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', and a cockatiel with a Twitter account.
This series contains examples of:
- Cross Over: 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, 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.
- Follow the Leader: In 2014, the Hallmark Channel debuted a "Kitten Bowl".
- Also in 2014, NatGeo Wild debuted with a Fish Bowl.
- 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.
- Hostile Show Takeover: Puppy Bowl XI had one right after the Kitty Halftime Show.
- 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
- 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.