Western Animation: The Garfield Show
Another animated series based on the comic strips of Jim Davis. Unlike Garfield and Friends
, however, this series was CGI-animated, and without U.S. Acres
, Davis' less-known comic strip which was also featured in Garfield and Friends
. The series was launched in 2009.
The titular lazy, orange-furred feline, Garfield
, makes his return to the TV screen, with wacky hijinks galore. His owner, Jon Arbuckle, and the long-tongued yellow dog, Odie, are also main characters.
This series provides examples of:
- And Knowing Is Half the Battle: The second season has a short segment in between in each episode, having Garfield instruct child viewers to stay safe in the sun, don't ingest poison, be careful on the Internet, etc. Admittedly, it is strange to hear Garfield tell kids to eat fruits & veggies or get plenty of exercise.
Harry: You can't beat me you're out of shape!
Garfield: Twenty pounds of pasta a day will do that to you...
- Also, in "Gravity of Situation", Garfield stops the show mid plot to deliver an educational message about gravity.
- Afterwards he assures the viewers not to worry as they won't do another one "until next season or maybe the one after that"
- And Your Little Dog Too: Quoted by Al the Dog Catcher when promising to catch Garfield
- Animal Talk: As in the comics, most of the animals can communicate with each other (exceptions can occur), but most of them can't talk to humans. Though as in the comics the trope is averted from time to time due to Rule of Funny.
Garfield: I can explain! Well if I could talk I could explain...
- Also when Liz gets turned into a mouse she gains the ability to communicate with Garfield and company.
- Anthropomorphic Zig Zag: Odie can spend whole episodes walking and acting like a normal dog, and in others be almost as apt as Garfield walking and gesturing like a human with opposable thumbs all of a sudden.
- Garfield himself does the opposite, standing on his hind legs for the most part but occasionally he stands on all fours making his arms and legs equal size and his paws look less like human hands and more like an actual cat.
- Nermal also gains a similar digitigrade body structure during a song where he quite fittingly sings "You gotta get in touch with your wild side."
- Attractive Bent-Gender: "Glenda and Odessa" has Nermal becoming smitten by Garfield after the latter got dressed up by Jon's Bratty Half-Pint nieces. Luckily for Nermal he never finds out the truth.
- A.I. Is a Crapshoot: Night of the Apparatuses
- All-CGI Cartoon
- Alternate Continuity: From the Direct-to-Video movies which were set in a world inhabited by newspaper comic characters. This series is set in its own world.
- Aww Look He Really Does Care Despite Garfield bullying Odie for the most part, he does care for him deep down and is even willing to put himself in harms way to rescue him.
- Most definitely highlighted in "A Gripping Tale" where Odie causes Garfield to lose all of is precious donuts and Garfield still ventures into the sewer to save him from the giant squid.
Garfield: (peering into the sewer) Don't worry Odie! I'll get you out of there! I won't abandon you! (runs off then comes back) And while your down there keep an eye out for my donuts!
- Also Garfield towards Jon. Despite Garfields mischievous antics he does look out for Jon whenever he can.
- To a lesser extent Nermal. While Garfield makes it clear he hates Nermal, from time to time will actually help him out.
Garfield: Nermal do you know how I'm always telling you to leave? Well this time it's for your own good.
- Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: In "Nice to Nermal," Garfield decides the cruelest thing he should to do Nermal is not sending him into outer space or even feeding him to the sharks but instead making him watch televised golf games.
- Bait and Switch: A crooked shopping network's method, using Exact Words to be marginally legal. An example is a portable cooling device that Jon buys turned out to be a giant ice cube.
- Berserk Button: Don't call Nermal mangy.
- Don't try to make Garfield exercise either. You wouldn't like him when he's angry.
- Better Than a Bare Bulb: Starting with the second season, to the point where it seems to be incapable of doing any sort of humour other than Lampshade Hanging.
- Big Eater: Garfield (as usual).
- Bratty Half-Pint: Three of them: Jon's twin nieces Druscilla and Minerva, and Mrs. Ferret in "Ferret Food".
- Brilliant but Lazy: Followed to a tee with Garfield.
- Breaking the Fourth Wall: In the 2nd season, Garfield completely tosses out the 4th wall, completely aware that the show is in its 2nd season and that everyone is part of a TV show.
- It comes to a head when Squeak can effectively predict the future because he's watching the episode (it's a rerun, but no one realizes it). It involves him catching up to himself and helping Garfield pretend to be psychic. Unfortunately, he accidentally deletes the episode when Garfield is about to prove his powers to the public.
- The Bus Came Back: Lyman finally returns in the 4 part episode "Long Lost Lyman" where his long absence is fully explained.
- Butt Monkey: The Mailman
- Naturally Jon and Garfield as usual, albeit not quite as much as in the comics.
- By the Lights of Their Eyes: Garfield and Odie when they get stuck inside the "TI-D 7000"
- Captain Obvious: Jon gets called out as this in the following:
Jon: (notices Garfield and Odie stuck in a tree) Garfield! Odie! You're stuck in a tree!
- Cargo Ship: In-Universe, in "Odie in love", Odie falls in love with a brush.
- Carnivore Confusion: Though it's never actually shown onscreen (i.e. an intelligible creature ending up as anothers lunch), predation is just treated as a fact of life for the most part. Though mostly the animals that are considered prey can't actually talk like Garfield and co.
- One instance would be in "Turkey Trouble" where Jon wins a turkey for thanks giving and Hilarity Ensues when it turns out he won a LIVE turkey.
Jon: If you want roast turkey, it's easy Garfield. You go put it in the oven.
Garfield: At least it's fresh. (noticing the Turkey eating his food) Hmm, my dinner seems to be having lunch...
Jon: I'm sorry Garfield, I don't have the heart to end that little turkey's life and neither do you.
Garfield: I hate it when Jon's right. Fortunately it doesn't happen very often.
- And another instance would be in "Mother Garfield" where Garfield claims he stopped eating birds because "they were too much work, too many feathers and not enough drumsticks." He then gets the urge to takes up bird chasing again but then reconsiders and instead tries to prevent a family of Bluebirds from being eaten by the stray cat Harry.
- Also Mice are one of the few things that Garfield won't eat (along with "most healthy foods, anchovies on pizza, Jon's meatloaf, chicken salad sandwiches and raisins"). According to Lucky, it's "because they're his friends and they don't taste like lasagna" while other cats have no problem with eating mice but in a Wile.E.Coyote fashion we never see them catch any.
- Cassandra Truth: Usually Garfield falls victim to this.
- "It's true! If I didn't know any better I wouldn't believe me either!"
- In Curse Of The Weredog, Jon refuses to believe Garfield when Odie gets possessed and wrecks the house and takes away his lasagna. Only when Jon hears Professor Bonkers' diagnosis on the news (and when he takes a closer look at the damage Odie did on the furniture) does he apologize to Garfield and they go to the Professor for a solution.
- Cats Are Snarkers: Garfield, of course
- Catch Phrase: Garfield has a few:
- "Big fat furry deal."
- "Get me an attorney named Murray!"
- "I'll worry about it later..."
- (usually he gets called fat) "You're not exactly supermodel material yourself"
- Christmas Special: "Home for the Holidays", written by the strip's creator, Jim Davis
- City of Adventure: Cheese Land
- Con Man: Dr. Whipple, a recurring villain who tries to convince people to buy his products. Which normally involve serious animal abuse.
- Also Bernard Scamberry from "Virtual mailman".
- Coattail-Riding Relative: When Garfield manages to win 30 gazillion dollars and buys a mansion, he receives a visit from a bunch of similar looking orange cats who claim to be his cousins, and were glad to find out they had a rich cousin. But Garfield affirms he isn't related to and doesn't know any of them.
- Cute Kitten: Nermal (And he never lets you forget it)
- In fact "The Art of being uncute" features Garfield in a situation where he's surrounded by cute cat's identical to Nermal all having won cutest cats show's in their respective countries.
- Spumoni's cat form certainly counts.
- Also "Little Angel" is perceived as one though in actuality it turns out he's MUCH Older then he looks.
Harry: He's not an incredibly cute kitten. He's older than you even. Only cat I know who's old enough to shave. But he's bad news.
- Cut a Slice, Take the Rest: In "The Pet Show", after Garfield helps Odie win the lasagna prize in a competition, Jon tells Garfield to give Odie his fair share. Guess what Garfield does next?
- Deadpan Snarker: Garfield, as expected.
- Demoted to Extra: Arlene, despite being present in the intro sequence, shows up only in a handful of first-season episodes and is thus far absent in the second season. She has made some more appearances since then, having larger roles in some of the specials but it still doesn't help that other recurring characters have made more appearances than her.
- Depending on the Writer: Dr. Whipple, Harry, Bruno, Nermal and many others range from being a supporting character to an antagonist depending on the episode.
- Vito is often a very ambiguous character either highly appreciating Garfield for saving his business on a regular basis or determined to prevent Garfield from stealing his lasagna or pizza.
- Diamonds in the Buff: Neferkitty. Though cats don't usually wear clothes to begin with.
- Distaff Counterpart: Nermal is seen dancing with his own, (an identical cat to himself but pink) in "Stealing Home"
- Dogs Are Dumb: Played with more compared to the comics. Odie, while still with his brain dead moments, is toned down compared to his comics counterpart, leaning more as a Cloud Cuckoo Lander who is sometimes more observant of things than even Garfield.
Garfield: I can get away with this because as you may have noticed, dogs aren't particularly bright.
- Don't Explain the Joke: Garfield is especially guilty of this. Just one example would be the Theme Tune Cameo in "Unfair Weather".
- Downer Ending: "King Nermal", which ends with Garfield and Odie injured,and Nermal getting to stay even longer.
- Also "Everything's Relative" where all the attempts to get rid of Aunt Ivy fail to the point her twin sister shows up to double the pain.
- Dr. Jerk: Dr Whipple.
- "Earn Your Happy Ending: In "Stealing Home" Garfield and Odie have their home forcefully stolen by an envious stray cat called Bruno while Jon's out. They trick Bruno into taking his old trashcan home back by convincing him that it's much Bigger on the Inside, which gets him whisked away by trash collectors. Unfortunately Jon comes back early and blames the mess Bruno made, on Garfield and Odie which means they have to go live in another trashcan again. Which turns out leads to a secret luxury lounge where all their friends are throwing a party.
Garfield: Maybe we might get lucky and Jon won't take us back!
- Easy Amnesia: This happens to Garfield in "Garfield Astray" when a bowling ball drops to his head. A taste of lasagna gets his memories back.
- Elephant in the Living Room: The Kiss Me Girl from Virtualodean.
- Played with later with a literal elephant in the living room that it takes Jon a few moments to actually notice is out of place.
- Embarrassing Nickname: Almost everyone refers to Neferkitty by her owner given nickname "Fuzzbutton" after her Villain Decay. She will have none of it.
Heather: I'll name you..."Fuzzbutton"!
Neferkitty: Ewwww! Fuzzbutton!?
- Engineered Public Confession: Dr. Whipple's first downfall occurs when Garfield tricks him into admitting that his pet training business is a huge con and how he thinks the public is stupid...while the live television audience and viewers are listening to his every word.
- Done again when Garfield uses a functional model of a hyped-up tape recorder to record a conversation between the owner of the "All Buying Channel" and his salesman that everything they sell is just junk that's cleverly hyped. As such when the salesman of the recorder attempts to prove the product works, it plays back the conversation neither knew had been recorded.
- Everybody Laughs Ending: "Turkey Trouble"
- Everything's Better with Monkeys: Junky, Bunky, and Funky the baboons from "Lion Queen".
- Fake Ultimate Hero: Professor Bonkers
- Fantasy Kitchen Sink: Witches, mole people, cat people from another dimension, aliens, robots, a mad scientist neighbor...
- Fat Bastard: Eddie Gourmand, sometimes.
- Four Legs Good, Two Legs Better: The cats usually assume an upright stance but the dogs usually don't.
- Utilized with Odie, who usually stands and walks upright when in a more intelligent role.
- Inverted with Garfield, who switches to four legs whenever he is struck by his Feline instincts.
- "Freaky Friday" Flip: Between Garfield and Odie in "Freaky Monday."
- Getting Crap Past the Radar: In "Meet The parents"
Mrs Wilson: (to Jon) This place could use a woman's touch.
Garfield: So could Jon.
- Go-Karting with Bowser: Expect to see the same characters that might act as antagonists towards Garfield in one episode suddenly become much more friendly/helpful in another. As you can see the line between best friends and worst enemies is very blurred. Even Lamp Shaded by Garfield when talking about his part-time cat pal Harry.
(discussing an earlier episode) Now Harry, he was kinda rotten in that episode.
Come to think of it he's kinda rotten in this episode too.
- Hate Sink: The abrasive Aunt Ivy, who treats everyone around her like a servant.
- Heroic Dog: Odie has his moments.
- Hypno Fool: One episode has Jon suffering from insomnia, so he goes to a hypnotist so he can get some rest. While Jon was supposed to hear a bell in order to get some shut-eye, an accident causes the trigger to be Odie's barking instead. This may not seem bad at first, but then Jon starts sleepwalking...
- A later episode had Garfield getting hypnotized by Dr. Whipple, to become a hard-working farm cat whenever he hears a horn. Later on in the episode he turns the tables with the same device.
- Idea Bulb: Garfield gets one in "Land of Hold" but is represented by a fluorescent light bulb as it is an "energy saving idea".
- Incredible Shrinking Cat: Nathan, the Mad Scientist kid from an earlier episode, does this to Garfield in a later episode.
- Jerkass: Several minor antagonists, such as Jon's aunt Ivy and Dr Whipple.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Garfield as with previous animated incarnations. Nermal has his moments as well, particularly in "Into the Wild".
- Karma Houdini: Played straight by Nermal in "King Nermal."(if only one). Garfield isn't as lucky in this series, however, partly due to Jon being quick to suspect him — and he's often right.
- though in Nermal's case it could be a justified example of Who's Laughing Now? for all the crap he's taken from Garfield in the past.
- Bernard Scamberry steals Jon's millions, and gets away to Brazil.
- ...leading to a truly wonderful (awful) pun when Garfield notes, "Looks like Bernie "made off" with the money."
- Kick the Son of a Bitch: Thanks to Nermal's more outright Jerkass behavior in this series, he seems to deserve the crap Garfield puts him through a lot more than he does in other Garfield media.
- King of Beasts: "The Lion Queen".
- Leaning on the Fourth Wall / Opening Shout-Out: In the first half of "Unfair Weather" Jon's ringtone is the show's main theme. Garfield even says it sounds familiar.
- Throughout the first season there were hints of this before they just threw it out in season 2
- Lighter and Softer: Somewhat less cynical than the comics or even the previous animated installments. Garfield is more genuinely sympathetic, Jon is slightly less of a loser and there are more frequent heartwarming moments.
- Mismatched Eyes: Recurring character Harry, a stray cat that shows up in "Mother Garfield" has one red and one green eye.
- My Beloved Smother: Petey the Canary feels this way about his owner Betty Wilson who thinks of him as a son.
- Mythology Gag: In the 2nd season, Jon asks Garfield if he'd like to watch Binky the Clown on TV. Garfield responds by saying that Binky is contractually obligated to never show up in this series.
- At one point Garfield asks if anyone is old enough to remember Binky? Then he says never mind as he didn't expect it.
- Never Smile at a Crocodile: Subverted with Monique the alligator from "Into the Wild".
- Never Say "Die": Unlike Garfield and Friends this show is a lot more tame in comparison therefore this trope is always played straight.
- Negative Continuity: Other than a few major staples of the series that are present in every episode, each episode seems to be set in it's own universe since they disregard anything that came before them e.g. "the Hollow Tree" in Jon's yard only exists in episodes that require it's presence, or Jon's neighbors vary depending on the episode. This leads to a lot of Series Continuity Errors when episodes contradict continuity by referencing past events from other episodes.
- Nice Guy: Odie and Jon (usually).
- The Nicknamer: Garfield is sometimes this, usually calling Odie by various nicknames like "Odster", "The Pup", "Bloodhound" etc
- No Celebrities Were Harmed: Frank Welker deliberately channels the late, great Lorenzo Music as Garfield.
- No Fourth Wall: In the 2nd season. In one episode, Garfield knows he needs an idea, so he borrows a copy of the script to see what he is going to do next.
- Not-So-Harmless Villain: The first time we see Nathan, a kid in the same neighborhood as Jon, he appears quite friendly. Then he turns out to be a nasty Mad Scientist-in-the-making, trying to turn Odie into a cockroach in the very same episode.
- Our Werebeasts Are Different: In "Curse of the Weredog", a rare star alignment in the sky causes Odie to turn into a Weredog whenever the full moon is visible. By the end of the episode Odie no longer suffers from this due to the stars rearranging themselves, but then another rare star alignment occurs which affects Garfield...
- Overly Long Tongue: Odie
- Panda-ing to the Audience: Garfield, Odie, and Nermal befriend a pair of pandas (with Australian accents, ironically) in the 4-part episode "Big Trouble in Little China". They not only help out in transportation but also rescue them from 2 antagonistic Siamese cats (but not by doing kung fu because that would be ridiculous for pandas).
- Paper-Thin Disguise: In "Extreme Housebreaking" Harry assumes the fake identity of "Kittykins" and all it takes for Garfield to not recognize him (at least not right away) is an orange wig.
- Perpetual Frowner / The Eeyore: A parrot Jon's editor entrusts to Jon in "Parrot Blues", with more than enough Wangst for anyone around it. In a separate short, a black cat Garfield encounters is also this, plus he somehow makes everyone he comes across unlucky — and he knows it.
- Pet the Dog: Garfield has his occasional kind moments, usually with Odie such as rescuing Odie in "Underwater World"
Garfield: Ladies and Gentlemen, I'm about to do my one good deed for the day.
- "Mother Garfield" has Garfield take care of a bunch of baby birds after noticing that their mother hasn't come back to her nest in a very long time (mainly because she was trapped in a garage), and had to protect the birds from Harry, who wants to eat them. The baby birds appear in a later episode and so Garfield goes to great lengths to protect them from Harry.
- Pounds Are Animal Prisons: Bumbling Animal Control officers: Al and Pete are regular antagonists.
- Predators Are Mean: Chomper the shark from "Underwater World" and the Giant Squid from "A Gripping Tale". Subverted with the wolf from "Big Bad Wolf", who was only trying to protect its young. Averted with Garfield and Odie, played straight with Harry, Bruno, Hercules and other cats/dogs.
- The Professor: Professor Bonkers
- Rascally Raccoon: In "Into the Wild", a trio of raccoons trick Garfield, Odie, and Nermal into switching places with them.
- Real After All: The Zabadu from "Long Lost Lyman".
- Recycled Set: Entire environments are often recycled for different locations quite often.
- Running Gag: A scream in the background every time the "Bulldog of Doom" is mentioned.
- Rube Goldberg Device: Played straight when Garfield employs one early in an episode to catapult Nermal from a reclining chair into a trash can outside. Subverted toward the end of the same episode when Garfield catapults Nermal from the same chair into a cardboard box outside without using complex contraption.
- Scooby-Dooby Doors: In "Heir Apparent"
- Screwy Squirrel: Garfield, while usually more mellow than his comic incarnation, maintains a self proclaimed sadistic contempt for mailmen.
- Odie ends up facing a literal example of this when he has to face four of them in "Up a tree". They settle their differences and become friends by the end of the episode though
- Also, another literal example is the Orange Squirrel from "Where's Odie?"
- Seldom Seen Species: Paxton from "Parrot Blues" is a green-winged macaw (albeit a small one), rather than the generic parrot usually seen in cartoons. Also the clownfish family from "Underwater World".
- Set Right What Once Went Wrong: Several episodes, mostly involving Garfield having to rectify his mistakes earlier (especially if food is at stake).
- The story arc of the Professor from "Unfair Weather"
- Shaggy Dog Story: "Master Chef" had Jon buy Garfield a new type of microwaveable lasagna which he doesn't like. Then hears a story about a cook who can make "the best lasagna in the world". Garfield goes through the whole episode trying to get said cook to reconcile with his apprentice (the pizza cook, Vito) to have it made. When he finally succeeds, the cook reveals he had sold his recipe to be distributed as a microwaveable food...the same one Garfield had dismissed earlier. The reason it tasted bad? He forgot to take the plastic wrapping off the food.
- Shout-Out: Dr. Whipple gets traumatized by the wacky events in an episode enough to fear dogs briefly, during which he sees a dog and runs away shrieking "Who let the dog out?" while the dog he sees barks.
- Shown Their Work: The mounted dinosaur skeletons from "Bone Diggers" are surprisingly detailed and realistic, for a cartoony show.
- The Giant Squid from "A Gripping Tale" has its mouth in the correct location (the center of the arms). Said mouth is even a beak.
- "Farmer Garfield" breaks the "goats eat tin cans" myth and states they actually lick the glue off of cans.
- In "Big Trouble in Little China", Dingbang explains his name means "Protector of the Country".
- Sphere Eyes: 90% characters play this straight though exceptions do occur such as Bob Wilson and every mouse character.
Garfield: Look over here with those over sized eyes of yours.
- Stupid Evil: After reclaiming his elephant (which Garfield had been hiding due to the abuse it suffers), Dr Whipple immediately begins tearing into it, threatening to starve it and otherwise make its life hell, right in front of a group of police (who naturally arrest him on the spot).
You can't lock me up like some...dumb animal
- In the Engineered Public Confession example above, he apparently didn't notice Garfield was holding a microphone right in front of his face.
- Suddenly Always Had That: The "Hollow Tree" will be present in Jon's backyard in any episode that requires it's presence. And despite Jon not usually having a tree in the backyard, all the characters will act as if it has always been there.
- Tempting Fate: When Odie gets past the first round of a pet pageant (with Garfield's "help"), Garfield expresses confidence that "we can't lose." Then cue the announcer stating that the second round would be a talent contest. Garfield's reaction: "Boy, can we lose."
- Threatening Shark: Chomper from "Underwater World".
- Too Dumb to Live: In one episode a mouse refuses to believe that Garfield is nice to mice and doesn't eat them, so he repeatedly tries to get Garfield to eat him just to prove he's right. He's lucky Garfield isn't the kind of cat to eat mice.
- Took a Level in Jerkass: Unlike earlier incarnations, this Nermal has a far more insufferable ego and annoys Garfield intentionally.
- Jon recently seems to have done this.
- Took a Level in Kindness: Garfield in comparison is slightly more benevolent than in the comics, while still a gluttoness snarker, he goes out of his way to help people more and bullies Jon and Odie a lot less. Most of the individuals Garfield does victimize are far more provokative than in the comics (see above).
- Liz is also far less grouchy and sarcastic, more on par with her character in movies.
- Tyrannosaurus rex: A trio attack the characters in part 5 of "Glitter Gulch".
- Vegetarian Carnivore: Averted with Garfield as he has been known to eat plenty of other intelligible species. Though mice are off the table.
- Walk Through The Camera: Used quite often. These are only some of the examples.
- "The Big Sleep" after Garfield eats something from the fridge, his belly fills the screen and the scenes cuts to him in bed.
- "Penny Henny" after Garfield hears about the twins coming, he walks into the camera carrying suitcases.
- "Pup in the Pound" when Garfield finally tries to look for Odie after being threatened by Jon.
- "Night of the Bunny Slippers", Where Jon invites Aunt Ivy inside.
- "Odie in Love", Where Garfield mocks Odie of his crush. "If you break up with the brush I've got some nice nail clippers for you"
- "Stealing Home", With Bruno raiding through Garfield's fridge
- "Land of Hold", With Garfield running away from a bunch of floating phones
- "The Robot", With the cleaning robot about to grab and suck away Garfield
- "The Big Sleep", With the owner of the All You Can Eat restaurant inviting the disguised Jon inside
- "Lucky Charm", where a leprechaun realizes someone stole his gold.
- Why Do You Keep Changing Jobs?: Some background characters change jobs in-between different episodes.
- Writer on Board: Expect to see this sort of thing crop up from time to time.
- The World Was Not Ready: After his invention which opens a gateway between the the fictional world of Television and the real world causing hilarity to ensue Professor Bonkers feels this way about his own genius.
Proffessor Bonkers: Oh dear...It seems the world is not yet ready for my genius.