Western Animation: Garfield and Friends
We're... (We're...) Garfield and Friends
(1988-1994) was a CBS
animated series based on the comic strips of Jim Davis
Each episode is in Three Shorts
ABA format. The A series is Garfield
, derived from the massively famous comic strip of the same name. The B series (referred to in the title sequence as "and Friends
") is U.S. Acres
, based on Davis's other, less famous comic strip. Before the second and third shorts would be a "Quickie", a short cartoon derived directly from the comic strips. Occasionally in the early Garfield segments, they would sing a song.Garfield
is a fat, lazy orange cat whose hobbies include sleeping, eating lasagna, sleeping, watching television, eating things other than lasagna, and sleeping. He lives with his human owner, Jon, and Jon's dog, Odie, who slobbers incessantly and lacks internal speech. Other recurring characters include Nermal, the world's cutest kitty-cat; a tribe of mice (Garfield refuses to hunt mice, since human food tastes better and is easier to catch); Liz the vet, on whom Jon has a crush; the relentlessly annoying TV show host Binky the Clown; and Penelope, a Suspiciously Similar Substitute
of Arlene who appeared late in the series.
's non-talking pets, U.S. Acres is set on a farm inhabited and apparently run by Talking Animals
. In the first three seasons, nearly every episode included a point where the characters stop and sing a song related to the episode's plot or theme, often including a more or less arbitrary Aesop
. In the later seasons, the episodes got Denser and Wackier
and less about an Aesop. (U.S. Acres
is known as "Orson's Farm" outside the United States, where the original title's slight pun is not the selling point it was in the USA.)Characters include:
- Orson Pig. Relatively normal, but reads a lot and lets his imagination run away with him from time to time.
- Roy Rooster, a lazy practical joker with a high opinion of himself.
- Wade Duck, a hypochondriac who can work himself into a frenzy of fear over anything. He's even afraid of water, and always wears an kiddie pool inner tube around his waist; it has a duck head on the front that looks just like him and mimics his facial expressions.
- Bo and Lanolin, a brother-sister sheep duo. Bo is laid back to the point of absurdity, while Lanolin is hot-headed and argumentative to the point of contrariness.
- And the little chickens Booker and Sheldon. Booker hunts worms with an obsession comparable to Elmer Fudd's pursuit of Bugs Bunny (and similar results). He likes ninjas. Sheldon, the younger of the two, appears as an egg with a pair of legs sticking out the bottom. He chose to stay inside his shell after reading horrible world news from a pile of newspapers put under him while incubating.
Those who only know Garfield
as "that comic everyone likes to make fun of
" might be surprised to hear how popular this series was and still is. In large part this is because of Lorenzo Music's dead-on performance as Garfield; anyone who saw this cartoon as a kid will still hear his voice in their head if they read one of the comic strips. Also influencing things is the fact that Jim Davis had little to do with the series, besides putting his name on it (much like Steven Spielberg
's involvement with the 1990s Warner Bros.
Animation revival); veteran TV and comics writer Mark Evanier
was the showrunner
, wrote most of the episodes and was responsible for a lot of the edgier humor.
Recap page is here
While the Garfield Specials
are not explicitly set in this 'verse, they use the exact same artstyle and voice actors, so they can easily be seen as being part of the series.
This series contains examples of:
- Adaptation Expansion: An interesting case, as the addition of various gimmicks and characters to the show made it arguably funnier than Garfield's comic incarnation.
- This sometimes applies to the quickies themselves, which are generally direct adaptations of the strip. For example:
- Aesop Amnesia: Lampshaded several times. In one episode, Wade states that he will be brave until next week's show... and doesn't even make it that long before reverting to his standard characterization.
- "Angel Puss" ends with Garfield deciding to start being nicer to Odie, "at least until the next cartoon".
- Aliens Speaking English: Any alien on the series speaks English.
- Animated Adaptation: Unlike the actual episodes, the Garfield "Quickies" were directly adapted from the original Jim Davis strips. Also, some of the first episodes were minor arcs from the original comic padded out to fill a 7-minute cartoon.
- Babies Make Everything Better: Subverted with Nermal. And slightly altered with him being old enough to talk.
- Bad Cop/Incompetent Cop: One of the fine example is in "Jailbird Jon" where Garfield was replace by an inmate wearing a cat suit. A human cat suit and the police doesn't even bother to take a glance on what's going on.
- Big Lipped Alligator Moment: The Buddy Bears' cameo in "Mistakes Will Happen" appears to be a parody of this trope.
- Also, the scene in "Shelf Esteem" where Wade freaks out for no reason. What was he scared of, anyway?
- Biting-the-Hand Humor: Much jokes are made in reference to "the network", a.k.a. CBS.
- An example which predicted the reason the show ended was seen in "The Discount of Monte Cristo" which is all about Aloysius cutting the show's budget (CBS wanted budget cuts for the show, and the show's creators refused to let the show suffer the budget cuts. In the episode, Orson hated Aloysius ruining the story by firing people who made the show in order to keep the show's budget low).
- In "Kiddie Korner", Aloysius plans the fall schedule using a dart board.
- Blazing Inferno Hellfire Sauce: In his "Shorty" persona, he feeds some leftover blazing-hot chili to a horse named Certain Death.
- Bluffing the Advance Scout
- By the Lights of Their Eyes: "Wade, You're Afraid"; "Sales Resistance".
- Carnivore Confusion: See trope page for details.
- The Cast Showoff: Desirée Goyette is a professional singer (she can even be heard in the Theme Tune) and she got to show it off more than once. Thom Huge has a pretty good singing voice, too, though this leads to Vocal Dissonance considering that Jon is supposed to be a Straw Loser.
- The Complainer Is Always Wrong: Parodied, rather viciously at times, with the Buddy Bears.
- They mention it directly in their introductory song:
Buddy Bears: "Oh we are the Buddy Bears, we always get along! Each day we do a little dance and sing a little song! If you ever disagree, it means that you are WRONG! Oh we are the Buddy Bears WE ALWAYS GET ALONG!"
- Garfield manages to get them to disagree on something in one episode, when he asks them to choose pizza toppings (something which, he claims, no two people "in the history of Italian cooking" have ever been able to agree on.)
- Mark Evanier worked on several cartoons in the early 1980s that played this trope straight (including Dungeons & Dragons), and has stated that the Buddy Bears were his way of getting back at his employers on those shows.
- Con Man:A.J. Swindler (A.G. Swindler after season 3). This guy with the long nose loves to target Jon Arbuckle for his nativity even going as far as to force him to sell him his house and cheat a carnival owner that leads to ruins. And he STILL doesn't learn his lesson.
- Couch Gag: Garfield always said a different short line at the end of the theme song.
- Crooked Contractor: Swindler was the Plain Criminal sort in "Home Sweet Swindler".
- Damned By a Fool's Praise: In the episode "Rolling Romance", Jon is the only one at an Honest John's Dealership who's interested in a particular car that even the dealer is initially hesitant to sell him—it turns out the car is possessed and madly in love with Jon (whereupon Garfield is quick to question the car's tastes).
- Double Take
- End of Series Awareness: Spoofed in "The Binky Show", where Garfield thinks a buzzer means the show's been cancelled.
- The plot of "The Discount of Monte Cristo" is about Aloysius cutting the show's budget, which is why Garfield and Friends ended.
- At the end of Kiddie Korner, we find out that the name of "The Network" is called "SUUS The Network". If you say it out loud, it sounds like "Sue Us, The Network!", which might be a Take That at CBS cancelling Garfield and Friends.
- Exact Words: When Garfield was once eating a snow-cone he ask Odie if he wanted a lick. When Odie said yes Garfield licked him in a manner to how Odie often does to him.
Garfield: "You have no idea how long I've waited to do that to him."
- Executive Meddling: The Aloysius Pig character spoofs this, as well as the "Binky Gets Cancelled" series of episodes.
- Exploding Calendar: In multiple episodes.
- Exploding Closet: At one point in the first theme song sequence.
- Fattening The Victim:
- In the episode "Nighty Nightmare", near the end of Garfield's Dream Sequence, it is revealed that the reason Garfield was eating every scrap of food in the world and growing to gigantic proportions was because an alien was using a mind-control ray on him to fatten him up for Thanksgiving dinner for the planet Clarion.
- In the episode "Pest of a Guest", Garfield exploits this trope and makes a freeloading cat who's been faking being sick think this is what his going to happen to him. He makes a recipe card that has one kitty cat as the main ingredient to Jon's casserole. Later Jon (who doesn't know what Garfield did) casually mentions to the cat "we've got to fatten you up" and that the casserole is Odie's favorite dish. Odie licks him and that cat thinks Odie is tasting him, causing him to flee from the house.
- A Form You Are Comfortable With: An alien disguises itself as a purple ball, but later reveals his true, uglier, form when using a phone.
- Getting Crap Past the Radar Has its own page.
- Hell Hotel: Setting for "The Sludge Monster".
- Hypno Fool: While not being actual hypnosis, Garfield's Hawaiian cat flu in Garfield Goes Hawaiian causes him to dance the hula or do something Hawaiian whenever someone mentions something Hawaiian. Played straight in Wade, You're Afraid, however.
- I'm Thinking It Over!: In one episode, Jon said he'd no longer feed Garfield unless Garfield got along with Nermal. As Jon started to repeat his ultimatum, Garfield interrupted him to tell he was thinking over it.
- Impact Silhouette: "Wade, You're Afraid" and others.
- In Case You Forgot Who Wrote It: In "The Cartoon Cat Conspiracy", Garfield created a Show Within a Show titled "Sam the Cat", which was actually a Self-Parody, Garfield overpromoted himself in the opening credits and apologized for not having space to give Odie due credit for animating the story. (Garfield got Odie to do it because he was cheaper than any Korean staff)
- Ink-Suit Actor: A large number of guest stars during later seasons, including but not limited to Rip Taylor, Ray Jay Johnson, and Eddie Lawrence doing his "Old Philosopher" routine in cat form. Most notable was adding Aloysius, a pastiche of voicing comedian Kevin Meaney (right down to his catchphrase, "That's not right!"), as a recurring character on U.S. Acres.
- Lampshade Hanging: Entire episodes of both cartoons consisted purely of this, such as Garfield's lecture "How to be Funny" (which covered the Running Gag, timing jokes, and funny costumes) and "Secrets of the Animated Cartoon" on Orson's Farm, which discussed Cartoon Physics.
- Lethal Chef: Jon, on more than one occasion. Once he replaced sour cream with mayonnaise on the grounds that they were the same color. Another is Jon creating yogurt that turns out to be a huge disaster that covers up the entire house.
- Lighter and Softer: Much more focused on comedy than the original specials which would often mix in drama and often have the characters in serious peril.
- Meaningful Name: Sleazy used car salesman Al G. Swindler.
- Multi-Part Episode: Snow Wade And The 77 Dwarves, Grape Expectations, Egg Over Easy, and Horror Hostess were all 2 parts.
- Mutually Fictional: Played With. Some U.S. Acres cartoons feature Garfield as a fictional TV show in their universe. Others feature actual appearances by Garfield or other characters from his segments.
- Never Say "Die": In the episode "The Man Who Hated Cats", Garfield overhears the man singing about a cat he owned when he was young who ran away. He sings, "Foo-Foo had fled/I wished I was..." and starts sobbing.
- A U.S. Acres segment parodying the poem Casey at the Bat includes a quip about the fans chanting "'Kill the Umpire!' long and low/But you cannot kill a person/On a TV cartoon show."
- Averted in one segment of U.S. Acres about nursery rhymes. In that episode, Orson says "dead" twice and "murder", and Aloysius says "kill" twice (once in its plural form) and "death".
- Nobody Poops: Averted multiple times. Notable examples include:
- One quickie had Jon thinking that Garfield wet his bed. Odie was actually drooling right beside his bed.
- One U.S. Acres segment parodying Jack and the Beanstalk had a scene where Jack's mother forces the goose to lay one more egg, a spoof of toilet-training young children. To cap this off, a fart noise was played when the goose finally laid an egg.
- Bertie Buddy Bear farted in "Roy Gets Sacked". Aloysius did the same thing in "The Discount of Monte Cristo", Roy did it in "Happy Garfield Day", and Wade did it in "The Old Man Of The Mountain" after being thrown by Gort.
- No Fourth Wall: Garfield knows he's in a TV show, and frequently speaks directly to the audience; the U.S. Acres characters also address the audience directly at times. The show also casually references itself as just being a TV show or even a cartoon (on a few occasions, Garfield characters and U.S. Acres characters had a pencil and/or an eraser to illustrate this), one episode even involved Orson giving an academic lecture on cartoons with many references to the characters being animated. Also, in many instances, they would show things happening off set or have multiple takes. There were even times when what's in-universe and what's breaking the fourth wall were so blurred that the show's plot resolution required doing things that broke the fourth wall. In fact, there are very few episodes where the fourth wall breach is NOT apparent.
- The Episode "Pros and Cons" takes it Up to Eleven when Garfield turns on the TV and watches the episode he's currently in so he can see what happened in a scene he wasn't present for!
- Nonsense Classification: According to Garfield, the four basic food groups are: pasta, cheeseburger with fries, chocolate cake, and more pasta.
- "Not Making This Up" Disclaimer: Garfield once showed two videos of Jon's previous dates. The second one was so short that, before starting it, he warned the viewers there weren't any cuts.
- One Series Actor: Thom Huge (who voiced both Jon Arbuckle and Roy the Rooster) never did voicework on any cartoon after Garfield. Justified, as he was an employee of Paws, Inc. (Jim Davis's company) who apparently was meant to be a stand-in voice, but did such a great job they didn't want to replace him.
- Opening Credits Cast Party: Generally the only place the Garfield and U.S. Acres characters appeared onscreen together. Garfield characters occasionally guested on US Acres, though.
- Opening Narration: "Ladies and gentlemen! Garfield, and Friends!"
- Pie in the Face: Numerous cream pies - splut!
- A Pirate 400 Years Too Late: One episode featured a TV repairman who decided to follow the footsteps of his pirate ancestor and become a full pirate (In fact, the episode describes the TV repairman job as a way for pirate descendants to keep close to their roots). This modern day's pirate's criminal career was helped by the fact the authorities refused to believe whenever his victims reported him.
- Politicians Kiss Babies: In an episode of the Orson's Farm/U.S. Acres segment, Roy Rooster kisses eggs when running for the title of "leader of the barnyard", since he is a male chicken, and chickens lay eggs.
- Potty Failure: Spoofed in one quickie on the 40th episode. For an explanation, see the Nobody Poops example.
- Protagonist and Friends
- Public Domain Soundtrack: A good deal of the show's background music was this. Examples include The Barber of Seville, The Happy Farmer, English Country Garden and Greensleeves.
- Pun-Based Title: "Garfield Goes Hawaiian" (Gidget Goes Hawaiian), "School Daze" (School Days), "Nighty Nightmare" (Nighty Night), "Banana Nose" (Banana notes), "Ode to Odie" (Ode to Joy), "Good Mousekeeping" (Good housekeeping), and "The Perils Of Penelope" (The Perils of Penelope Pitstop).
- The Rashomon: Notably the "Twice Told Tale" episode about Jon and Garfield blaming each other for the mass yogurt incident with exaggerates details on the 'blamer'.
- The Renaissance Age of Animation
- Replaced the Theme Tune: "Friends Are There" in season 1, "We're Ready to Party" after that, and then the unnamed rap theme in the last season (but only in the US). In an unusual variant, "Friends Are There" was sometimes heard as a Leitmotif.
- Running Gag: Splut!; the Klopman Diamond.
- Also, the appearance of or reference to the Buggy-eyed Razor-beaked Fnark.
- Every alien on the show told that they came from the planet Clarion.
- Also, any refrence to Kung Fu Creatures on the Rampage is common.
- In the post-"Temp Trouble" Aloysius episodes of U.S. Acres, there are two. One, a fart sound is played at some point, and two, Aloysius will pull something from the back of of his jacket via Hammerspace.
- In Season 2, any reference to the non-existent episode Much Ado About Orson was common.
- Garfield transforming or turning people who chase after them into one thing people are scared of...Mimes.
- Script Swap: One of Garfield's favorite forms of mischief. Seen in the episodes Health Feud, DJ Jon, and Best of Breed.
- In the US Acres episode "Kiddie Korner", Roy finally writes a "wholesome nursery rhyme" by doing this. It results in Aloysius Pig being chased by the gang because the song ends with lyrics about pie throwing.
- Shout-Out: On one episode, after the opening sequence finished, Garfield said "I'd like to buy a vowel, please."
- Another post-opening sequence line was "The Garfield Guarantee: No giant robots or annoying little blue people."
- Still another was "If you change the channel, you will never see your dog again.", referencing the famous "Buy this magazine or we'll kill this dog" January 1973 cover of National Lampoon.
- In one episode, Garfield opens the door and says "Hello, this is Garfield, your doorman."
- Wade: "Oh Jeopardy Oh Double Jeopardy! Oh FINAL JEOPARDY!"
- Cactus Jake... or should I say Cactus Jack?
- Also doubling as a Brick Joke: in one episode, Garfield & Nermal contend with mutant guppies, who they defeat by chasing them back into the sewer. Said guppies then appear in the subsequent US Acres Quickie; after scaring Wade and Orson, one guppies turns to his fellows and says "Come on guys, let's go see if we can get a guest shot on the Muppet Babies, whaddaya say?" (Muppet Babies aired opposite the show on CBS at the time).
- In "Clash Of The Titans", Garfield asks if the characters can stop at Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles so they can get a pizza.
- "Invasion of The Big Robots" was a parody right from the start. So, take a moment, and see if you can figure out what they're parodying. Also, the last scenes of the short end with Garfield ending up in Bambi!
- In Temp Trouble, Roy asks Mrs Pig Aloysius Pig's mom, "It's Saturday morning. Do you know where your children are?"
- In "Much Ado About Lanolin", the scene where Lanolina trips on her dress is quite similar to the scene in Santa Claus Is Coming To Town where Burgermeister Meisterburger trips on a duck in exactly the same way. Lanolina, however, did not get her foot in a cast, but yelled at how the stairs were defective.
- Sleep Learning
- Standard Snippet: Orson's Brothers onscreen would always mean In The Hall of the Mountain King usually performed by a lazy-sounding tuba. "Mountain King" also gets used whenever a character is stealing or otherwise engaged in shifty behavior. Likewise, Odie's presence was often accompanied with the fox hunt call. Finally, a recurring Mad Scientist character had "Did you Ever See a Lassie?" as his theme.
- Do you mean Dr. Bean? Dr. GARBANZO Bean?
- Background music for the episodes would frequently be portions of common children's songs, some of which were related to the plot and some of which weren't. Some examples: The Itsy Bitsy Spider for a Quickie involving a spider; and My Grandfather's Clock at the beginning of "The Lasagna Zone."
- Take That, Audience!: The first logo box quip was "You folks have this confused. I'm real, and you're animated".
- Talking Animal: Although like in the comics, all Garfield characters are actually thinking rather than talking.
- And yet the animals still communicate between themselves like this, so apparently they're capable of telepathy.
- However, on many occasions, Jon (and other humans) understood Garfield's thoughts as if spoken aloud, showing appropriate facial expressions and even responding to them. The best example being Jon singing the opening bars of Garfield's song "The Garfield garbage can and tin pan alley revue". Once, Nermal asked Jon why a commercial was taking a long time and Jon explained what an infomercial was.
- One episode, "Brainwave Broadcast" has Garfield reveal to the audience that there's a special microphone the show uses that verbalizes thoughts (and then he uses it for hijinks), similar to a comic strip that showed how he learned to project his thoughts. This leads to him helping a policeman in a bank robbing by putting some donuts together to form the words "Bank Being Robbed". There are no humans in U.S. Acres except in one episode, "Grape Expectations, Part 1".
- On the other hand, as in the comics, Odie has no dialogue beyond barking and other dog noises.
- Although Garfield seems to be able to understand Odie just fine and has on a few occasions seemingly translated for Jon, the audience, or another human.
- The Garfield case of this tends to get confusing - a few animal characters (like the Buddy Bears) actually talk while the Garfield animal regulars only think. Sometimes they're even portrayed as talking animals whose mouths don't move (sometimes when Garfield meows his mouth doesn't move either, making him more like Mister Ed in these instances, such as in "The Garfield Garbage Can And Tin Pan Alley Review" (where Jon tried to show the cop that Garfield can talk and sing) than a seemingly telepathic animal like usual.
- Thematic Theme Tune: Subverted with the original theme, which had Garfield and the cast of U.S. Acres sing about friendship while fighting each other for screen time. This theme was used as a Leitmotif even after the switch to the Title Theme Tune in season 3.
- Theme Tune Cameo: Several episodes begin with a character humming along from where the title music left off; in "Short Story", Bo Sheep remarks that he's had the tune in his head all day, and wonders where he heard it.
- Title Drop: A ton, but mostly with episode titles.
- "The Bunny Rabbits is Coming!": The characters repeat this phrase throughout the episode.
- "The Ocean Blue": At the end of most verses of the song is "Out there on the ocean blue".
- "Wanted: Wade!": Somewhat of a title drop, with the line "Wade, you're a wanted duck!"
- "Fortune Kooky": Done a few times, as the episode's title is just "fortune cookie" with a silly misspelling.
- "Banana Nose": This is Roy's nickname throughout the episode after a pirate joke he does. It was also, of course, in the closing song.
- "I Like Having You Around": Like "Banana Nose", it was in a song.
- "Hogcules": Well, it is called Hogcules!
- "The Wolf Who Cried Boy" has both the episode title example and the show name example. First, Orson tells the story of "The Wolf Who Cried Boy" and Orson sings "Come on in, it's time to party with Garfield and- Oh, I love that song!"
- Toilet Humor: Some episodes contain a weird sound that sounds like a fart noise, and Roy Rooster farts in "Happy Garfield Day".
- Trademark Favorite Food: Garfield loves lasagna.
- The last words of "Hare Force" state Orson Pig's favorite food: "Chocolate chip! My favorite!"
- Aloysius Pig, Orson's cousin, revealed two of his in "The Discount Of Monte Cristo": donuts ("Add to the cost of cells and pencils, and all those donuts, and-") and pizza ("Couldn't you just send out for a PIZZA?). A hidden frame just before Aloysius says the latter phrase has him staring happily at crepes, so he possibly could like crepes, too.
- "Where? Where?"
- Whole Plot Reference: "Hansel and Garfield", "Odielocks and the Three Cats", "Bedtime Story Blues", "The Name Game", "Badtime Story", and "Snow Wade and the 77 Dwarfs"
The Garfield segments contain examples of:
- Acme Products: "Good Mousekeeping".
- Adults Are Useless: Unlikely Jon's stupidity, some of the adults Garfield and Jon met are stupid.
- "Cash and Carry". Seriously...who hires people to a new shopping mal who NEVER seen real money before even going as far as calling security to interrogate Jon, who happens to cut his credit cards.
- In "Safe at Home", the security guard constantly ask Jon to give him the password so they can enter the house. There's three reasons why that security guard is dumb. 1) The same robber manages to steal the TV set from the window 2) The guard doesn't ask him to give him a new password rather than constantly ask Jon for the password because ... 3) The guard himself doesn't know what the password is and have the balls to ask Jon the password.
- Adult Fear: Not necessarily involving children, but Housebreak Hotel depicts a very real fear of pet owners, that the pet hotel promising luxurious pampering is actually a pet abusing scam ran more like the city pound than a pet hotel.
- All Just a Dream: "The Binky Show", "Rip Van Kitty".
- Animated Actors: There were some episodes that were centered on this.
- Anti-Advice: When Garfield is wondering how to attract a girl cat, he decides to watch Jon in action. "Then I'll know what not to do."
- Anvil on Head: "Monday Misery".
- Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: In "Airborne Odie", when Garfield was describing what he could wish for with the magic lamp he and Odie found:
Garfield: I can wish for riches! I can wish for eternal life! I can wish for rice pudding without raisins in it!
- Art Shift: Used in "Attack of the Giant Robots" to parody other cartoon series such as Transformers and G.I. Joe.
- Ascended Extra: Binky the Clown had a very important role in the show, despite the fact the he had appeared personally in a total of three strips at the time, all from an arc that involved Garfield joining the circus. (And even today, he's only been in four. The one new one was just a minor title panel cameo)
- Assumed Win: "Caped Avenger".
- Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: One episode features Garfield eating so much that he grows into giant size. Naturally, it's All Just a Dream - Garfield even says so in the middle of the episode, before he wakes up. It happens again in a musical episode.
- "Attack of the Giant Robots".
- Award Snub: In-Universe example in the episode "Video Victim", where Garfield has a bet with Jon that he can go a full day without watching any TV.
I don't care if they rerun "The Creature that Devoured Muncie". I'm not watching. Jon:
Hmmm, look what's on channel 37. "The Creature that Devoured Muncie". Garfield:
A cinema classic! To think they gave the Oscar that year to "Gandhi
". (also a Inside Joke as Muncie, Indiana is where the Garfield franchise is run from under the name Paws, Inc.)
- Banana Peel: "Fraidy Cat".
- Batman Gambit: Garfield pulls off a great one in "Pros And Cons" in order to get the money Odie sold to a con man cat in exchange for a sock back. Garfield went to the alley where the cat was, dressed in Jon's clothing and pretending to be the owner of the sock that went with the one he sold Odie. He shows him the sock (which, of course, is the one he sold to Odie) and says that he lost the sock that goes with it and is going to the store to buy a replacement, and then shows him the money he saved to buy it (actually play money from the board game Jon and Garfield were playing at the beginning of the episode). This gets the cat excited, and having known where the "other" one is, rushes over to Jon's house. He then runs to Odie and tells him to hold the sock. The cat arrives after that, and thinking it's the other sock, tells him it's been recalled to the factory, and gives him his money back. He then rushes over to tell "the owner" he found the other sock, but obviously he isn't there. As he frantically searches for him, Odie gives the money back to Jon, who decides he will go to the store himself (Garfield remarks "Which he should have done in the first place"). He does...and comes back with a sock.
- Bedtime Brainwashing: The episode "Jukebox Jon" had Jon trying to hypnotize himself in his sleep into not biting his nails with help of a special device in order to appeal himself to a comic book executive who despises said habit. However, it backfires when Garfield accidentally breaks the record that was playing on the device, so he substitutes it with some Spanish records and old 50's records instead. Hilarity Ensues.
- Big Ball of Violence: "Good Cat, Bad Cat".
- Big Eater: Garfield, of course. There's also Jon's Uncle Ed (see The Thing That Would Not Leave below).
- Canon Foreigner: Floyd the mouse. His attempts to get more appearances per season are a Running Gag.
- Penelope, who was created because they didn't want to portray Arlene in the series like she was in the comics and Jim Davis said that, if they wouldn't portray Arlene like she was in the comics, she should not be portrayed at all.
- Casanova Wannabe: Jon.
- The Cat Came Back: Garfield's attempts to get rid of Nermal always end in failure... especially when Garfield's trying to send Nermal to Abu Dhabi.
- Cat Concerto
- Chekhov's Gun: The board game at the beginning of "Pros And Cons". It looked like it was just there to have a reason why Jon was sending Odie to the store (Garfield wrote a fake card that said for your cat to eat everything in the fridge, and he did so), but the play money in it was actually an important part of Garfield's Batman Gambit (see above).
- Comically Missing the Point: After another iteration of the Running Gag where Garfield tries to get rid of Nermal:
Jon: I can't believe you tried to give Nermal away!
Garfield: Well, who's gonna pay for something like that?
Jon: You can't give Nermal away!
Garfield: I know. I've tried.
- Compressed Vice: "Sales Resistance" revolves around Garfield's obsession with buying useless stuff off the Shopping Channel - an obsession which he has only in this episode.
- Cowboy Episode: Quite a number of shorts had Jon, Garfield and Odie visit the local dude ranch Polecat Flats, run by their cowboy friend Cactus Jake.
- Cryptid Episode: In one episode, Jon goes looking for Bigfeets.
- Cut a Slice, Take the Rest: Subverted in "All About Odie", in which Garfield uses a pie chart made with real pie to represent Odie. Two tiny pieces of the pie, both of which Garfield eats one at a time, represent Odie's brain and common sense, respectively, and the rest of the whole pie, which Garfield then consumes, represents Odie's tongue.
- Deadpan Snarker: Who do you think?
- Liz the veterinarian is this too.
- Also, Jon can be this from time to time.
- Devil in Plain Sight: "Pest of a Guest".
- Dinner Order Flub: Jon is at a French restaurant and tries to order in French and is served a pair of boiled athletic shoes by a French Jerk waiter. In another episode, he ends up ordering the name of the chef.
- Does Not Like Spam: As in the strip, Garfield hates raisins.
- Binky the Clown: "I'll have a ham on rye! Hold the mayo! Hehehehe!"
- Donut Mess with a Cop: The episode "Brainwave Broadcast" used this as a plot device.
- Dream Sequence: "Nighty Nightmare", "Fair Exchange", and others.
- Drill Sergeant Nasty: The obedience school trainer in "School Daze".
- Dumbass DJ: DJ Jon, much to Garfield's dismay.
- Dripping Disturbance: In "Peace And Quiet", Garfield is annoyed by a dripping faucet while trying to get some rest.
- Eskimos Aren't Real: From "It Must Be True":
Garfield: There's no such place as Wyoming. Think about it. Have you ever met anyone from Wyoming?
- Somewhat justified by real life- Wyoming is the least populated state in the United States. You are statistically less likely to meet someone from Wyoming then nearly any other state.
- Extreme Doormat: Both played straight and subverted by Jon, especially in the Mr. Swindler episodes.
- Friendship Song: The first season's opening theme song is about friendship and having fun. This song stops by the end of season 2.
- Genre Savvy: In the episode "Count Lasagna":
Wake up, Count Lasagna! The villagers are storming the castle!
Count Lasagna: The villagers always storm the castle. Haven't you ever seen a monster movie?
- Goofy Print Underwear: Binky the Clown has this in "The Binky Show".
- Good Angel, Bad Angel: "Good Cat, Bad Cat".
- Gravity Is a Harsh Mistress: "Magic Mutt".
- Honest John's Dealership: Al G. Swindler is a combination businessman and con artist.
- Hostile Show Takeover: One episode had Nermal and Jon hijacking "Garfield's Tales of Scary Stuff" (This only happens in Change of Mind when both accidentally wish to be Garfield's place thanks to a wishing star). Of course before the episode end guess who's not to happy about this.
- Human Mail: Garfield mailing Nermal to Abu Dhabi, or threatening to do so, is something of a Running Gag.
- Hypocritical Humor: The original opening has Garfield and the cast of U.S. Acres sing about friendship while fighting each other for screen time.
- Identity Amnesia: Garfield in "Forget Me Not".
- Illogical Safe: "Monday Misery", in a Dream Sequence. This is what "bashes" Garfield.
- Impossible Insurance: When Jon Arbuckle had a car crash, the insurer's only show of efficiency was at raising Jon's monthly payments. The insurer then required several documents and, for last, the car. Garfield and Odie, as a result of trying to get food from the car, accidentally crashed it at the insurer's office. After paying for the car's repairs, the insurer tried to collect payment from the insurance company covering the office but he instead found himself at the other side of the insurer/insured relationship.
- Inner Monologue Conversation: Garfield and Odie talk this way, in reference to the comic strip's thought bubbles.
- It Came from the Fridge: The Creature Lived in the Refrigerator Behind the Mayonnaise Next to the Ketchup to the Left of the Cole Slaw.
- It Will Never Catch On: A western version Garfield said this about television in one episode.
- Kangaroo Court: Two mice stole a slice of pie from Garfield and framed Odie, who demanded a trial. Garfield then said Odie would get a fair trial where he'd be convicted. During the trial, Garfield called Nermal to testify despite Nermal having not to do with the episode until then and asked question that had nothing to do with the case. Garfield later asked his teddy bear to say anything if Odie wasn't guilty.
- Karma Houdini: Just like in the comic strip, Garfield.
- About one third of the time, any trick he plays backfires miserably, so it's arguable.
- Kawaiiko: Nermal, as in the strip.
- Kids Prefer Boxes: One episode had Garfield wanting an expensive cat bed, then ends up sleeping in the box it came in.
- Lazy Bum: Who else?
- Lethal Chef: Jon, as in the strip.
- Limited Wardrobe: Jon always wears a blue shirt and brown pants and shoes. Except during dates and special occasions, when he either puts either a regular or a a really screwed up suit.
- Lots of Luggage: Less "impractical" but still over-packed is this example. Jon takes Garfield and Odie out camping, and Garfield hates it every time. So one time he brings an inflatable house, labelled "Never leave home without a home". Jon makes an Aside Glance and asks, "This is roughing it?"
- Mad Libs Catch Phrase: "Whoever (Insert Annoying Verb) should be drug out into the street and shot."
- Mega Neko / Miracle-Gro Monster: Two episodes have Garfield eating until he gets to monstruous proportions:
- Monster Clown: Binky - not evil, but very, very annoying: "Heeeeeeeyyyyyyyyyy, CAT!!!" Really an exaggerated Non-Ironic Clown more than anything.
- Musical Episode: "Truckin' Odie", "The Garfield Opera", "The Garfield Rap", and "Ode to Odie".
- Meat-O-Vision: The life-boat sequence in "Box o' Fun".
- Narrator All Along: The Reformed Shark in the series finale, The Ocean Blue.
- Nerd in Evil's Helmet: An episode had the Masked Mauller, a pro wrestler so bloodthirsty that nobody will wrestle him because he never follows the scripts. When he roped Jon into a match against him, Garfield saved Jon by discovering that the Masked Mauler was allergic to cat hair, making him sneeze so hard that his mask flew off, revealing his nerdy face.
- Never My Fault: The "Screaming with Binky" quickies. Regardless of what Binky ruins with his No Indoor Voice, he always considers it the victim's fault.
- Never Win the Lottery: "Fat & Furry": Garfield and Jon win millions in the lottery, but the win is disqualified when the authorities discover that it was Garfield who bought the ticket — not because he's a cat, but because he's under eighteen.
- News Monopoly: "Hansel and Garfield": not news, but daytime TV - there's a Soap Opera on every channel, all playing essentially the same scene.
- Niche Network: "The Potato Channel" (in which a man lists all the different ways to prepare potatoes), "The All Snail Racing Channel", and "The All Lasagna Channel" are a few examples.
- No Indoor Voice: Binky the Clown's "Heeeeeeeeeey Kids!"
- No Sense of Direction: In "A Vacation From His Senses" somehow, it took Jon a whole day for him to find the way out of a tunnel. He even ended up at the South Pole when he was looking at the map to Texas.
- Non Sequitur Thud: When Jon blindly bumps into a tree in "Mistakes Will Happen":
"No, ladies, I'm not Tom Selleck
. But I can understand how you can make that mistake."
- Off Model: Viciously parodied in "Mistakes Will Happen", where the animation goes off-model on purpose while Garfield "reviews" the episode in search of mistakes. Even though there are many blatantly obvious ones (e.g. a misspelled title card which has Garfield's face on Odie's body), the only three he points out aren't really "mistakes".
- On the other hand, there were plenty of instances where the Ink & Paint department clearly screwed up. Or when small bits of a character are missing for a few frames.
- Offscreen Teleportation: Garfield, on a few occasions:
- In "Nighty Nightmare" Jon orders a pizza without Garfield knowing. After getting the pizza, he speeds into a room and barricades himself in, only to find upon opening the box Garfield has somehow slipped into the box and eaten the pizza.
- In "Sit on It" Garfield takes a stand on Jon's Spanish book. Jon lures him away from the book with food, but the second he turns around, Garfield is back on the book.
- Or Was It a Dream?: "Rip Van Kitty": it was, but for a moment it seemed otherwise.
- Pick a Card: Jon tries to do the trick with Garfield, but fails. After taking out every card in the deck, Jon gives up and asks Garfield what his card was. Garfield pulls out the card with the instructions for Pinochle.
- Planet Looters: "Rip Van Kitty" includes an alien race that descend on defenseless planets and eat all their food; in a development that even the characters remark on as obvious, they turn out to look an awful lot like Garfield.
- Police Code for Everything:
- Psycho Strings: In "Monday Misery", these are used to trigger a Dream Sequence in the form of a parody of a horror movie trailer:
From the people that brought you the terror of Wednesday and the horror of Friday, comes the most horrifying, terrifying day ever, a day invented just to make the rest of the week seem good... MONDAY!
- Rip Van Winkle: "Rip Van Kitty".
- Road Runner vs. Coyote: One segment involved Garfield Deconstructing Tom and Jerry-style cartoons from a cat's POV, wondering why dirty, disease-ridden vermin would be presented as heroes and questioning why the resident Angry Guard Dog would be so immediately and violently hostile towards the cat. At the cartoon's end, Garfield himself is forced into a Tom and Jerry-esque segment due to Executive Meddling.
- Running Gag: Deconstructed; in one episode, while attempting to explain humor, Garfield explains that mundane jokes can be made funny through repetition. As an example, throughout the entire episode, he calls for "Lights!" and is offered lightbulbs.
- Of course, the show itself does have running gags, such as Nermal getting sent to Abu Dhabi, as explained here (skip to 2:15).
- The term "reasonable facsimile".
- Saying Sound Effects Out Loud: Done in "Monday Misery", where Garfield is CRASHED, BASHED, and yes, even SPLUTTED! In each case, a rather unenthusiastic voice shouts "Smash!" "Bash!", "Splut!", and later "Gorsh!", after Garfield learns that it's Samoan for Splut.
- Scooby-Dooby Doors: "Magic Mutt", with a three-compartment magician's cabinet.
- Self-Deprecation: Garfield himself does this a few times, in-universe. In one show, before he intends to give a lecture about himself, he shows Odie's fan-mail, which is so much, it falls on him when he opens the door to the room, while he only has one letter (and it's a sweepstakes notification). He gives in, and changes the lecture to one about Odie.
- Another instance that he called "Basket-Brawl", where he played a food-themed Basketball game with the Arbuckles, as the dumbest episode they did all season.
- Series Continuity Error: The singing ants are black in Picnic Panic and in A Vacation from his Senses, but (in spite of being referred to as the same ants as before) are red in Another Ant Episode.
- She's a Man in Japan: Spanish-language dubs originally referred to Nermal (whom, for some reason, was Dub Named "Telma") as gatita, the word for a female kitten. Later episodes finally get his name right, but they were still inconsistent with his gender.
- The Brazilian dub also couldn't make up its mind in regards of Nermal's gender during the first season. One episode he was referred as "she" and then "he" on the next just to go back to "she" in the next and so forth. This was fixed in the subsequent seasons. Still, Nermal's voice was done by a woman.
- Shoot The Television: The episode "Renewed Terror" has Jon watching The Buddy Bears on TV, when the magazine subscription guy he's been trying to avoid all day interrupts the show, saying the price of the magazine Jon signed up for (to try to get rid of the guy) has been lowered to 40 cents an issue. Jon is so terrified he throws his shoe at the TV, effectively breaking it.
- He does the same thing in "Happy Garfield Day" when he sees a news report saying it's only two more days until Garfield's birthday. (He doesn't break it this time, though.)
- Show Within a Show And No Fourth Wall Mixed Together: Season 2's The Mail Animal is prematurely ended in favor of a US Acres cartoon titled "Much Ado About Orson." As Orson's about to explain the episode's plot to Wade, Garfield frantically interrupts and announces that his cartoon isn't over yet. His cartoon, thus, resumes until completion.
- The plot of "Much Ado About Orson was used in "A Little Time Off". The WMG page for U.S. Acres has more on this topic.
- Interestingly, the US Acres cartoon that aired afterwards was NOT Much Ado About Orson but Peanut-Brained Rooster.
- The Speechless: Odie. He does speak coherently once, as a "mistake" in "Mistakes Will Happen".
- Sphere Eyes
- Spinning Paper: "Fat & Furry".
- Something Completely Different: "Ode To Odie" has no dialogue, only narration in the form of a rap song; "All About Odie" is an academic lecture.
- Status Quo Game Show: "The Binky Show": Garfield tries to win something nice for Jon on Name That Fish!, but the prizes are terrible, the games are rigged to humiliate the contestant, and in the end it's All Just a Dream.
- Stupid Question Bait: In the episode "All About Odie", Garfield lets the audience ask questions before beginning the lecture, only to be asked; "Is wrestling fixed?"
Garfield: I should've asked, "Are there any intelligent questions?"
- Stylistic Suck: The art quality during one of the Screaming with Binky segments took a turn for the worse when Binky's yelling disrupted the animator.
- Surprise Jump: Garfield does this a few times when startled by either Nermal or Binky the Clown.
- Swapped Roles: "Fair Trade".
- Take a Number: Happens to Garfield, while waiting to get yogurt at a frozen yogurt stand. Despite the fact that he was the only customer there.
- Take That:
Garfield: Okay, any questions.
Garfield: Let me repeat. Are there any INTELLIGENT questions?
- This post-opening sequence line: "Hey, Heathcliff, eat your heart out."
- The Buddy Bears in general were mocking cartoons with the groupthink morality that were common in the era.
Oh, we are the Buddy Bears, we always get along
Each day, we do a little dance and we sing a little song
If you ever disagree, it means that you are wrong!
Oh, we are the Buddy Bears, we always get along!
- The Thing That Would Not Leave: Jon's Uncle Ed, who comes to visit in one episode, and ends up staying for months as he eats Jon out of house and home. It's revealed he did this because his wife, Jon's Aunt Edna, put him on a diet when Garfield gets Jon to call her to come get him and drag him back home.
- Thirty Minutes or It's Free: In "The Pizza Patrol", Garfield managed to make sure no delivery boy from a militaristic-themed pizza parlor would deliver a pizza within 30 minutes. The owner eventually signed a peace treaty with Garfield, who was now wondering if there was any Chinese restaurant offering delivery in 30 minutes.
- Title Drop: A Show Within a Show example: "You! You're not Sylvia! You're one of the Kung Fu Creatures on the Rampage! 2!" and later "You! You're not Sylvia! You're one of the Kung Fu Creatures on the Rampage! 3!"
- Trapped in TV Land: "The Lasagna Zone".
- Throw the Dog a Bone: Jon never gets a single girlfriend But during the end of the episode “Dream Date”, he did get a date with the former secretary of the TV studio, Judy, who was trying to tell Jon that the show was rigged as a setup and to humiliated him for higher ratings. Garfield lets Jon date her, and lampshades it to Odie:
Garfield: New rule of the show Pup, Every 9 weeks we do a happy ending, Come on let's go steal their pizza.
- Under the Truck: In the episode "Speed Trap", Jon and Garfield are running from the cops and do this. Thing is, they are in a CAR. So the roof gets torn off while they duck.
- Vinyl Shatters: "Jukebox Jon": When Garfield bowls Odie into the table where Jon's record player is playing self-hypnosis records to help him stop biting his nails, the records come off the turntable and break, each in two large pieces and a bunch of little pieces.
- Walk Into Camera Obstruction: "Don't Move!" did this twice with Odie when he is riding down the sidewalk in a shopping cart. His eyes fill up the screen twice and it then cuts to the next scene each time.
- Watch Out for That Tree!: In "The Pizza Patrol", Garfield is swinging on a vine growing in his backyard and takes a drill sergeant's pizza in an attempt to avoid having to pay for it. Unfortunately, he smashes into a tree and the sergeant gets his pizza back.
- Way Past the Expiration Date: Garfield stops Jon from cleaning out his refrigerator because (Garfield claims) some of the food has historical value; the mustard was used to disinfect wounds during the American Civil War.
- What Are Records?: Garfield and Odie break Jon's record player in one episode. Trying to find a replacement, the only person who's even ever heard of one is the proprietor of an antique store.
- Yes-Man: All three Buddy Bears in "Binky Gets Cancelled, Again!"
The U.S. Acres segments contain examples of:
- Absentee Actor: Becomes especially egregious in situations where villains are stated to have captured all of the cast when they've really just captured all of that episode's cast.
- Accidental Hero: "Flop Goes The Weasel".
- Acrophobic Bird : One of Wade's main fears; even if he is afraid of almost everything, his fear of heights is particularly embarrassing for him since he's a duck. One episode shows his (failed) attempts to conquer this fear.
- Adaptation Expansion: The version of the Hypno Fool story arc presented had Wade freeing a bull mid-story, so that things would continue to happen after Roy undoes the hypnotism, culminating with Wade standing up against the bull despite his fears.
- Ageless Birthday Episode: "Birthday Boy Roy" had one for...guess.
- And That's Terrible / Felony Misdemeanor: Tearing a tag off a pillow is so bad a crime it even gets two hardened robbers of banks and gas stations to grab the bars of the cell and want out when Wade admits his "crime" to them in "Wanted: Wade".
- Wade sees a police car on the farm and gets him into his panic. When Orson tries to convince Wade he won't go to jail for it, a voice tells them and Roy "We know you're in there, come out with your hands up! We have you surrounded!" The three adults run for it. It was all Booker playing a joke. Sheldon asks if it was very nice, and Booker, in an Ironic Echo asks "What harm can it do?"
- Ascended Extra: Orson's brothers.
- But His Face: Wade, as the "Ugly Duckling" in Orson's version, has a paper bag over his head (and lots of "He's so ugly" jokes) to go with his "ugly face."
- Turns into a facial Chekhov's Gun when he uses it off to frighten and repulse the Wicked Witch of the Wool and her Lackeys once that bag comes off though.
- Card-Carrying Villain: The Weasel, complete with actual business cards.
- Cast as a Mask: One episode had Lanolin disguise as Orson. While in the disguise, she is voiced by Orson's actor, Gregg Berger.
- Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: Early on in season 6, we met Roy's previously unmentioned niece Chloe. She prominently appears in two episodes (well, three, because the second was a two-parter; both these episodes are on the last disc of the Volume 4 DVD set) and is then completely forgotten afterward. When asked what happened to her, Mark Evanier stated he'd planned to have her make several more appearances, but it slipped his mind.
- It could have also been due to Aloysius Pig being loved by the staff due to him being voiced by Kevin Meaney, or loved so much that they forgot about Chloe.
- Clown Car Base: Sheldon's shell purportedly contains all mod cons, including a microwave, barbecue, pinball machine, and table tennis table, and enough space to hang pictures on the walls.
- Could Have Avoided This Plot: In "The Legal Eagle", had Orson or Roy bothered to check in the old "Farm Laws" book, to see if the laws were still valid (which they no longer were), everybody wouldn't have ended up in jail, waiting for someone to help them out of the cage. Especially, Orson should've checked since he knew that book was really old.
- Cowardly Lion: Wade himself lampshades that, despite his cowardly nature, he does something extremely brave to help his friends 'once a season'.
- Cross Over: In "Mystery Guest" the guest on Roy's gameshow wearing a Paper-Thin Disguise is revealed to be Garfield.
- Dinner Order Flub: In "If It's Tuesday, This Must Be Alpha Centauri", Roy Rooster orders a meal from an alien chef only to be told that he ordered "the chef's sister with cheese on her".
- Disney Death: Somewhat implied. In "No Laughing Matter", the aliens from Clarion get killed by laughing at Roy slipping on a banana. In the Quickie before "Much Ado About Lanolin" (a later episode), Orson, Booker, and Shelldon watch a show about the Clarion aliens, whom are revealed to (still) exist at the end of the Quickie by coming out of the TV.
- Speaking of Much Ado About Lanolin, the fake Lanolin, Lanolina, disappears with sparkles after kissing Orson.
- The Queen in their Snow White adaption disappears in almost the same matter, but in a seizure-inducing flash. This troper believes that this was the same Lanolin from that episode.
- In Snow Wade and the 77 Dwarves, Wade dies after eating the poison apple. His last words? "Uh-oh, I'm doomed." He also holds his stomach while doing this.
- Unlike Orson and the other characters who only took this as a story, Roy (who was taking this seriously near the end of the two-parter) was the only one, who seemed alarmed/upset that Wade could really be hurt/dead, when Wade didn't wake up right away.
- Earn Your Happy Ending: Notable examples would be in "Read Alert", where Roy and Wade kept getting into danger (a dinosaur, running away from a train chasing them, a spaceship blasting beams at them) thanks to Orson's imagination when reading books of examples mentioned above, Roy managed to earn both his and Wade's happy ending by giving Orson a 'safer' coloring book. A hilarious one would be "Temp Trouble" where Aloysius Pig kept giving Roy and Wade demerits so the two birds had to work together to get Aloysius out of their feathers. They got him out of here by telling his mom.
- Even Evil Has Standards: Parodied in "Wanted: Wade", where Wade, after ripping the tag off the bottom of a couch and learning that it's against the law, imagines himself in a prison cell with two dangerous-looking criminals:
First criminal: I've robbed 50 banks and 60 gas stations.
Wade: Uh, I tore a tag off a pillow.
(the criminals run for the bars and scream for help)
- Everything's Better with Rainbows: Not if you ask Roy. In "Over the Rainbow", Roy looks for a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow and ended up in a gameshow similar to Let's Make a Deal. He ends up with a smelly sock.
- Evil Roy: Well, not exactly evil, but he is a huge troublemaker, and he plays the villain in many of Orson's Imagine Spot daydreams.
- Exact Words: When Roy joined the Buddy Bears.
Roy: If I say my line, will you promise not to drop a 16-ton safe on me?
Buddy Bears: *in succession* We promise not to drop a 16-ton safe on you.
Roy: Okay, I want to ride the roller coaster!
Buddy Bears: *After 2 safes drop*
We did not drop a 16-ton safe on you. We dropped two 16-ton safes on you!
- Fluffy Tamer: In "Show Stoppers", Wade Duck, (believe it or not) has a fearsome bull who he calls Fido. We don't know what Fido is until he chases Orson's mean brothers away.
- The Fourth Wall Will Not Protect You: A Running Gag in "Uncle Roy to the Rescue" is the audience repeatedly booing The Weasel. When they boo as The Weasel plots to eat Roy's little niece Chloe, The Weasel then threatens that he'll come for the audience next. Given that Roy beats him up in the next scene, he never gets to enact this threat.
- Friendly Tickle Torture: One Quickie (and therefore probably a U.S. Acres/Orson's Farm strip) has Orson and Bo trying to tickle Roy and Lanolin in an attempt to cheer them up. No reaction, aside from deadpan snarking when they leave.
- Gossip Evolution: "Return of Power Pig" has a reading of Humpty Dumpty evolving into a rumor of a monster in the farm.
- Gone Horribly Right: In "Wade, you're afraid", they manage to hypnotized Wade to make him more brave. But it worked too well to the point where Wade opened a gate and let a furious bull out!
- Green Aesop: Spoofed in Bad Time Story, where everyone Chicken Licken encounters believes that the falling sky has been caused by ''all this tampering with the ozone layer''.
- Hammerspace: Aloysius pulls something out of the back of his jacket once every post-Temp Trouble episode via this.
- He Who Must Not Be Seen: Sheldon.
- Aloysius' eyes, as they are covered by glasses.
- How Do You Like Them Apples?: As with the story it was based off, "Snow Wade and the 77 Dwarves" had this.
- Humorless Aliens: In one segment, aliens have come to steal Earths' sense of humor, since humor is a lethal weapon to them.
- Identical Stranger: "Scrambled Eggs": Sheldon crosses paths with another ambulatory egg, and confusion results until one of them hatches.
- Imagine Spotting: One of the most extreme examples, Orson's fantasies are a mix of this, And You Were There, and even Reality Warper; his Spots could compete with The Backyardigans. The other characters are very well aware of their having been somehow transported into his mind with spoofs from "The Taming of the Shrew" to "Star Trek". It's even Lampshaded by Wade that Orson just has that vivid of an imagination.
- I'm a Doctor, Not a Placeholder: In "Swine Trek," Wade plays The McCoy in Orson's Star Trek dream and when asked about a distress signal by Orson, Wade says in exasperation, "How should I know? I'm a Duck, not the Wichita Lineman!"
- Instant Awesome, Just Add Ninja: In Orson's superspy Imagine Spots, his arch enemy Pinfeather would always have a convenient army of ninja Mooks to throw at him.
- Also in "Badtime Story" where Orson tells Booker and Sheldon the story of Chicken Little, Booker keeps suggesting Orson add ninjas to the story to make it more exciting, in the end the story turns into a cluttered mess and Booker and Sheldon have left and Booker says "Maybe he just should've stuck with ninjas."
- Involuntary Shapeshifter: "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Wade" had Wade turn into a duck version of The Incredible Hulk and back again when he heard a bell after Roy tosses out a way for Wade to induce hypnotize himself, then Booker gives the suggestion "I will turn into a monster whenever I hear a bell." Needless to say, Wade does go into self-hypnosis with said suggestion. When Orson's brothers ring that bell with Wade normal, his Hulk-Duck form comes out and mops the farm with them.
- Ironic Fear: Wade, a duck, is extremely afraid of water (not to mention just about everything else).
- It's a Wonderful Plot: "It's a Wonderful Wade".
- Jerkass: Plural with Orson's brothers who try to steal the harvest.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Roy. Sometimes Lanolin too.
- Joker Jury: "Wanted: Wade", where Wade the duck actually starts thinking that he was a criminal after removing a tag on Orson Pig's chair. He then starts to have a nightmare where he is actually put on trial where Orson is the judge presiding over said trial and sentencing him to 9999 years in prison after declaring him guilty.
- After which Wade's relieved. Why? "At least I didn't get life."
- Longer-Than-Life Sentence: As alluded to in the explanatory section, Wade steps on a rake, sending him into a musical number, followed by a short trial sentencing him to 9999 years in prison.
- Mattress Tag Gag: The whole plot of "Wanted: Wade".
- The Last of These Is Not Like the Others: In one episode, Aloysius Pig lists things animators need to do cartoons like Garfield and Friends: cells, pencils and... donuts?
- The Lost Lenore: Played/parodied. Here Lenore's a little girl whose family moved away from Orson's neighborhood when he and she were four.
- Multiple Head Case: In "Hogcules II", in Orson's dream, Roy and Wade are a two-headed giant, with Roy's tail and Wade's inner tube (The duck inner tube head even had a rooster head next to him to minic Roy and Wade's expressions and interactions with each other).
- My Card:
- Number of the Beast: In "The Legal Eagle", when (Deputy)Roy said to Wade, one of the rules to the "Farm Laws" book, "Impersonating a hubbard squash. That's a six hundred sixty six!"
- Panty Shot: This happens in "Much Ado About Lanolin", when Lanolina first falls down the stairs.
- This also happens more than once to Orson in "Hogcules II".
- This also happens at the beginning of "Fine Feathered Funnyman", but Roy's underwear was fully visible.
- Paper-Thin Disguise: When Roy Rooster hosted a show where the contestants had to guess a mysterious guest's identity (it was Garfield), the guest's only disguise was a blue mask. Even Jon Arbuckle didn't recognize him.
- In "Snow Wade and the 77 Dwarfs (Part 1)", Queen Lanolin's old hag outfit is this. She just got a purple hood and poison apples.
- Roy also uses these kind of disguises to easily prank Wade.
- Pinball Protagonist: The Dwarves from "Snow Wade and the 77 Dwarves". All 77 little sliver balls. They didn't really get to do much other then having adjectives for names, carry Snow Wade to the coffin and watch. May have been done intentionally for laughs.
- Possibly spoofed in "Weatherman Wade" when Lanolin says without rain, she couldn't get the laundry done, and Roy stops the episode, asking what her purpose in the show is. Lanolin says that she washes clothes, but Roy says no one on the show wears any clothes.
- Popcorn on the Cob: Featured in both Cornfinger and For Butter or Worse.
- Prepare to Die: Played with in "Cornfinger." Double-Oh-Orson is bound to a conveyor belt, and has found out Pinfeather had acted as "P.Cornfinger." Pinfeather says that won't matter:
Pinfeather: You are going to be canned.
Double-Oh-Orson: Are you saying I'm going be fired?
No, you are going to be canned!
Canned cream-of-spy soup! (pulls switch starting conveyor belt towards canning machine) Farewell, Double-Oh-Orson! (Evil Laugh
- Previously On: In Part 2 of "Egg Over Easy", Roy recaps the previous episode, Motor Mouth style.
- Rain Dance: Roy buys a robot that will do dances for whatever... rain, snow, buckets of bolts, etc. Explained in the Literal Genie entry.
- Sanity Slippage Song: Roy sang on in "Peanut-Brained Rooster" about his obsession with peanuts. "If I don't get one quick or atleast a salty lick, I'll go allegorically, even mandatorily, categorically insane!"
- Scooby-Dooby Doors: In "First Aid Wade", in Wade's dream when he was running from Doctor Roy and the other doctors.
- Self-Deprecation: What Wade did as the "Ugly Duckling" when Orson told HIS version of the story to Booker and Sheldon.
- Wade bemoaned he was SO ugly...leading someone to ask, "How Ugly Are You?" He'd answer, "I'm so ugly..."
- "...when I enter a room, mice run up chairs."
- "...my face can stop a sundial."
- "...I frighten scarecrows."
- "...I look worse than my driver's license photo."
- "...I have to sneak up on the mirror to shave."
- This works in Wade's favor when he takes the bag off his head to frighten three lackeys intending to hurt him and show just HOW ugly he was. It also scares Lanolin (The Wicked Witch of the Wool) enough to let Wade snag her shoes. But seeing his ugliness work as a secret weapon gave him a feeling of confidence and he goes, "I am invulnerable!" We then see him near a full file cabinet, adding, "Plus, I have to thousands of 'He's so ugly' jokes to use up." Wade ends up living more secure in himself, happily even if unsightly, ever after.
- Separate Scene Storytelling: "Badtime Story" and "The Name Game".
- Shout-Out: Lots of them.
- "Stark Raven Mad" with Orson narrating "The Rooster" is a parody in the style of The Raven.
- Shown Their Work: In the episode "No Laughing Matter" during a song, they show Roy and Wade resting together back to back, In "Barn of Fear" they also tried sleeping close together as did Booker and Sheldon. Basically it's called "Communal roosting", birds in real life (though they don't usually sleep heavily), tend to sleep close together, to keep warmer or to decreases the risks associated with predators(That makes sense in "Barn of Fear". But this troper saw birds sleep together in really hot whether and on the ground in large caged places so the third option is they like to "Keep Company". Of course, with Roy and Wade the third option is debatable.
- Sixth Ranger: Aloysius Pig is this, according to Mark Evanier.
- The Smurfette Principle: Lanolin is the only female member of the gang.
- Sound Effect Bleep: Whenever Da-Dum would be said on U.S. Acres, a sting would follow it. The sting in question sounded like incorrect answer horns, and when Orson read Aloysius' card, it sounded like he said a real swear.
- The censored word was revealed at the end of the episode, on the studio's arch no less. "The Network" is actually called "SUUS The Network". Try saying that out loud.
- Spoiler Title: "Uncle Roy To The Rescue", the episode where Roy's little niece Chloe, come to visit. Thanks a lot, for giving away a dynamic event in the episode!
- Status Quo Is God: One episode revolved around Sheldon hatching. What was inside the shell he shed? Another shell.
- Stealth Pun: In one episode, the gang meets a griffin who hosts a talk show and overall is an expy of Merv Griffin.
- In one episode, Orson's cousin Aloysius and his Deconstruction of "The Count of Monte Cristo" even after when Orson offered to use his Imagine Spot.
- Garfield used this as well with stories set in the recent past having cats with names like Fillmore and Roosevelt, which were also US Presidents.
- Sting: Whenever The Network was mentioned in US Acres, Da-Dum would follow it. One time, Roy even said "Da-Dum" before they did Little Mrs. Muffet and it was even on Aloysius Pig's card!
- Super Zeroes: Orson sometimes tries to fight crime as the costumed "superhero" Power Pig, dressing in a pair of aviator goggles, a blue undershirt with a giant P on the chest, and a pair of red- and white-striped shorts. As Power Pig, Orson has the power to subdue his enemies by making them laugh so hard at his ridiculous costume that they can't do anything else.
- Take That:
- When Orson told Booker and Sheldon the tale of the Hare and the Tortoise, the two of them decided to make it more interesting. When one of them suggested the tortoise could be a ninja, the other rejected the idea, asking who'd want to see it. It's odd coming from two kids who usually believe Everythings Better With Ninjas.
- In "No Laughing Matter", Wade is asked what the world would be like without humor. His response? "A lot like cable television!"
- Tempting Apple: One episode that parodied Snow White and the Seven Dwarves had Lanolin Sheep (wearing a purple hood and a basket of apples labeled "poison apples") offering a poison apple and openly saying it's poison note to Snow Wade while the other dwarves are still in the house. Just like in the story, Snow Wade then eats it and dies. His reason? "I'll accept anything that's free!"
- That Reminds Me of a Song: In the first three seasons, the characters would sing a song that was often not mentioned again.
- There Was a Door: In "Hogcules II", Orson (as the muscled Hogcules) just went and walked through the wall, which Booker had to point out to use the doors... of course there were no doors, but there was still plenty of exits.
- This Is Something He's Got to Do Himself: "Shy Fly Guy".
- Too Dumb to Live: In "Snow Wade and the 77 Dwarves", Lanolin (as the evil Queen) gives Snow Wade a free apple and openly said it's poison. Snow Wade carefreely takes the apple and said, "Oh, I'll try anything once, that's free!" then bites the apple and dies.
- Wanted: Wade had Wade thinking that ripping a tag off the sofa was against the law, when it really wasn't.
- Unusually Uninteresting Sight: In part 1 of Grape Expectations, Roy goes to the supermarket in order to buy one grape to replace the missing one in the stash, and there are actually humans there. Nobody batted an eyelash about the fact that there was a talking rooster in the store.
- Tranquil Fury: In "Keeping Cool", Bo gets this way. He gets mad when he sees Orson's brothers picking on Orson, so he asks them to play a game of tug-of-war. Then he switches places with a bus. All without totally losing his cool.
- Viewers Are Goldfish: In "Wanted: Wade", the same spinning around frame we saw before "What Harm Can It Do?" began replays at the end of the song.
- Vitriolic Best Buds: Roy Rooster and Wade Duck. Although Roy's pretty much this to the rest of the U.S. Acres cast, his friendship with Wade fits this trope much more. He's always making pranks to scare Wade and other times they argue but there are other times when they act like real friends. Over the seasons their love/hate friendship evolved to the point where they had the closest friendship with each other, besides with Orson.
- Vocal Evolution: In the earlier episodes, Wade can't sing well, the best example being What Harm Can It Do. This improved over the episodes (he sings the chorus of "I Should Fly", but speaks the rest, except for the ending). When he finally sang perfectly in "Kiddie Korner", he was interrupted by Aloysius Pig, causing him to groan.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: A running gag in "The Discount of Monte Cristo" had Orson asking what happened to something in the story. The response: "I fired them!"
- Where No Parody Has Gone Before: "Swine Trek".
- Wicked Weasel: A sneaky weasel, who wanted to steal chickens, was a recurring character.
- Wild Take: Wade, at least Once an Episode.
- You Are Grounded: In the episode "Holiday Happening", Orson runs behind the barn after he hears a loud splatter. Orson asks what they have to say for themselves. After the boys explain, Orson thinks that what they did was so out of hand that he punishes them, which meant no TV, stories around the campfire or pistachio nuts for a month. To get revenge on this, Roy and Wade make up their own holiday, "Paint A Pig Purple Day", to anger Orson.
- You Can Panic Now: In both "Wade, You're Afraid" and "The Bunny Rabbits Is Coming!", Wade is panicking over something and directly asks the viewer why he's sitting there watching TV and not panicking.
- You Make Me Sic and You No Take Candle combined: "The bunny rabbits is coming!", anyone?
- Lampshaded repeatedly throughout the episode, with several characters pointing out "Shouldn't that be the bunny rabbits are coming?".
- A blooper in "Weatherman Wade" had Roy say the line "None of us wears any!" when asking Lanolin why she appears on the show (to do laundry).