Series / Puppy Bowl

An annual tradition on Animal Planet, the Puppy Bowl is the Super Bowl WITH PUPPIES! ...That's pretty much all there is to it. Those who aren't interested in the main event during Super Bowl Sunday can watch puppies play with football-themed toys on a faux football field for two hours, complete with a (human) referee and color commentary.

From the second Puppy Bowl on, there's also a Kitty Halftime Show featuring a plethora of kittens playing with various toys, like balls, lasers, and various springy, bouncy, moving knick-knacks. Each show ends with a huge shower of confetti. Later installments have added new gimmicks like a canine tailgating section, a hamster-run blimp, cheerleader squads made up of bunnies, chicks, piglets, or hedgehogs, a 'Kiss Cam', a cockatiel with a Twitter account, a hamster wheel powered backup generator and a hamster powered (again) scoreboard.

In 2018 they introduced the Dog Bowl, a second bowl geared more toward older dogs to promote adopting older pets from shelters.

This series contains examples of:

  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: For the Puppy Bowl XII Kitty Halftime Show, a miniature model of San Francisco was set up and kittens were loosed upon it, played off as an example of this trope.
  • Crossover: Puppy Bowl IX had cast members from other popular Animal Planet series, including Call of the Wildman's Turtleman, Shorty Rossi & Hercules from Pit Boss, Brett Raymer & Wayde King from Tanked, the main cast from Finding Bigfoot, Jackson Galaxy from My Cat from Hell, the twins from Pitbullsand Parolees and "Showtime" Eric Young from Off the Hook: Extreme Catches.
    • The ref has also made appearances on two other Animal Planet series; America's Cutest Cat and America's Cutest Dog.
  • Early Installment Weirdness: The first Puppy Bowl didn't have a Kitty Halftime Show.
  • Hamster-Wheel Power: Used to restore power to the stadium lights during a blackout at Puppy Bowl X, in an obvious parody of the real power outage at Super Bowl XLVII. It was used in the Puppy Bowls since to power a scoreboard they use to keep track of the scores of the two teams (a change that they decided to implement in Puppy Bowl XI - before, each individual puppy would have a score, but there weren't any teams).
  • Hostile Show Takeover: Puppy Bowl XI had one right after the Kitty Halftime Show.
  • Kayfabe: It's actually quite admirable how seriously the humans involved take this show, like this is a genuine football game, just with puppies.
  • Mundane Made Awesome: The commentary tries so hard to make it sound like the puppies are actually trying to score touchdowns...
  • No-Hoper Repeat: Though in this case, they're very intentionally targeting people who don't want to watch what everyone else is watching.
  • Precious Puppies: Pretty much the justification for this shows existence.
  • Product Placement: The arena ("Geico Arena", as of Puppy Bowl IX) is plastered with banner ads, and before each commercial break, they like to remind you of the various products they're hawking. The Kitty Halftime Show, for instance, always ends with a huge burst of confetti, followed by briefly showing the ref vacuuming. Puppy Bowl VII had the referee regularly taking a break to enjoy breath mints.
    • Puppy Bowl VIII had the breath mint breaks returning. The referee also left to seek a missing flag with the dogs from the sponsoring movie, Treasure Buddies.
  • Reaction Shot
  • Rule of Cute
  • Shout-Out / Whole Plot Reference: The subplot of Puppy Bowl X, which involves a puppy called Rudy being benched until the end of the fourth quarter (thanks in part due to the "#PlayRudy" Twitter campaign).
  • Spin-Off: The Puppy Games, which aired opposite the 2008 Olympic Games opening ceremony.