YMMV: Garfield

YMMV tropes for the comic strip:

  • Accidental Aesop: This comic gives a valid viewpoint on the issue of obesity.
  • Base Breaker: Garfield himself.
  • Better on DVD: A rare printed comic example: at least one strip made a lot more sense in the book collections, as the next day's strip completed the gag.
  • Broken Base: There are many fans who think the comic's still pretty funny, and many fans who believe the strip ran out of jokes in the mid-90's and jumped the shark when Jon and Liz got hooked up, and still others who think said hook up helped revitalize the strip.
  • Big Lipped Alligator Moment: The Halloween 1989 arc; see the Nightmare Fuel page.
    • October 2001 had a week-long arc of Garfield getting crushed by a giant dog repeatedly. The dog made two further appearances.
    • Some of the Monday strips are subject to these, including one where a piano falls on Garfield
  • Can't Unhear It: Who can read Garfield and not think of the late, great Lorenzo Music?
  • Critical Dissonance: The comic frequently urks the ire of many people for its lack of humor and blandness, yet when many newspapers removed it from their syndication they were overwhelmed by write-in campaigns demanding to return the strip. It's also frequently found on the front page of the comics section, if not at the very top.
  • Crosses the Line Twice:
    • "As a joke, I have tied Jon's shoelaces together. And as a bonus joke, I have attached this rope to an airliner about to leave for Italy."
    • A spider trips and his contact falls out. Garfield squishes the spider with a newspaper... then after a Beat Panel, crushes the contact lens too.
    • Jon's massage.
  • Deader Than Disco: In The Eighties, the strip was really hot stuff. Besides its insanely high marketing, it actually had a few strips that were considered controversial before essentially becoming one of those "love to hate it" strips.
  • Dude, Not Funny!: For the comic's resident Butt Monkey, Jon can be surprisingly mean when he wants to be. To wit:
    • Jon almost constantly calls Garfield fat in some of the most degrading ways possible, and it's played for laughs. Now realize that Garfield is fully sentient and can communicate in-universe.
      • Garfield is also violent. If Garfield cared about being called fat, John would have stopped.
    • In another strip, Jon intentionally doesn't buy Garfield kitty treats "because life's not fair." Even though it only happened in that one strip, it can still come across as a harsh thing to do to one's pet. Jim Davis must have been in a bad mood when he wrote that one.
    • Though Garfield has undoubtedly earned all the verbal shots, the punchline of one strip was Jon throwing Garfield through a glass window for making fun of his terrible suit. He probably got off easy thanks to Cartoon Physics, but still...
    • As pointed out in some of the comments, Garfield's reaction to Jon's statement here was rather mean.
    • The Nerd Hall of Fame strip has earned Davis tons of angry letters.
    • Similarly, this strip from Veterans' Day 2011 (through written weeks in advance) got Jim Davis in a bit of trouble. Since his brother and son are war vets, Davis issued an apology for it.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse: Odie.
  • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment: That time when Garfield said "We cats nap anywhere, anytime. Everyone should be so lucky. With the possible exception of airline pilots.". In 2011, there were many cases of airline traffic controllers sleeping on the job and tragic accidents ensuing as a result.
    • One strip has Jon saying "We all have to live together. We all have to be considerate of our neighbors." The final panel shows Garfield in woman clothing as Jon yells "SO RETURN THOSE TO MRS. FEENY!". This was written in advance like all comic strips, and what day did it get printed on? September 11, 2001.
    • This strip with the dangers of riptides becoming all too real since the mid-2000s.
    • One strip from the early 1980s has Garfield predicting that the question to the answers "suicide, dieting, and exercise" is "name three forms of self-abuse." It comes off as a joke, but we now know that dieting and excessive exercise are symptoms of eating disorders.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: The strip, being the Long Runner that it is, has many of these moments:
  • Memetic Mutation: The Garfield Randomizer, Silent Garfield, and Garfield Minus Garfield.
  • Nausea Fuel: After commenting on his coffee being too weak, he dumps it into Jon's shoes. Jon then wrings it out of his socks and into Odie's dish. Odie begins lapping it up, finds that it tastes horrible, and subsequently dumps it back into the coffeepot. Garfield takes a drink and says, "Much better." Watch it adapted into Garfield and Friends in its entirety.
    (Jon and Garfield are eating cheeseburgers)
    Jon: This cheeseburger is delicious, Irma! What's your secret?
    Irma: We let our cheese age, hon. Been sitting in my pickup for almost six months now.
    Garfield: Spit Take on three...
    • In-universe and out. One comic had Garfield tie a mouse's tail around it, then pull, spinning the mouse like a top. The mouse once stopped spinning vomits in Jon's coffee cup. Towards that, Jim Davis cheekily stated "My publisher said that people are usually eating breakfast when reading the funnies. This is for them"
  • Never Live It Down: They only did the "we're bachelors, baby" punchline a few times, but the way fans react to it you'd think it were every other punchline in the past 5 years.
  • Seasonal Rot: See Base Breaker above. The number of people defending the strip is shrinking as the years go by. It doesn't help that A) Jim Davis now uses ghost writers for most strips, and B) even when he did write it, he admitted to having little ambition for anything beyond his comfort zone.
  • Seinfeld Is Unfunny: Garfield is one of the most popular comic strips ever and is easily quotable. And then you come to a comic and go "Oh, I know this one," and it's ruined.
  • Strangled by the Red String: Liz turned into a Nice Girl just so she and Jon could be an Official Couple.
  • Snark Bait: Due to several fans claiming that the strip ran out of jokes in the mid 90's, the strip's fallen prey to many amusing fan edits. Garfield Minus Garfield, Silent Garfield, Square Root of Minus Garfield, the list goes on, it never ends.
  • Unpopular Popular Character: Jon may be a Straw Loser, but many fans consider him one of the few characters that are still genuinely funny and likable.
  • Viewer Gender Confusion: Nermal, made only more confusing by his female voice actor on Garfield and Friends. The Spanish dub referred to Nermal as gatita (female kitten) before finally correcting it in the later seasons.
  • We're Still Relevant, Dammit: In the May 7, 2006 strip, Garfield listens to the sound of bacon frying on an iPod. This manages to be both a parody of this trope and a straight example at once; it could've worked in the 1980s with a Walkman, or in the 1990s with a portable CD player.
  • What an Idiot: So many examples that it should have its own page.
    • September 3, 1988: A mouse is loose and Jon wants Garfield to kill it by telling him to "act like a cat." We know what Jon means when he says this, but Garfield, thinking conversely, promptly falls asleep.
    • August 23, 1995: Garfield and Odie have a "Do-Nothing Contest," and Odie wins. Upon hearing his victory, Odie gets up and cheers. Now Garfield wins.
  • The Woobie: Jon, at times. Odie as well.

YMMV tropes for the live-action films: