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Comic Book / Jan, Jans en de Kinderen

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From left to right. Top: Loedertje, Jans, Jan, Grandpa. Bottom: Catootje, Jeroen, The Red Cat, Lotje and Karlijn. Not depicted; Gertje.
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Jan, Jans en de Kinderen (translation: Jan, Jans and the Children) is a long-running Dutch comic book series that has been a mainstay of Dutch media since 1970. The gag comic appears in the women's magazine Libelle and centers around the everyday activities of a typical Dutch family consisting of father Jan, mother Jans, their teenage daughter Karlijn, preteen daughter Catootje, and (added to the series later on) toddler son Gertje. Other characters involve Jan's father, Catootje's friend Jeroentje, and the family pets. It's family-friendly and therefore very popular in the Netherlands.


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Tropes:

  • Alliterative Family: Jan and Jans.
  • Alliterative Title: Jan and Jans
  • All Girls Like Ponies: Catootje actually owns a pony named Kobus, though he has since faded into the background.
  • Animal Jingoism: Averted. The Red Cat and the Siamese Cat are both best friends with Lotje, the family dog.
  • Animal Talk: Dogs, cats and horses can freely talk to each other in the comic. They are hardly ever seen interacting with other kinds of animals though, and cannot speak to humans.
  • Blinding Bangs: Jeroentje's eyes are seldom seen because they are hidden beneath his hair.
  • Butt-Monkey: Jan, the father.
  • Catchphrase: Hoi pipeloi and Aju paraplu, both by Jeroentje.
  • Comic-Book Time: The characters don't age, but as Time Marches On new social changes have been introduced in the comic strip, such as the internet, cellphones, and the euro.
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  • Cool Pet: Catootje has a white pony, Kobus, saved from the slaughterhouse.
  • Fat Cat: The Red cat.
  • Foot Bath Treatment: In one comic, Grandpa falls through the ice on a shallow pond when he tries to prove to Catootje and Jeroen that it's safe. Then the two kids also enter the pond so they can later claim they went out on the thin ice first and Grandpa saved them, thus preventing Grandpa from getting in trouble. The final panel shows all three home again, getting a foot bath against the cold, while Jans praises Grandpa for his heroics.
  • Gag Nose: Jans, the mother of the family, has a pointy nose.
  • Gender-Blender Name: Lotje the dachshund, despite having a female name, is male.
  • The Ghost: Gijs, Jan's older brother, who is often mentioned but never seen.
  • Grumpy Old Man: Opa Gerrit
  • Housewife: Jans used to be a housewife, but she now does freelance work. As a result, Jan, the father now stays at home to take care of the children.
  • Implausible Hair Color: Catootje, Karlijn and Gertje are all blonde, despite their parents having black and auburn hair.
  • Interspecies Friendship: The cats and dog are friends with each other.
  • Invisible Anatomy: The Red Cat is often depicted without any visible paws.
  • Lawyer-Friendly Cameo: In a comic where the family is taking a vacation, the Flodder family shows up in the final panel (their faces are obscured by the smoke from the exhaust of their car, but their name is mentioned and the car is clearly Johnnie's pink Chevrolet Caprice Classic convertible).
  • The Moving Experience: Used twice, both during the earlier years of the series. The first move had the family move from their apartment to a regular house, and the second one from said house (revealed to be located in Rotterdam) to a farm in Drenthe (a more rural area of the Netherlands).
  • Napoleon Delusion: Lotje the dachshund once thought he was Napoleon for several gags. Then he recovered and imagined himself to be Sinterklaas.
  • Not Allowed to Grow Up: Applied to virtually all characters in the comic. In all the years that the comic has been running, the only character who has slightly aged is Gertje, the youngest child of the family. He started as a baby and has since aged to a toddler.
  • Odd Friendship: The red and Siamese cat are friends with Lotje the dog.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: The Red Cat's actual name is Edgar Allan Poes (Edgar Allan Pussy), but nobody refers to him that way.
  • Print Long-Runners: Since 1970.
  • Share the Male Pain: The Red Cat was neutered long ago and he refers to this traumatic incident often, albeit in euphemisms.
  • Slice of Life: A comic about the life of a Dutch family.
  • Smoking Is Not Cool: Grandpa Tromp (Gerrit) smoked cigars for decades, but the others frequently criticize him for it.
  • Straw Feminist:
    • Hanna, a cousin of Jans, who is a BOM (Bewust Ongehuwde Moeder, a conscious unmarried mother), a lesbian and a feminist.
    • Jans herself also fell into this during a time when she tried to make it into politics. Among other things, she founded a political party solely for women. She has since given up on feminist activism, however.
  • Straw Vegetarian: Catootje, daughter of the family, switches back and forth between being a vegetarian or not.
  • Story Arc: Most comics are standalone gags, but sometimes the series actually tries its hand at a continuous story. One of the longest story arcs involved Jans getting into politics (founding a political party solely for women), while simultaneously she got pregnant again, which resulted in the birth of Gertje.
  • Talking Animal: The Red Cat, Siamese cat Loedertje, and Lotje the dachshund are all able to speak, but the humans can't understand what they're saying. This doesn't stop the animals from commenting on the activities of the humans.
  • Time to Move: Used twice. The family first moved from their old home to another home in an unnamed city, and later to a farm in the Dutch countryside in the province of Drenthe.
  • Vegetarian Carnivore: The Red Cat, who doesn't eat mice out of principle, yet he does eat fish and in the latest episodes he seems to have become a full carnivore again.
  • Weight Woe: Jans occasionally falls into this category. In one of the older comics she even dragged her entire family along into her obsession, to the point that Jan go so fed up he sabotaged the bathroom scales. Another comic features Jans going on a diet so she will fit into her favorite dress again for a formal occasion, but accidentally loses too much weight (causing the dress to become too large for her), and quickly has to gain a few kilos to make up for it.

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