YMMV / Garfield

YMMV tropes for the comic strip:

  • 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.
  • 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
  • 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 lost its place when Jon and Liz got hooked up, and still others who think said hook up helped revitalize the strip.
  • Can't Un-Hear It: Who can read Garfield and not think of the late, great Lorenzo Music?
  • Critical Dissonance: The comic frequently draws 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."
    • When asked what his favorite movie is, Garfield answers, "It's Old Yeller. I love movies with happy endings."
    • 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 with a large German masseur.
  • Fandom Rivalry: With Heathcliff, to the point where Robot Chicken even acknowledged the similarities between the two cats.
  • "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.
      • And if that wasn't bad enough, the previous strip on the 10th had Jon respond "He WHAT?!" to two separate phone calls. Garfield said with a smile that he was a busy boy.
    • 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.
  • Padding: Many, many Sunday strips are lengthened simply to take up space, and as numerous Square Root of Minus Garfield edits have demonstrated, could easily be shortened down to half their panel number or less and have no effect on the joke.
  • Ron the Death Eater: There's a few parody comics with Jon Arbuckle being an abusive, neglectful pet owner, or so dumb that he ends up killing Garfield after feeding him multiple pounds of lasagna and junk food. See the above entry for Alternative Character Interpretation.
    • Or, Garfield is a Fat Bastard sociopath that tortures other smaller animals (and his owner/vet/any other human) for fun.
  • Seasonal Rot: 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.
  • 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.
  • Strangled by the Red String: Liz turned into a Nice Girl just so she and Jon could be an Official Couple.
  • Tastes Like Diabetes: This strip has so many cute animals Garfield considers it "even too much" for him.
  • 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.
  • Values Dissonance: The National Fat Week strips early in the run have become these due to the ever-growing obesity epidemic.
    • In a 1979 strip, Jon once told Garfield he had "more chins than a Chinese phone book". Good luck getting that printed today.
    • Another strip from the earlier years had Jon outright say he should kill himself out of boredom. Early Installment Weirdness, perhaps?
    • Jon seems to attract a lot of these: In many 1978 strips he was shown to smoke (albeit a pipe, but still), which understandably was downplayed as soon as the strip hit the 80's and smoking became taboo, and a very early strip had him subscribing to a adult magazine, complete with a centrefold, something he was never shown doing again.
  • 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.
    • The app game Garfield's Defense refers to Nermal's attacks as "her('s)" in the character introduction.
  • 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 Garfield tells Odie he's won. Upon hearing his victory, Odie gets up and cheers... and then Garfield wins.
  • The Woobie: Jon, at times. Odie as well.

YMMV tropes for the live-action films: