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.
At least with Heathcliff, they had him acknowledge his hypocrisy:
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.
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.
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.
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.
"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.
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.
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.
"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.
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.
Mr 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.
Garfield: (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.
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.
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 nastyMad 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...
Pandaing 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.
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.
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.
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".
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.
Garfield even mentions Binky the Clown and asks if there's anyone out there old enough to remember him.
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).
Dr Whipple: 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."
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 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.
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.