YMMV / Housepets!

  • Accidental Innuendo: In this comic Grape is captured by ancient cats, Bound and Gagged, and led through an underground tunnel ... and she thinks to herself that she better hide the fact that the scenario is pushing all her buttons. Really, Grape? All of your buttons? The alt-text though, makes it seem a little less accidental.
    "Just don't think about what will obviously be his angelic pecs."
  • Alternative Character Interpretation: Pete, the Spirit Dragon, and Kitsune are supposed to represent Evil, Good, and Neutral, respectfully. However as the Comsic Game came to a close, Dragon seemed a lot more neutral (she didn't really care about mortals really, she was just playing the game) and Kitsune seems to more closely follow the idea of the Big Good (he goes out of his way to help the mortals and their Loophole Abuse of the game). Of course, some readers also see the end of the game as a subversion of these labels, and show all three of them are really Above Good and Evil (Dragon can be kind of a jerk, Pete can be sympathetic, and Kitsune is just a trickster).
  • Broken Base: The supernatural and magical elements that become central to the story through King's arc were either the comic Growing the Beard and becoming more dynamic than the Slice of Life silly fun it started as, or when the comic officially started Jumping the Shark and declined in quality. There also those who were the latter but have slowly started coming around, since its obvious the supernatural shenanigans are not going anywhere and are now a reoccurring element of the comic.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse: Joel was a fairly undeveloped character who seemed to just play the role of a PETA lackey. King, on the other hand, quickly gained a disproportionate number of fans. Part of that might come from his being absolutely adorable. The author has taken note of this; when he allowed members of the comic's forum to vote on the plot for the next major story arc following "Imaginate, Too!", he specifically excluded King from the running because he knew everyone would vote for him, and a future King arc was already forthcoming.
  • Epileptic Trees:
    • Alvin and the Chipmunks somehow escaped from the Housepets world. Ironically, we now have expies of them. Alan and the Ground Squirrels.
    • Lifespans are a confusing detail in the comic. It's insinuated that animals don't actually have that different of lifespans than they do in the real world, but this isn't actually said outright. Not only that, but when Pete and Dragon are sentenced to no less than 70 years of mortality for both losing the Cosmic Game, Kitsune considered reincarnating them as King and Bailey's puppies, who should realistically have lifespans much shorter than 70 years. Then again, no one ever said the 70 mortal years had to be served consecutively in a single lifetime.
  • Fan-Preferred Couple: Grape and Peanut, and to a lesser extent, Sasha/Fox and King.
  • Foe Yay: Satau and Ptah's rivalry seems almost playful at times, and in their final appearance Satau has his arm around Ptah's shoulders as they watch the sunrise together (granted they were also still arguing).
  • Fridge Horror: It's said Babylon Gardens is very much both a novelty and a rarity as far as places that are so open towards giving pets a lot of freedom. It's been heavily insinuated pets in other places of the world are not always treated as nicely, and animal abuse does happen, despite the fact animals in the Housepets! universe are fully sentient. It's also been insinuated animals have very few personal rights over humans, although the ferrets seem to be working to try and introduce more rights to animals over time.
    • This is more of a Fridge Tear Jerker than anything, but it's implied that the lifespan of animals in this universe isn't all that different from their lifespan in our universe. The average life expectancy for a cat is about fifteen years, for a dog it's about 10-13 years, for rabbits like Zach, it's only about three to eight years, and for Jessica the opossum, it's a grand total of two years. Webcomic Time might be the only thing keeping the majority of the cast alive by this point. This is even worse for King, who has willingly chosen to stay as a dog as of the end of Heaven's Not Enough, meaning that he has essentially given up the rest of his human lifespan to spend maybe, maybe ten more years with Bailey. At least we know Heaven exists in this universe...
  • Harsher in Hindsight: All the well-meaning things Pete says to King here seem somewhat harsher once it becomes apparent that teaching King a lesson was more of a side effect than the actual plan.
  • Ho Yay:
    • The many Mr. Bigglesworth cats all look identical, even the boys from the girls. One comic had two Mr. Bigglesworth out on a date, only to realize well into the night that neither of them were actually female.
    • The first time King met Foxnote had Fox presenting his rearend to King to 'give him the first sniff'. While scent sniffing isn't unusual for dogs, shippers quickly latched onto the pair because of this initial interaction.
    • When Keene Milton briefly gets sent to heaven, he immediately befriends a male, otter masseur named Breel. In the next page, though Breel is merely suggesting he get a massage, it definitely sounds more like he's hitting on Keene. It only gets more suggestive from there, with Breel holding Keene in his lap as they eat and being the only one besides Keene's mother and (adoptive) father to see him off when he heads back to earth.
  • Ho Yay Shipping: Although King's hitting on the women when he was drunk, in the "Universes and Unrealities" arc, can be used throw some doubt on his romantic interests, earlier in the comic King and Fox were shipped by some of the audience. King falling in love with—and ultimately marrying—Fox's cousin Bailey pretty much killed any canon basis for this (and it's worth pointing out that Fox was completely in favor of their relationship). Probably won't stop the fanfic writers, though.
  • Idiosyncratic Ship Naming
    • "King of Hearts" for the earlier King/Sasha ship
    • "Jessica Rabbit" for the Zach/Jessica ship (which is now an official couple)
  • Iron Woobie: Sasha manages to stay uppity and cheerful despite the fact that her owner is an absolute Jerkass. Look at her boyfriend. She has experience.
  • Jerkass Woobie:
    • Tiger Arbelt. Despite being mainly portrayed as a secondary comic relief character, he has some serious psychological issues to work though. He's been a victim of bullying and is basically a social outcast among the dogs simply because he has a catlike name. This in turn has made him irritable, aggressive and temperamental to the point of being borderline Ax-Crazy at times while at the same time, struggling with binge eating and depression. Tiger may have a short fuse and a big mouth but he could also really use a big hug and a shoulder to cry on. As one forum member put it: "Tiger is an emotional wreck and responds to his problems by being a jerk."
    • Bino sometimes qualifies as well. Sure, he's a temperamental, speciest jerk who loves bullying others and playing cruel pranks but he's also had to deal with a concussion, getting punched in the face by Bailey and a shock collar to name a few things. It's rather difficult to tell if Bino is either this or Love to Hate. His new girlfriend Duchess most likely views him as disposable and somewhere down the line, will likely break his heart.
    • King also qualifies, considering he's an ex member of PETA and as Bino put it has a Napoleon Complex but the poor corgi just can't catch a break.
    • Joel's pets. Sure, they turned their backs on Joel after kidnapping him but they were also abused by their owner.
  • Moe: Most of the cast is this due to the art style but Peanut, Zach, Res, Joey, King, Tiger, Dallas and Sasha in particular stand out.
  • Moral Event Horizon:
    • Adorable though King's new form is, when Pete informed him that Pete has no intention of changing him back into a human, there were plenty of horrified fans.
    • The three players (Pete, Spirit Dragon and the Kitsune) are pretty much good, neutral, and bad. Guess who the bad one is.
  • MST3K Mantra: You really don't need to bog yourself down with overanalysis on things such as biology and natural laws here.
  • Older Than They Think:
    • A number of commenters on this strip think that a many-tailed kitsune showing up means Rick has watched too much Naruto. Never mind, of course, that kitsunes show up in a lot of old Japanese folklore...
    • "Hi! I'm Daisy!" Was not originally from Housepets!, as some seem to believe.
  • Portmanteau Couple Name
    • Grapenut for the Grape/Peanut ship
    • Kingley for King/Bailey
  • Shipping: Hoo, boy. Just one of multiple examples: The Alt Text for this comic reads: "This is what YOU wanted. You dirty, dirty people."
  • Squick:
    • King is a frequent target of shipping—usually with Sasha or Fox—and King himself gradually gets used to being a dog as the comic goes on. However, some fans still can't look away from the fact that King is not a dog, but a human trapped in a dog's body. It makes his eventual marriage with Bailey still too weird to accept for some.
    • If you actually start to think about the society that must exist around Babylon Gardens, you can't go far without realizing something disturbing.
  • Stoic Woobie: Fox is this given that he's been a victim of kidnapping not once but twice. He's usually pretty good at keeping his cool in spite of his hardships.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: Some fans are already calling foul over the revelation that Sasha's actions in Keene's attempted murder were strictly her being Brainwashed and Crazy, with some even enjoying the original idea of Sasha willingly turning against the establishment after years of being a Stepford Smiler and dealing with an emotionally abusive "daddy". There are also those who although they found the shift in her character a bit too harsh, still hoped her actions would at least be partially More Than Mind Control, instead of her just being a completely Unwitting Pawn. Some of these complaints also stem from the Broken Base over the comic having too many supernatural elements.
  • Viewer Gender Confusion: Generally, the only way to tell if a character is female is if she has eyelashes. And there are some that don't even have those, like Grape, who is more a tomboy. Even then, some readers get confused. (see: Cerberus) It's gotten to the point that, in his latest style shift, Rick Griffin has started subtlely giving females more feminine features.
  • The Woobie:
    • All pets who are mistreated in this comic count as such, but King's shaping up to be the top dog for this trope. However, Sasha at Christmas is definitely a close second. Made worse when seen against the other Christmases.
    • Res is starting to seem this way, though owner mistreatment was quickly quashed as a possible reason.
    • Zach can get it bad some times... but as Jessica points out, some of it is his own fault and lack of awareness.
    • Jerkass Woobie: Pete at the end of the Cosmic Game. He may be a jerk and some fans even feel he already crossed the Moral Event Horizon long ago, but seeing him driven to Broken Tears from losing the game and his comment about how mortals always get happy endings and gods don't can be a bit heartbreaking.
      • King himself also qualifies as a Jerkass Woobie when you factor in the whole Peta thing.
      • Tiger Arbelt is another Jerkass Woobie. He's threatened to kill others and is mentally unstable but he basically gets treated like trash simply because he's a dog with a feline name.

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/YMMV/Housepets