[[quoteright:346:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/whatamess1_8958.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:346:He's an Afghan Hound, but it's not apparent through all the mess]]

''What-a-Mess'' is a series of children's books that was eventually [[AnimatedAdaptation adapted]] into an AnimatedSeries by Creator/DiCEntertainment. Both series focus on the eponymous Afghan Hound, What-a-Mess, and his interactions with humans and other pets. The show, in particular, had a pretty catchy [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XGeJ6jDPE2U opening song]].

The late Frank Muir, author of the original books, was an English comedy writer also known for his work on [[Creator/TheBBC BBC]] radio.
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!!Provides examples of:

* AnimalTalk: All the animal characters can understand each other.
* AuthorAvatar: The elderly English Sheepdog, Frank, is voiced by creator Frank Muir himself.
* BalloonBelly: In "Home Alone, Almost," WAM's family gets him an automatic food dispenser meant to keep him occupied for several days. He eats it all in ''seconds'', resulting in one of these.
* BigEater: What-A-Mess
* CanonImmigrant: Trash didn't appear in the original books.
* CatsAreMean: Felicia the cat is self-centered and occasionally malicious.
* CrossdressingVoices: Averted with What-A-Mess, as he was voiced by (at the time) child voice actor Ryan O'Donohue.
* DenserAndWackier: The Creator/{{DiC}} series compared to the books.
* DogsAreDumb: Well, not "dumb" per se, but a lot of the chaos What-A-Mess causes his family is the result of him not knowing any better.
* EarlyInstallmentWeirdness: The first episode is presented with a framing device of [[AuthorAvatar Frank]] telling the stories of What-A-Mess from his front porch, but isn't used in any other episodes.
* TheFaceless: An odd trope in this kind of series. The faces of human characters are always deliberately obscured by things like camera angles or objects and no human faces are ever seen.
** What-A-Mess's mother was this in the books. She becomes a more active character in the series.
* FiveManBand:
** TheHero: Whatamess
** TheLancer: Norton
** TheSmartGuy: Frank
** TheBigGuy: Trash
** TheChick: Felicia
** TeamPet: Baldwin
* FunnyBackgroundEvent: The Creator/{{DiC}} series had random little people running about in the frame doing funny things like playing poker on the staircase or going swimming in the sink.
* GrowlingGut: A frequent source of contempt for the title character, due to his huge appetite. Occasionally used as a gag, such as when the inside of his stomach is shown to have a little wolf howling and banging on a dinner table furiously.
* [[SheCleansUpNicely He Cleans Up Nicely]]: In a subversion version of this trope, the ''male'' What-a-Mess is bathed and groomed on rare occasions and actually looks like a pedigree Afghan Hound rather than his usual scruffy self.
* JerkWithAHeartOfGold: Trash, who acts like a street-smart tough guy most of the time, but can be quite nice when push comes to shove.
* OnlyKnownByTheirNickname: What-a-Mess's real name is actually ''Prince Amir of Kinjan'', but in practice he is rarely called this. Even his mother calls him What-a-Mess most of the time.
** Trash's birth name? Francis.
* NoCelebritiesWereHarmed: Trash's voice is based on JackNicholson.
* TertiarySexualCharacteristics: Inverted. Well-groomed Afghan Hounds naturally have long hair on their heads, and long hair that tends to make them look like they're wearing fancy clothes. Despite all that, What-a-Mess is a male dog. Played straight with the cat, Felicia. She has long eyelashes and a bow.
* TruthInTelevision: Afghan Hounds have notoriously high-maintenance coats. Any owner of an Afghan Hound who grooms their dog anything less than constantly will end up with a dog looking something like What-a-Mess. Frank Muir owned several Afghan Hounds when he wrote the series, which was probably an influence.
* UnreliableNarrator: The narrator often says the exact ''opposite'' of what is really going on.
* VerbalTic: Ramona has a habit of saying "basically" a lot. She's played by CandiMilo, who used the same voice and tic for CowAndChicken's teacher.
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