Taken to odd lengths at times. While "Holy cow!" is a fairly common expression, things like "What the cow?!" or "Oh my cow!" aren't. Bucky tends to use Garfield in these cases.
- Grievous Bottley Harm: Bucky tries this with a plastic bottle, with predictable results.
- Groin Attack: The strip for April 21st, 2013. Satchel accidentally hits Rob in the groin while practicing swatting mosquitos with his eyes closed.
- Ha Ha Ha No: In the strip for 9-27-13, Satchel does this when Bucky asks if his attempt to look like a superhero is a success.
- High On Catnip: Several examples. The effects differ from strip to strip. Sometimes Bucky acts hyper and other times he acts like a stereotypical stoner.
- Hipster: Bucky sure sounds like one in this strip.
- Hollywood New England: Mostly averted, aside from occasional references to Rob's Red Sox fandom.
- Hypocritical Humor:
- At one point Bucky takes an old coonskin cap of Rob's and converts it into a vest.
Rob: I know you like that coonskin thing, but it just seems kind of morbid, you know...wearing the skin of another animal...
Bucky: And that's different from your leather jacket how?
- In an early strip, Rob drives past a McDoodle's, of which both Satchel and Bucky remark they're hungry, but Rob insists they're going home; Satchel and Bucky repeat that they would like Howdy Meals, but Rob isn't having it.
Rob: No! No! You guys are so immature! I wanna go home! I wanna go home!!
- Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: The collection and treasury books take their titles from the dialogue of any particular strip that's featured in the book.
- Insane Troll Logic: Bucky spouts this constantly. In fact, the strip is largely based around some hairbrained plan or idea of his.
- In the Blood: According to Bucky's cousin Mac, the entire family shares Bucky's feelings toward monkeys.
- I Taste Delicious
- Jerk Ass: Bucky
- Jive Turkey: Oreo, Satchel's love interest, suddenly starts talking like this at one point later in the comic's run, even to Satchel's confusion.
Oreo: Aw, come on, Satchmo, this ain't cool, yo!
Satchel: Um... wait, what isn't? Um... "yo"?
Oreo: Bringin' the hydrophobe (Bucky), yo!
- Know-Nothing Know-It-All: Bucky again.
- Lighter and Softer: Parodied with Bucky's "Napworks" film studio concept.
- Limited Wardrobe
- Surprisingly averted. Rob is shown in a variety of T-shirts, including one reading "6x9=42" and another from "Lowe Tech."
- There's also the "Rugby > Football" shirt.
- Literal-Minded: Pets in general seem to have trouble with this.
- Malaproper: Bucky and Satchel again.
- Mathematician's Answer
Rob: So... you got a name?
Dog: Of course.
Rob: Can you tell me your name?
Dog: Yes, I can.
Satchel: Be more specific.
Rob: What is your name?
Dog: Ibid Q. Muttly.
- Mixed Ancestry: Satchel. His parents are a purebred Shar Pei and a Labrador, and he doesn't understand why he can't be a showdog.
- Moment Killer: Bucky invokes this at the end of an early story arc, in which Rob's first girlfriend, Kellie, comes over for dinner (which Bucky ruins, between Satchel using the steak that Rob was going to cook for his eye since Bucky punched him, to a flu-infected Bucky sneezing all over the dinner Satchel prepared for them), and at the end of the evening, Rob tries to apologize for all the mishaps, all the while Bucky stands in the doorway, watching them.
Bucky: So, are you two gonna smooch, or am I wasting my time?
- Mundane Fantastic: It's a world where cats and dogs (and some other pets) can talk, but aren't quite as intelligent as humans. Sometimes this becomes a plot point, but most of the time it's just background noise.
- The Name Is Bond, James Bond: Everyone thinks the spy Bucky hired is invoking this, but his name really is Bob Jimbob.
- Negative Continuity: In the story arc where Satchel injures his arm in trying to chase a bicycle, and ends up losing his watch, Bucky actually finds and fixes the watch, of which Rob actually mentions to Satchel. Much, much later that same year, when it's Christmas, Satchel is surprised to see Bucky's present to him is his old watch. Maybe it's justified, Satchel was under a lot of stress and probably forgot about Bucky finding and fixing it.
- Rob only said Bucky had been "finding and fixing watches," he never said it was Satchel's. Satchel either didn't understand what Rob was talking about and didn't ask, or he just assumed Rob was talking about some other watch.
- Nice Guy: Satchel
- Noodle Incident: Occasional references to past Bucky misdeeds such as the "hockey stick incident" and the "baseball game incident".
- No Celebrities Were Harmed: One story arc involved Bucky suing Fungo, and taking him to see Judge Judy. Needless to say, Judge Judy was not impressed with Bucky's case (or lack thereof as far as she was concerned).
- No Flow in CGI: A rare comic strip example: Darby Conley crossed Satchel with a Labrador to avoid having to draw so many wrinkles than if he were a pure-bred Shar-Pei.
- One Scene, Two Monologues: most commonly between Bucky and Satchel, typically leading to a series of non-sequiturs
- Opaque Nerd Glasses: When the strip began, Rob was always shown wearing these. They were phased out over time with it being explicitly stated that he switched to contacts. They still appear every now and then.
- Pet the Dog: Smacky, for Bucky.
- Phrase Catcher: Bucky tries to invent a catch phrase for himself, and tries to get Satchel to be his Phrase Catcher, because "when you're ▄bergroovy, people say [your catch phrase] for you".
- Punny Name: Rob's brother, Roger Wilco.
- Purple Eyes: Bucky.
- Reality Ensues: Rob's mom tries to make her cat go vegetarian. Said cat is miserable and unhealthy as a result.
- Real Men Wear Pink: Bucky owns a doll which he named "Miss Pretty"
- Retconning the Wiki: Bucky edits Wikipedia to say that he won Wimbledon and that his "album" went "fourple platinum", as well as that he beat up Fungo
- Scary Shadow Fakeout: Bucky Kat, having been warned by a horoscope to "Beware of the Grim Reaper", ends up frightened by some kid in a loose-fitting jacket holding a football flag.
- Self-Deprecation: Darby did this in the Pearls storyline. It depicted him as a lazy, rude slob. In contrast, Stephan Pastis was neat, professional, and polite.
- Series Continuity Error: A number of elements that were present within the first couple of years of the comic were either phased out or dropped altogether, such as:
- Rob isn't actually a vegetarian at first. He's eaten steak, hamburgers, seafood, and even sampled a meatloaf recipe Satchel made.
- Rob, Bucky, and Satchel appear to live in a house in the suburbs towards the beginning of the comic. This, in and of itself can be considered Negative Continuity: for the most part, the interior of their residence looks like that of an apartment building in the city, however on the outside looks more like a converted boarding house.
- Rob's treatment of Bucky and Satchel seemed to differ from time to time. In some cases, he regards them as and even refers to them as his "roommates", while other times, he acts like a surrogate father figure to them, though most of the time, he does acknowledge them as his pets, especially when they do animal-like activities, such as Satchel going to playgroups.
- Silence, You Fool!: Bucky sometimes says this to Satchel.
- The tribute to Douglas Adams' death (about two-thirds of the way down the page).
- Rob's tastes in music, television, sports teams, etc. frequently involve Shout Outs to same.
- There is a member of the Cat Mafia named Whitey. Whitey is the nickname of James Bulger, a former Irish mobster who operated out of the Boston area.
- This strip references Zero Wing.
- In the strip for November 9th 2013, Bucky is hit on the head by a tomato thrown at him from behind him. He says "It came from...behind", a reference to a line spoken by a Rebel pilot in Star Wars A New Hope during the attack on the Death Star. The pilot said "They came from...behind" in reference to attacks by Darth Vader and his Imperial TIE fighter wingmen.
- In one early strip, Rob and Satchel bump into each other in the hallway, while Rob was eating from a jar of peanut butter, and Satchel was eating from a bag of jerky bits.
Rob: Aww man, you got jerky bits in my peanut butter!
Satchel: No, you got peanut butter on my jerky bits!
- Sitcom Arch-Nemesis: Bucky's is neighboring ferret Fungo Squiggly.
- The Slacker: Mac Manc Mcmanx is likely one of these.
- Small Name, Big Ego: Bucky
- Species Surname
- Bucky Katt and Satchel Pooch.
- Discussed regarding Mac Manc McManx and the fact that he has a long tail instead of the short ones the Manx are known for. Played straight when Mac explains that his father's last name is McManx, but his mother's maiden name is McTabby.
- In one series of strips, Bucky meets a cat simply named "Cat Cat". He figured he was getting to old to be named "Kitty Kitty".
- Stealth Pun: An English bulldog is called King Henry the VIII by the other dogs. Rob asks if they call him that because he's big and he's British. Satchel replies that it's "because he's big and he goes for the neck when he's mad."
- Stout Strength: Chubby Huggs
- Strawman Political
- Bucky is sometimes depicted as a particularly deranged form of Straw Conservative. YMMV, while Bucky mocks the liberal beliefs of Satchel and Rob, he's never really expressed any political opinions of his own.
- He did try to vote for Pat Buchanan once, since he was the most "anti-people" choice there was.
- Symbol Swearing
- Satchel learned how to swear from reading comic books; He actually says the names of symbols instead of actual swear words.
- The comics themselves tend to rotate between this, Curse Cut Short, and Gosh Dang It to Heck!.
- Take That: A few jabs at the French in early strips.
- Third-Person Person: Bucky went through such a phase at one point, much to Rob's annoyance.
- Too Dumb to Live: Bucky is often the victim of this, due to his Pride and ignorance. Any idea that he comes up, turns out to be very dangerous and ridiculous.
- Trademark Favorite Food
- Tuna for Bucky, Jerky Bits and later, Fig Newtons (preferably microwaved) for Satchel.
- Satchel also enjoys canned dog food dumped directly onto the floor.
- Monkeys would be one for Bucky, if he could ever succeed in eating one.
- Rob gets chocolate sticks from Dunkin' Donuts every Monday and Thursday.
- Similarly, Cousin Willy loves Dunkin's crullers.
- Trapped by Gambling Debts: In one arc, Bucky was faced with the threat of getting killed by another cat, because he lost a bet on a baseball game and didn't have enough money to pay the debt.
- Tropaholics Anonymous
- Rob joins one for Red Sox fans.
- Satchel once wanted to join a support group for dogs, so he could surround himself with other likeminded canines. In another strip years later, Satchel actually does join a support group, saying he has a guilty pleasure is eating; his sponsor tells him food isn't a guilty pleasure, to which Bucky (who was tagging along) said that Satchel didn't say food.
- True Art Is Incomprehensible: Bucky attempted to invoke this one by making "art" by destroying Rob's things, much to Rob's consternation.
- Rob was named after two childhood friends of Darby Conley, both of whom were conveniently named Rob.
- In-universe, both Bucky and Satchel are said to be named after two baseball greats: Buck O'Neil, and Satchel Paige, respectively.
- The Unintelligible: A running gag regarding the way Mac talks.
Rob: Mac, I'm sorry dude, but I can't understand a word you're saying.
Mac: Cheers. I'll write it down and that.
Rob: "Stuffing your kite..." OK, see, I understand each individual word... I don't quite understand the order you seem put them in...
Mac: Cracking dinner medals.
- Wall of Text: During the Sunday Comics, the amount of words can get very unwieldy.
- "Well Done, Son!" Guy: Satchel's Dad was a search and rescue dog and when the two meet again his dad thinks of his son being a house dog as nothing and browbeats the poor pooch until Satchel's mother comes in and gives the poor boy a hug.
- What Measure Is a Non-Human?: Many of the animals in this universe clearly have human-level intelligence, but are kept as pets and livestock, denied the right to vote, given medical treatment involuntarily, and do not get paid for work.
- You Look Like You've Seen a Ghost: An early strip has Rob and Satchel awoken in the middle of the night by a shriek and discovering a terrified Bucky clinging to the living room drapes.
Satchel: It...it...it looks...it looks like...like he's seen...seen a...a...seen a GHOST!
Rob: Well, duh, I thought you'd never finish that sentence.