Dogs of C-Kennel is a comic strip created by Mick Mastroianni and drawn by the B.C. artist Mason Mastroianni. The strip started in October 2007 as a webcomic, and was relaunched as a full fledged newspaper strip in October 2010.
The comic chronicles the adventures of a group of dogs that live in a kennel known as C-Kennel. The characters include Will, a streetwise pit bull and the de facto leader of the group; Tucker, a technologically-inclined schnauzer who frequently makes use of electronic devices, such as his iPhone and computer; Kenny, a half-witted yet lovable husky; Iggy, a chronically nervous chihuahua; Cocoa, a beagle and Kenny's unrequited love interest; Wheeler, a bird who is friends with the kennel dogs; and Oliver the Great, a stiff-upper-lipped Great Dane.
Most of the strip's humor is derived from the dogs' life at C-Kennel, such as Will's attempts to escape by digging tunnels or via other means, Tucker's interacting with online-based issues, Wheeler's hitting on females, Kenny's unrequited affection for Cocoa, Iggy's nervous reactions to his environment, the dogs watching TV as a group, and similar things. The comic also makes significant use of Shout Outs and Cameos to lighthearted effect.
- 419 Scam: The infamous Nigerian Prince Scam comes up during a conversation between Will and Tucker here. The pitbull teases his friend about the possibility that it might not always be a hoax, which the schnauzer dismisses out of hand.Will: Somewhere there's a Nigerian Prince who truly wishes to give away his fortune... He's crying because nobody trusts him.
Tucker: Why do I even talk to you?
- Abandonware: An extreme example occurs here. Wheeler steals the latest state-of-the-art laptop computer for Tucker. As soon as he puts his paws on it, the schnauzer counts down from "5" and then tosses it away, saying it has now become obsolete.
- Acid Reflux Nightmare: This strip shows Will dreaming that Kenny is a snake who swallows him in one gulp. When Will wakes up from the nightmare, he says, "Remind me to never again scarf down ten chili dogs before bed."
- Affectionate Pickpocket: In this comic, Will warmly hugs the leg of a prospective dog adopter — while stealing the wallet from his pants pocket.
- Age-Gap Romance: Played with here. Will teasingly offers to fix Wheeler up, saying he's got the perfect girl for him given that he likes younger women. Turns out it's an egg.
- Alien Abduction: Kenny is shown being abducted by aliens here, lifted by a tractor beam. But as Will predicted, they send the husky back to the kennel almost immediately afterwards.
- All Dogs Are Purebred: Every main character pooch in C-Kennel is purebred: Will is a pitbull, Kenny is a Siberian husky, Tucker is a schnauzer, Iggy is a chihuahua, and Cocoa is a beagle. This is also generally true of the one-off or occasional characters encountered, such as Oliver and Scooby Doo (Great Danes) and Snoopy (beagle).
- All Girls Want Bad Boys:
- Played with. Kenny at times accepts Wheeler's advice to play the bad boy in order to impress Cocoa, but this invariably backfires. In this comic, Kenny tells her he just ate a kitten (understandably, Cocoa is aghast, not impressed). And here, Kenny gives her a noogie.
- This strip starts with Tucker asking the question "Why is it that women only like guys who are jerks?"
- All Love Is Unrequited: Kenny has a crush on Cocoa, but it isn't reciprocated.
- Amusing Injuries:
- Will describes an experience chasing cars in which the Buick he was pursuing brake checked him here. He shows a photo of the aftermath, with his face flattened like a pancake but otherwise seemingly unharmed. It's apparently amusing in-universe also, as the picture shows Will's friend pointing at him and laughing.
- Wheeler is shown crashed into the side of his birdhouse here and here, the front half of his body flattened into a pancake. It's a result of his flying drunk.
- Animals See in Monochrome:
- Animals Fear Neutering: When Will hears the veterinarian asking what the procedure is for neutering a pitbull in this strip, the dog nervously asks to be transferred to another animal health care worker.
- Animal Talk: All the animals can talk to each other but not to humans.
- Art Evolution: Characters were frequently redesigned in the comic's early days, with strips dedicated to showing what's changed. The biggest change happened when Mason took over as the primary artist.
- Artistic License – Animal Care:
- Asbestos-Free Cereal: Will touts his good qualities in an attempt to get adopted out of the kennel by sitting in a window while holding up signs in this comic. Respectively, these state "Adopt Me," "The Perfect Gift," and "Guaranteed Lead Free." This last supposed attribute of course holds true for any dog.
- Ash Face:
- Tucker gets his face covered in black ash after the Siri on his phone blows up in this strip — according to Will, Tucker asked it why the Kardashians are famous. This happens to him again here when he logs in with the wrong password — a small mortar pops out of his laptop and shoots the schnauzer in the face, leaving him covered in dark soot.
- Kenny and Will are seen playing Rock–Paper–Scissors here in best Calvinball fashion by using real rocks, paper, and scissors — not to mention an M-80 firecracker, which beats everything else (and leaves the two pooches' faces covered in black soot).
- Ask a Stupid Question...: When Iggy says he may have caught swine flu in this comic, Will asks if he has been around any swine lately. Both dogs then look at Kenny, who appears to be especially dirty that day given the visible manifestation of bad odor emanating from him, not to mention a circling fly. At this point, Will says, "Ok, silly question... "
- Attention Deficit... Ooh, Shiny!: Kenny sometimes finds himself easily distracted to the point of suggesting he has Attention Deficit Disorder — in fact, the husky lampshades this here. The elderly dog he's talking to seemingly has a similar problem brought on by being a Scatterbrained Senior.Kenny: I hate having A.D.D.
Old dog: It's like getting old.
Kenny: What were we just talking about?
Old Dog: Beats me...
- Auto-Incorrect: An absurdly extreme example occures in this strip, when Will sends Tucker the message "I'll murder you, then bury you in the backyard" and subsequently passes it off as "one serious autocorrect fail."
- Bait-and-Switch: Here, Kenny is seen stalking and attacking a squirrel who is sitting on a pile of acorns — but as it turns out, the husky was after the acorns and is shown eating them.
- Balloon Belly:
- Kenny has a comically distended stomach in this strip after having apparently drunk eight glasses of water all at once instead of gradually throughout the day.
- In this comic, Will is seen with a hugely rounded belly after having eaten a lot of junk food.
- A variant occurs here. Wheeler has gotten so fat eating pumpkin spice ice cream that he has developed a body that looks like a pumpkin.
- Bandage Mummy:
- Wheeler gets blasted by a hunter's gun when he tries to hit on a duck decoy in this comic. In the last panel he's seen wrapped in a body length strip bandage with only his beak, feet, and tail showing.
- Here, Will wraps himself in bandages when he sees Kenny getting attention from possible adoption owners because his leg is in a cast. It doesn’t work well for him, as he’s perceived to be an “evil mummy dog.”
- Bat Out of Hell: A story arc beginning with this strip shows the dogs dealing with a bat in their kennel. Among other things, it manages to scare both Iggy and Kenny. Wheeler meanwhile thinks it's a foxy babe.
- Be Yourself: In this comic, Cocoa tells lovesick Kenny to stop trying so hard to impress her and just act naturally. She instantly regrets this when the husky proceeds to belch loudly, hock up phlegm from his nose, and spit on the floor.
- Big Jerk on Campus: Or in the kennel, in this case. In this comic, Will is seen repeatedly asserting his Alpha status for dibs on such things as chewing a bone, going indoors, peeing on a tree, or getting to chase a frisbee. That is, until it's time for the dogs to get a booster shot...
- Binomium ridiculus: Here, Iggy is shown frozen solid in a block of ice in the kennel window. Underneath him is the absurd species term "Canis domesticus unluckyis."
- Bird-Poop Gag:
- In this comic, the birds off to Wheeler's right are discussing what appears to be a popular avian #HashtagForLaughs, #IPoohedOn. It helps memorialize the cars, statues, and similar objects they have tagged in their travels.
- Here, Wheeler is seen flying along looking for a rest stop area. When he comes across one with cars parked in it, he says "Finally! A rest stop with a bathroom."
- Booby Trap: In this strip, Will gets blown up when he tries to pilfer Tucker's cell phone, left with a bad case of Ash Face and then some. The phone is so sensitive that it can detect foreign fingerprints.
- Brain Freeze:
- Breaking the Fourth Wall:
- This comic shows Will having an angry meltdown when he's expected to be funny for that day's strip, looking straight at the reader while doing so. His rant is interrupted with a card employed to cut off his tirade that states "We Are Experiencing Technical Difficulties," claiming his reticence happened because he hasn't had his coffee yet this morning.Will: What? You want something funny? What am I, a clown? You want me to dance around like a monkey? Dance, monkey, dance... well, you can go to —
TV Card: We are experiencing technical difficulties. We'll return when Will has had his coffee.
- In this strip, the dogs discuss the fact that their strip is currently in an online competition poll. They frantically try to figure out ways to spice things up (including Will sending Kenny off to get dental floss, M-80s, and six gallons of cottage cheese), but run out of time before implementing anything. The last strip shows Will and Kenny looking out at the reader while the former says "We've run out of panels."
- In this comic, Will sees a backhoe digging a huge hole while Wheeler spies a jet zooming overhead. Both characters say "Showoffs" while looking at the reader with irritation.
- Here, Will urges people to adopt a dog this year — and he emphasizes this in the last panel by saying "Seriously, you need us now more than ever" while looking directly at the reader. He also urges people to adopt a dog here while looking at the reader. And the pitbull makes yet another plea to adopt a dog here, likening the experience to a job interview, while looking out at the reader.
- In this strip, Will punches a snowman that resembles Olaf from Frozen in the face. He then says, "Admit it. You found that satisfying" while looking out at the reader.
- This comic shows Will having an angry meltdown when he's expected to be funny for that day's strip, looking straight at the reader while doing so. His rant is interrupted with a card employed to cut off his tirade that states "We Are Experiencing Technical Difficulties," claiming his reticence happened because he hasn't had his coffee yet this morning.
- Brief Accent Imitation: Wheeler demonstrates his mating call to Will in this comic, which has a distinct New Jersey flavor. The bird says it sounds that way because his migration route takes him in that direction.Wheeler: Yo, baby! Awwww, yeeaah! Aw, yeah! Yeah, what up, girl?
Will: What the heck kind of mating call is that?
Wheeler: My migration route takes me through the Jersey Shore.
- Bubble Boy:
- Burping Contest: Kenny and Will engage in a thunderous exchange of belches interspersed by genteel compliments on each others prowess in this comic. Tucker is not at all amused.Tucker: Not what I meant by 'Mind your manners'.
- But Liquor Is Quicker: Played with here. Will and Kenny are seen ice fishing, the husky holding a fishing pole while the pit bull pours a bottle of booze into the water. Will explains to Wheeler that he's doing so to lower the fishes' inhibitions.
- The Cameo:
- In this strip, Odie is shown being chosen over Will for the prominent dog role in Garfield. And here, Will tries to disguise himself as Garfield to sneak out of the kennel. The orange feline himself makes an appearance here, where he has apparently put chopped carrots in Wheeler's bird bath; here, where he's shown treating Iggy abusively; here, where Garfield is about to be kidnapped by Will; and here, where Will comes face to face with the cat while emerging from a cookie jar. And Garfield and Odie are seen together here, the former drop-kicking the latter.
- Both Alice and the title character from Dilbert are seen in the last panel of this strip. Wheeler has apparently stolen a box of supplies from their office. And here, Dilbert is shown naked at the office because Wheeler stole his clothes.
- Marmaduke gets infested by fleas in this strip.
- The title character from Scooby-Doo is seen incarcerated in C-Kennel in this strip, apparently having been brought in for trespassing and possessing marijuana.
- Charlie Brown from Peanuts is seen in this comic. Wheeler has apparently stolen his scruffy Christmas tree for the dogs at the kennel. Snoopy appears in his World War I flying ace persona in a later strip, trying to shoot down Wheeler, and later is shown sleeping on top of his doghouse here.
- The cartoon kid from the classic 1960s Tootsie Pop commercial is seen in this strip. He holds up a sucker to Will and asks him how many licks it takes to reach the center. The pitbull bites the candy off the stick and eats it whole, asking "What Tootsie Pop?" The youngster reappears here and asks Kenny the same question — but when the husky is viewed from behind, he has several suckers stuck in his fur. Will wryly quips, "He's never made it past one."
- Characters from Angry Birds appear in some strips, such as this one. Here, Will makes the mistake of trying to get Wheeler to emerge from his birdhouse before he's had his morning coffee. Wheeler does so, looking like one of the characters and yelling, "WHAT DO YOU WANT?!!" before reverting back to normal.
- Bugs Bunny is seen here, as he and Will meet underground tunneling from different directions. The rabbit has apparently uttered his classic catchphrase about Albuquerque given Will's reaction.
- Mr. Potato Head and his wife are shown in this comic, used as decoys while the dogs sneak out of the kennel.
- Grumpy Cat makes an appearance here. Turns out he and Will are cynical kindred spirits and forge a friendship connection.Tucker: Two peas in a pod.
- When Kenny suggests that Will conjure up an imaginary friend to mitigate his boredom, Calvin's make-believe pal Hobbes from the strip Calvin and Hobbes materializes here. This joke is repeated almost literally here.
- Eeyore from Winnie the Pooh appears in this comic. Turns out he's just a stand-in for Will, who finds autumn depressing and sits around moping.
- This strip is overloaded with cameos, including characters from B.C., Sesame Street, Dilbert, Calvin and Hobbes, and Fantasia. Turns out Will is bored and doing free association drawing to various acronyms.
- Tom and Spike from Tom and Jerry are seen in this comic. The bulldog is shown grabbing Tom by the throat, about to strike him.
- The Hump Day Camel from the GEICO TV commercials is seen in this comic. According to Will, he's been incarcerated at the kennel because it was the only place willing to take him.
- This strip features an appearance of the apteryx from B.C.. He has apparently found Wheeler's mating call seductive.
- Tucker has been marathon-watching various shows on Netflix here, and his recent binge of Family Guy results in him looking like Brian the dog from this program. A picture of Brian appears again here opposite one of Tucker in an online quiz asking "Which celebrity do you look like?"
- The title character from Bambi is seen in this comic enacting his famous falling-on-ice scene from the film. Turns out he's just a stand-in for Will, who is having a rough time walking on an icy surface and producing copious amounts of Symbol Swearing as he does so.
- Ziggy appears here, having been struck in the eye by an errant golf ball Will hits.
- This comic has several character cameos, including Garfield, Dilbert, the king from The Wizard of Id, Optimus Prime from Transformers, and Ziggy. Will has vandalized their newspaper strips for the day by adding in things like guns and zombies.
- In this comic, Dilbert and his boss from Dilbert and the title character from Hägar the Horrible are seen in successive panels. Iggy's Overly Long Scream at a spider has apparently overshadowed the neighboring strips in that day's newspaper.
- Kenny's eating is so sloppy he manages to splatter characters in neighboring strips with dog food, including ones from Hägar the Horrible, B.C., Dilbert, and Pearls Before Swine here.
- In this strip, Will dresses up as The Grim Reaper for Halloween — while wearing a mask that makes him look like the dog character Grimm from Mother Goose and Grimm.
- Both the title characters from Garfield and B.C. show up here, looking forward to the Halloween party Will's throwing.
- Marlin and Dory from Finding Nemo are seen in this strip, an updated version of the film that has a Downer Ending.
- Will dresses up as Pikachu from Pokémon in this comic.
- Cruella De Vil shows up here trying to coax Timmy, a dalmatian in the kennel, to come home with her. Will and his friends urge the dog not to do so.
- Will reminisces about his pre-kennel life on the street here. He considers holing up for the night in a garbage can, but decides against it when Oscar the Grouch from Sesame Street pops out of it.
- Will encounters the dungeon-dwelling character Spook from The Wizard of Id in this comic. They're both digging escape tunnels and happen onto each other.
- Canary in a Coal Mine: Wheeler’s attempt to hit on a female canary is thwarted by Kenny in this strip. She takes one whiff of the nearby husky, shouts “Oh, my... GAS!” and passes out.
- Cannot Spit It Out: In this comic, Kenny is so nervously tongue-tied that he can't ask Cocoa out for a date.
- The Casanova: Wheeler appears to have a very active dating life. Here and here, he enjoys a birdbath (the former modified into a hot tub) with three females, while here, he has apparently hit on six different female birds in one day! And this strip shows Wheeler surrounded by adoring females after he bleaches and dyes the top of his head white in imitation of a bald eagle.
- Casanova Wannabe: While Wheeler often is shown successfully hitting on female birds, he sometimes has streaks of bad luck, as appears to be happening in this strip, where one female bird after another rejects his advances.
- Catfishing: Played for laughs here when Tucker "touches up" his online profile picture with Photoship to the point of depicting himself as having a bodybuilder's physique.
- Cat Folk: Here, Kenny imagines creatures who are half-feline and half-human when Tucker tells him about the concept of cat people.
- Censor Box:
- Here, every dog's Halloween jack-o-lantern is seen except Will's, which for some reason is blanked out by a big black box saying "Censored."
- In this strip, Will plans to do something elaborate with fireworks, but in the final panel he is covered by a large sign saying "Censored for your safety."
- This comic shows Wheeler's description of spoiler related information covered up in his speech balloon with boxes saying "Spoiler."
- Charity Workplace Calendar: Played for Laughs here. An attempt to create a pin-up calendar called "The Hunks of C-Kennel" turns out to be a bad idea: Iggy is too camera shy, Kenny can't sit still long enough, and Will won't stop making obscene gestures when he's being photographed.
- Chicken Joke: In this comic, it becomes very clear why the chicken Will is talking to crossed the road — to get as far away from the Chick-fil-a restaurant on the other side as possible. Not to mention here, where another chicken Will sees wisely wants to cross the road to avoid the factory farm across the street. Both are very much unlike the bird in this strip, who has seemingly crossed the road ten times for no reason at all.
- Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: Commander Woofenstein, a Drill Sergeant Nasty dog, appeared earlier in the strip before disappearing in early 2011.
- Cloudcuckoolander: Describes Kenny in spades, who is cheerful to a fault and generally oblivious to others.
- Comically Missing the Point:
- Kenny is an expert at misunderstanding things to humorous effect. Here, he develops a bad case of Balloon Belly after having apparently drunk eight glasses of water all at once instead of gradually throughout the day. Here, when Will says "I'll give ya 20 bucks if you eat it" when referring to a dead animal they discover, Kenny eats the money instead. Here, he is shown putting antiperspirant on his tongue when told dogs don't sweat under their arms, while here, the husky puts antiperspirant on his feet when Tucker informs him that dogs have sweat glands on their paw pads. In this strip, he mistakenly thinks Cocoa's disapproving stare as he walks by signifies attraction to him. Here, he imagines creatures who are half-feline and half-human when Tucker tells him about the concept of cat people. And in this comic, Kenny misunderstands the term "bucket list" when he says he has one — which involves eating out of all the garbage cans at the kennel!
- Surprisingly, Cocoa comically misunderstands Kenny here when the husky tells her she sets his soul on fire. The beagle dashes off to a get a fire extinguisher and douses Kenny with foam.
- Wheeler has a few moments when he suffers from comic misunderstanding. When his girlfriend breaks up with him to date a mockingbird here, Wheeler consults the novel To Kill a Mockingbird hoping to find a way to finish off his adversary. Will reminds him that "It's not a manual." Here, Wheeler shows Will his new sneakers, saying he got them online — when in fact he had found them hanging from a telephone wire.
- In this comic, the computer savvy Tucker appears flummoxed by a simple ball of yarn, wondering where to find its USB port.
- Even Will has his moments of humor-based befuddlement. Here, he is approached by a duck-billed platypus. Will mistakes the animal for a Pokémon character and tries to "catch" him on his cellphone.
- Compassionate Critic: When Wheeler tries to impress a female bird by whistling in this comic, she gives him an extended, technical review of his birdcall.Female bird: Okay — first, your timing is off... it should be 4/4. And you totally missed the crescendo there. Plus, that is an A-Flat, not an A... Now follow me...
Wheeler: [under his breath] Just my luck... a music major.
- Computer Virus: The kennel's computer gets targeted by ransomware here. Turns out Tucker wrote and sent it, and it's programed to unlock said computer only when the kennel worker orders tacos for every dog in the shelter.
- Cone of Shame:
- Beginning with this strip, Kenny is seen wearing a large plastic cone around his head so he won't chew on his healing tail.
- Inverted here when Will sees a dog wearing a large plastic neck cone as a hipster fashion statement.
- Tucker makes the best of having to wear a plastic neck cone, saying his hearing has never been better, in this comic.
- Conspiracy Theorist: This comic shows Iggy's Nervous Wreck tendencies devolve into full-blown Government Conspiracy mode. When Tucker mentions that it's now possible to have GPA location chips implanted in dog collars to keep the animals from getting lost, the chihuahua spirals into a paranoid rant.Iggy: So now the NSA will know my coordinates at all times! Snowdon is watching...
- Crowd Song: Will is seen exuberantly calling for his pound mates to get together for a Thanksgiving singalong here. It turns out to be a nightmare, and Will wakes in a cold sweat.
- Cut-and-Paste Note: When a kennel worker touches Will's bone here, the pitbull sends him a threatening note made up of cut-out words attached to a sheet. It says "Touch my food again and I'll make you disappear."
- Cuteness Overload: When Will looks at a picture of Kenny as an adorable puppy, the pitbull is rendered incapacitated (complete with blank and staring eyes) in this comic.
- Dance-Off: According to Will here, male bighorn sheep compete for females by doing a dance off contest rather than butting heads.
- Deadpan Snarker: Will, Wheeler, and Cocoa are frequent dispensers of wry, pithy comic observations.
- Delicious Distraction: Here, Will complains about how the kennel dogs all have to eat when they're told to, and that they should revolt against their keepers. But he forgets all about this radical idea once he starts eating, finding the new chow very tasty.
- Delivery Stork: Will isn't ready to tell his naive pal Kenny where puppies come from in this comic, so he decides to fall back on saying they're brought by the stork.
- Disaster Dominoes: Kenny initiates an extreme destructive chain reaction by throwing his TV remote at the set in this strip. It breaks the television screen, flies out the window, and damages an electrical transformer, which pops live cables that blow up an oil tanker truck.
- Disguised in Drag: In this comic, Wheeler dresses up as a female turkey to attract a tom turkey for the dogs' Thanksgiving dinner.
- Disproportionate Retribution: Will sometimes has a bad temper, and in this comic, he takes a huge bite out of a tree that just dropped a leaf on his nose. Tucker asks him if he has ever considered anger management. Here, Will overreacts strongly to the cold weather when he heads outside, having a complete meltdown complete with copious Symbol Swearing and kicking a snowman apart. Here, Will is shown about to take a barbed-wire wrapped bat to a snowman to express his winter hatred.
- The Ditz: Kenny is not the smartest dog around and has a strong eccentric streak. In this strip, he asks his bird friend Wheeler how he gets girls to notice him, then tries out his best approximation of bird mating moves on Cocoa. She thinks he's lost it.
- Dogged Nice Guy: Kenny has a one-sided crush on Cocoa, and is persistent about expressing his affection for her. One could say he serves as a literal example of the trope.
- Dogs Are Dumb: Kenny isn't totally stupid, but he's notably less bright than his pound mates. This strip definitely shows he's not much of a deep thinker, regardless.
- Dogs Hate Squirrels: Several strips show the kennel dogs (Kenny most often) chasing squirrels. Played with in this strip — Will and a squirrel are seen drinking with each other and laughing, but when they realize they're in a strip panel, Will says "Oh crud, we're on" and starts chasing the squirrel. And in this comic, Will says whats worse than the world's wildlife being decimated by one-third is that the local squirrels will still be around.
- Dogs Love Fire Hydrants:
- A variant here shows Wheeler flying along looking for a rest stop area. When he comes across one with cars parked in it, he says "Finally! A rest stop with a bathroom."
- Inverted here, when Will sees a fire hydrant with an exclamation point-style notification that signals a dog to come and pee on it.
- Dog Walks You: Kenny is seen dragging a kennel worker behind him while on a leash walk in this comic. It's to the point where Will compares the event to a bout of water skiing. And here, the aftermath of a kennel worker trying to give Kenny a leash walk ends up with the fellow getting dragged face first into the ground.
- Drill Sergeant Nasty: Commander Woofenstein is at times seen leading the other dogs through an obstacle course like an ultra-strict drill instructor, as in this comic.
- Driven to Suicide:
- Implied in this strip. When Will teasingly mentions that he has just heard Justin Bieber was chosen to play Luke Skywalker in upcoming installments of the Star Wars series, Tucker is seen fashioning a hangman's noose for himself.
- Will gets a roomba to clean up after Kenny here, but the task is so onerous that the machine hangs itself in a noose. Or as Will puts it, commits "roombacide."
- Drunk Driver: Or drunk flyer, in this instance. Wheeler has a few too many cocktails during his kennel visit here and crashes into a police car window while flying home. The patrolman is seen writing the inebriated bird a ticket immediately after. And both here and here, the boozed-up bird is shown crashed into the side of his birdhouse.
- Early-Installment Weirdness:
- The strip started as a webcomic in black-and-white, done entirely by Mick Mastroianni with irregular updates and no Sunday strips.
- Will was initially named "Willy" and some comics (such as this one and this one) show him smoking.
- A few early strips such as this one show the kennel to be situated near a nuclear power plant.
- The kennel is mentioned in a few early installments to be located in Florida, as in this strip. Given that some subsequent comics depict the kennel grounds being covered in a heavy blanket of snow, this idea was seemingly discarded.
- Ear Worm:
- It's implied in this strip that Will has gotten songs by Taylor Swift stuck in his head and can't get rid of them. Kenny manages to distract Will by singing the TV theme for The A-Team to him.
- In this comic, Tucker's tech support phone call leaves him on hold listening to James Taylor selections for so long that he gets the singer's music stuck in his head.
- Escape Artist: If this comic is any indication, no leash can restrain Will for long. It's not shown how he does it, but the pitbull manages to get off the chain and attach it to the kennel worker who leashed him.
- Every Car Is a Pinto: In this comic, Kenny initiates an extreme chain reaction of Disaster Dominoes by throwing his TV remote at the set. It breaks the television screen, flies out the window, and damages an electrical transformer, which pops live cables that blow up an oil tanker truck.
- Everyone Has Standards: Will frequently defaults to prankster behavior around humans, but even he draws the line at indulging in such behavior in this comic when he serves as a therapy dog for a nursing home.Will: I'm not one to do what's told. For example, if a guy asks me to beg, I just pee on his leg. But some things I just can't say no to...
- Everyone Hates Fruitcakes: Alluded to in this strip, as Will celebrates the fact that they've made it through the whole month of December without one hackneyed fruitcake joke.Tucker: Merry Christmas and happy holidays!!
Will: We made it through the whole month without an outdated fruitcake reference!
- Explosive Breeder: This strip depicts a flea couple with an absurdly large number of offspring surrounding them. The comic's title is "John and Kate Plus 8 Million," a spoof of the TV show Jon & Kate Plus Eight.
- Expressive Ears: Played for Laughs and taken to extraordinary lengths here. Will explains to the comic strip readers that dogs have flexible ears. Kenny's demonstration, complete with malleable facial expressions, is sufficiently extreme that the pit bull tells him "Ok... that's enough, show off."
- Extreme Omnisexual: Wheeler is a Casanova type who not only dates his own species but also has been known to try and hit on females of other avian species such as parrots, vultures, canaries, crows, woodpeckers, loons, hummingbirds, flamingos, chickens, eagles, homing pigeons, penguins, and crows — not to mention a butterfly, a plastic flamingo, a bat, a bee (complete with a birds and bees joke), a duck decoy, a rubber ducky, a drone, and the bird in a cuckoo clock!
- Extreme Omnivore:
- On several occasions, it's shown that Kenny will eat almost anything, such as here and here, where he's seen scarfing down fallen leaves; here, where he's munching on a beehive; here, where he has eaten Tucker's cell phone; and here, where he gulps down a remote-control camera bug that further reveals he had earlier polished off Tucker's Limp Bizkit CD. Yet another comic shows the dogs leafing through a scrapbook with x-rays of Kenny's stomach over the years that shows all the objects he has eaten, ranging from staplers to toy soldiers to brass knuckles. However, he apparently draws the line at grass.
- Here, Will claims to be a long-time devotee of food trucks — while pointing to a passing garbage truck.
- The Faceless: The faces of the humans that appear in the strip are never shown.
- The Face of the Sun: In this strip and this one, the sun is depicted as having a smiling face. And here, we see a sun respectively with a smiling and evil face.
- Failure Is the Only Option: Several strips show Will (sometimes accompanied by Kenny, Tucker and Iggy) trying to dig escape tunnels to leave the kennel, without any success. Alluded to here when Will is captured trying to tunnel out yet again — he is returned to the kennel to find that the other dogs are throwing a party celebrating Will's 1000th escape attempt. Part of the problem may lie with the pitbull's inconsistent sense of direction, as he's shown in this strip to have ended up right back in the kennel where he started.
- Fan Disservice:
- This strip qualifies, and then some. Seeing Will drunk, twerking while wearing a skimpy bikini at the kennel Halloween party? Yeah, nobody wants to look at that.
- Will's wearing a speedo creates in-universe revulsion from Tucker and Iggy (who apparently will need Brain Bleach after seeing him, given what they say) here.Tucker: However, the image in my head is burned into my memory... it will haunt me for a lifetime.
Iggy: Oh, God! Make it stop!
- Fantastic Racism: Played for Laughs in this comic. The preceding several strips have shown Kenny pretending to be a rabid coyote — but the story arc draws to a close when a pack of real coyotes show up at the kennel. They find his characterization of them offensive, and are sufficiently incensed that they plan to send their lawyer over for retribution.
- Five-Finger Discount: Wheeler is seen tossing Will a pack of sausages he stole in this comic. When asked where he gets the things he pilfers, Wheeler says it comes courtesy of his "Five Feather Discount."
- Flying Saucer: The airborne robotic alien probe in this comic resembles a stereotypical flying saucer. When Kenny sees it, he grabs it in his mouth, presumably thinking it's a frisbee.
- For Inconvenience, Press "1": Tucker's attempt to call what is presumably tech support here is a nightmare of labyrinthine button push options and long waits (during which irritating music is being played), culminating in his accidentally hanging up the phone.
- Formerly Fit: Wheeler decides to pack on extra weight because he hears the "dad bod" look is popular nowadays with females. Seen here and here.
- Four-Fingered Hands: When the gag requires as in this case, animals are seen with hands having only three fingers and a thumb. Surprisingly enough, this is inverted with the human characters, all of which have four fingers and a thumb.
- Four-Temperament Ensemble: Will is Choleric, Kenny is Sanguine, Iggy is Phlegmatic, and Tucker is Melancholic.
- Fowl-Mouthed Parrot: A cursing parrot is seen in this strip, complete with some Symbol Swearing. He's apparently an expert mimic who has been hanging around potty-mouthed Will lately.
- Frothy Mugs of Water: Inverted, as the strip contains numerous references to beer, alcohol, and Red Bull. See here, here, here, here, and here.
- Gas Leak Cover Up: This comic shows Kenny, Tucker, and Will holding signs advertizing their good qualities in hopes of getting adopted. Will's says "Will gladly take the blame for chili-dog night," implying it's okay for a prospective new owner to blame him for any Gasshole issues that may arise.
- Gasshole: In this strip, Kenny lets loose with a colossal, extended belch after gulping down a big bottle of soda. It's apparently not a first occurrence, either.Will: 14 seconds. A personal best!
- Genre Mashup: In this comic, the dogs are watching a reality show titled Who Wants to Marry a 16 and Pregnant, Fake Millionaire, Pawn Star, Real Housewife?
- Gesundheit: In this strip, Kenny says "Gesundheit" to Will when he hears the pit bull say he's looking at a picture of a Shih Tzu.
- Ghost Story: Tucker frightens his kennel mates with a scary tale (complete with flashlight shining under his face) about a vacuum cleaner, calling it a "one eyed demon," in this strip.
- Giant Medical Syringe: In this comic, the tiny and already nervous Iggy imagines the shot he's getting from the veterinarian is impossibly large — larger than him, in fact!
- The Glomp: Kenny is sometimes seen giving Will an affectionate flying tackle hug, as in this comic and this one. In another instance here, he does so while pretending he's a dire wolf capturing prey.
- Going Commando: In this comic, Will is seen wearing a kilt (as he puts it) "Like a true Scotsman... no undies." When Tucker covers his eyes with disgust, Will says it's no big deal given that he's otherwise naked normally. The schnauzer replies that "It's still creepy, for some reason."
- Go Mad from the Isolation: In a story arc from late 2010, Will is put in solitary confinement after egging the kennel owner's car. It takes several days before he finally starts to crack from the isolation here, but he's let out just in time. Inverted a couple strips earlier when Iggy and Kenny start going crazy in their normal circumstance because Will is away.
- Good Angel, Bad Angel:
- Spoofed in this strip. Will is visited first by his bad angel and then by his (purportedly) good angel. The former tells Will to steal the wallet from a man's back pocket — but the latter actually does it! Even Will's bad angel is shocked by this.
- Played straight here. Will's good angel cautions him against eating a candy bar on the sidewalk. When the pit bull asks where his bad angel is, the latter shows up looking grossly overweight from having eaten the candy bar — and agreeing with the good angel that Will shouldn't consume it.
- Kenny apparently has good and bad angels as seen in this comic. The bad angel advises Kenny to relax and tell Cocoa about his day. When the good angel calls him on supposedly giving the husky good advice, his counterpart's response implies that this is the worst thing Kenny can possibly do. He's right, as the husky immediately tells Cocoa about his bout of recent nose picking.
- Will encounters his good angel again here. When he asks why his supposed guardian angel does so bad a job protecting him, the celestial being says he's putting together a blooper reel which will be well worth compiling.
- Grammar Nazi:
- Lampshaded in this fic by Wheeler when a female he's trying to hit on corrects his come-on line. In fact, she goes so far as to change the word "can" to "may" in Wheeler's speech balloon with a pencil!Wheeler: Is everyone a grammar Nazi?
- Also Lampshaded here when Tucker critiques Will's barking.Will: Grammar Nazis... annoying in every species.
- Lampshaded in this fic by Wheeler when a female he's trying to hit on corrects his come-on line. In fact, she goes so far as to change the word "can" to "may" in Wheeler's speech balloon with a pencil!
- Grass Is Greener: Here, a feral wolf and kennel-housed Will look at each other's living circumstances with envy.
- Green Thumb: Fully inverted here. Will is seemingly able to foul up Tucker's computer merely by touching it with a paw.Tucker: Will, no! Every time you touch this thing, we end up with some sort of explosion.
- Gretzky Has the Ball:
- Will and Kenny's attempt to play chess here morphs into a chaotic game including rules from Yahtzee and American football, as well as references to Pokémon and Star Wars. A later go at the game for these two characters here quickly degenerates into them hitting each other — or as Tucker puts it, "Full contact chess."
- Kenny and Will are seen playing Rock–Paper–Scissors here in best Calvinball fashion by using real rocks, paper, and scissors — not to mention an M-80 firecracker, which beats everything else (and leaves the two pooches covered in Ash Face).
- Here, Kenny and Will are seen taking extreme liberties while playing badminton. Their game has devolved into a sword fight using rackets and trash can lids.
- Invoked in this comic. Tucker is seen garbling up terms from several sports while assuming the role of American football announcer.Tucker: Oh, it's a half snap! Got him with the full court press! 3 minutes for high-sticking!
- The Grim Reaper: Played with in this strip when Will dresses up for Halloween as The Grim Reaper — while wearing a mask that makes him look like the dog character Grimm from Mother Goose and Grimm.
- Hairball Humor: Here, Kenny has just coughed up a large wad of shed hair. Will congratules him on the size of the result.
- Halloween Trickery: In this comic, the kennel TV is tuned to the news, which describes significant Halloween night prankster damage done downtown. The kennel dogs appear to have been the architects of the destruction as they're seen lying around exhausted, covered in smashed bits of pumpkin while holding shaving cream cans and streamers of toilet paper.
- Hartman Hips: Here, Oliver disdainfully says he's no longer considering Cocoa as a possible girlfriend because he wants his future mate to possess "wide, child bearing hips for having many puppies."
- Apparently, birds enjoy using the hashtag #IPoohedOn to memorialize the cars and statues and similar objects they have tagged in their travels. Seen in this strip.
- Tucker says cats have their own official day online called #Caterday here.
- Wheeler is seen here chirping like a normal bird ("Tweetie chirp. Chirpie chirp!"), while those surrounding him chirp in hashtags ("#Tweet" and "#Chirpiechirp"). Wheeler's inability to "get with the times" bothers him.
- Hates Baths: In this strip, the kennel worker frightens off Kenny by mentioning that it's time for his bath.
- Hates Everyone Equally: Played with. Will initially lampshades this trope here, exuberantly shouting "I hate everyone equally!" — that is, unless the person gives him bacon.
- Hating on Monday: Here, Tucker expresses his dislike of Mondays to Kenny, who via his facial expression seemingly concurs. Will, however, doesn't share their antipathy at this point, but does so in a later strip here.
- Healing Hands: Played with here when Tucker brings in a Fortune Teller dog to repair his damaged laptop hard drive. She is seen holding her paws skyward with a Power Crystal dangling from her wrist, shouting "Begone, evil spirits!"
- Heh Heh, You Said "X": When Cocoa says the word "duty" here as she's explaining something important to Kenny, the husky focuses on that word rather than replying to her point — snickering as he observes that she just said "doodie."
- Heroic Wannabe:
- After being laid up in a cast with a broken leg, Kenny becomes convinced he has become a superhero named "Stunt Dog" here, complete with cape and helmet. All he manages to do is inflict Amusing Injuries upon himself.
- In this strip, Kenny disguises himself as "Captain Obscure" in a bid to add the element of mystery to his latest attempt to court Cocoa. It doesn't work, as she recognizes him immediately.
- Here, Kenny admits to Tucker that the only thing that makes him a superhero is his wearing a cape.
- Tucker gets into the act in this comic when he pretends to be a superhero, complete with red cape and apropos lingo.
- Hilarious Outtakes: Will encounters his guardian angel in this comic. When he asks why his supposed guardian angel does so bad a job protecting him, the celestial being says he's putting together a blooper reel which will be well worth compiling.
- Hold Up Your Score: Wheeler's crash landing in this strip gets a 9.5 ranking from Will, who holds up a sign with that score.
- Hollywood Hacking: A version of this trope occurs here. Tucker boots up his laptop and discovers a meme montage on it that is blatantly pro-squirrel ("Legs one-tenth the size of yours. Still outruns you" and "Man's best friend. More like Man's best brown noser"). When the schnauzer comments on this, he hears snickering coming from a nearby tree.
- Human Cannonball: Or flea cannonball, in this case. Here, Kenny wonders how his fleas manage to jump so far. Turns out they're launching themselves from tiny cannons.
- Human Snowman: Here, Will rolls Kenny up into a large snowball he's creating to build a snowman.
- Hypocritical Humor:
- In this comic, Tucker is seen criticizing humans for trying to walk on all fours, then gets up and strolls off on his hind legs.
- This strip shows a kennel worker scolding Will for rolling in the mud, saying "Why is it that dogs are so determined to be in contact with the most bacteria-ridden things possible?" Will thinks that the kennel worker has no business criticizing him, given what his computer keyboard looks like.
- I Can't Believe It's Not Heroin!: Here, Kenny is shown with wide eyes and dilated pupils, spouting nonsense and acting as if he's intoxicated. Tucker says that Kenny must have eaten "one of those hippie squirrels again."
- I Can't Hear You: This comic shows Will (who is temporarily hard of hearing from setting off firecrackers) yelling back Tucker's shouted observation nearly verbatim because he misunderstands the schnauzer.Tucker: [shouting] That's why you don't set off firecrackers inside!
Will: [shouting back] I can't hear you! I just set off firecrackers!
- Ice-Cream Koan: Tucker asks a silly Eastern-style philosophical question in this comic. Specifically: "If a man runs with a Fitbit but its battery dies, did he run at all?"
- I Need to Go Iron My Dog: Cocoa uses lame excuses whenever Kenny asks her out on a date. One particularly far-fetched example is seen here, where she says she just remembered that she's due to be humanely euthanized.
- Instantly Proven Wrong: Applies to Will in this strip. Tucker asks him who super-glued the keys on his laptop. When Will feigns ignorance, he puts his paw on his chest, then rips out a handful of hairs as soon as the paw is removed.
- Insult Backfire: A variant happens here, when Kenny is flattered to hear he has turned up on a Google search — for getting the worst case of worms in history!
- The Internet Is for Cats: Referenced in this comic. When Tucker says cats have their own official day online called #Caterday, Will exclaims "It's the Internet! Every day is cat day!"
- Intimate Healing: What appears to be a multicolored beach ball in this strip turns out to be Will, Tucker, and Iggy closely wrapped around each other for warmth. When Kenny informs them that the heat has come back on, they disentangle, with Will saying "Let's never speak of this... "
- Irritation Is the Sincerest Form of Flattery: A variant occurs in this strip. Kenny is wearing a costume of Tucker he made from the latter's shed hair. The husky sees this as flattery, but Tucker finds it creepy instead.
- I Take Offense to That Last One: Here, a female bird berates Wheeler by calling him a "foul-mouthed, self-centered, narcissistic seagull." He takes offense only to being called a seagull.
- Jabba Table Manners: In this comic, Kenny is shown eating like a slob, splattering food everywhere. Humorously, he is seen primly carrying his dish in his paws and flapping open a napkin beforehand.
- Jack Bauer Interrogation Technique: An obedience school trainer goes to extreme lengths to get Will to learn the command "speak" here. The pit bull is shown being grabbed by the collar while a light is shined into his eyes. Will even lampshades this.Obedience School Trainer: We got ways of makin' you talk, pal...Will: Eat your heart out, Jack Bauer.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Will is definitely the irascible type, but as this comic shows, he can be sweet underneath at times.Will: [hugging a fellow kennel dog] Okay, okay. I'm only savage on my Twitter account.
- Jump Scare: Here, Kenny jumps out of a pile of leaves shouting "Leaf monster!", frightening Iggy out of his wits.
- Just One More Level!: Tucker becomes obsessed with the Angry Birds video game in this strip, to the point where he stops eating.
- "Kick Me" Prank: This strip has Will and Kenny laughing hysterically at Tucker, who has a sign taped to his back reading "Neuter me."
- Kids Prefer Boxes: And apparently all the kennel canines except Tucker do too, if this strip is any indication. When the schnauzer discovers that the dogs received nothing but empty boxes for the holidays, Will shouts "Best Christmas ever!" Meanwhile, Kenny and Iggy are seen happily playing in them.
- Klatchian Coffee:
- Here, Kenny is shown hopped up on caffeine courtesy of Tucker, who apparently has plied him with coffee in order to make an amusing YouTube video.
- When Wheeler comes across an owl with wide-open staring eyes in this comic, he scolds the nocturnal bird for indulging in too much caffeinated coffee.Wheeler: One word, dude... Decaf!
- Wheeler himself runs afoul of the perils of drinking too much espresso here when he flies so intensely fast that he ends up in outer space.
- Lack of Imagination: This strip shows Will and Kenny looking up at the clouds and imagining what object they most resemble. When Will asks Tucker to join in, the schnauzer asks the Siri on his cell phone to guess what the clouds most resemble.Tucker: Siri, what's that cloud look like?
Will: His imagination's been fried.
- Lampshaded the Obscure Reference: In this comic, Tucker makes an in-universe observation that his latest webcomic is exceedingly cryptic — so it must be good.First stick figure comic character: Random obscure pop culture reference.
Second stick figure comic character: Joke only a Redditor would get.
Will: How's your web comic coming?
Tucker: Even I don't get it, so it must be good.
- Last Request: Played with in this strip. Will feigns injury when supposedly hit by an ice cream truck in the street. When the truck driver runs over to check on him, the pitbull makes a "last request" for two Wagon Wheels and a Patriot Pop.
- Leaning on the Fourth Wall:
- A variant occurs here. Will is looking at clouds in the sky, which remain stationary from panel to panel. The last panel shows the pit bull addressing the cartoonists' corner signature, telling them to fix the problem.
- In this comic, Will claims he just had an existential moment. The pit bull points to the sheets of newspaper he's sitting on and says, "I was just about to 'go' on myself." Apparently Will is sitting on the comics page and the paper carries the Dogs of C-Kennel strip.
- This strip shows Will talking to a garter snake. When the pit bull asks what he's doing on the grounds, the snake replies, "The writers just want an excuse to use a bunch of cheap 'no hands' gags... "
- Here, a furry dog newcomer to C Kennel is adopted quickly while longtime denizens Will, Kenny, and Tucker are passed over yet again. Will says he has figured out why some dogs find new homes fast and others don't — the ones toughest for the cartoonist to draw get snapped up first.Will: I see how it is... the ones that are hard to draw get adopted immediately.
- In this strip, Will and a squirrel are seen drinking with each other and laughing. When they realize they're in a strip panel, Will says "Oh crud, we're on" and starts chasing the squirrel.
- Leprechaun: Stereotypical Irish leprechauns are seen in this strip and this one, complete with hat, pipe, rainbow, and pot of gold.
- Let Us Never Speak of This Again: Lampshaded in this strip. What appears to be a multicolored beach ball turns out to be Will, Tucker, and Iggy closely wrapped around each other for warmth. When Kenny informs them that the heat has come back on, they disentagle with Will saying "Let's never speak of this... "
- Lie Detector: Here, Wheeler is seen on a date. The unnamed female bird asks him if he has ever been unfaithful — and distrusts him sufficiently that she hooks Wheeler to a lie detector to answer the question.
- "Lion King" Lift: Tucker exuberantly holds the latest version of Windows up over his head in the same way Rafiki held baby Simba on Pride Rock in The Lion King (1994) in this strip.
- Liquid Courage: Will downs a bottle of booze in order to steel himself for getting his temperature taken in this strip.
- Literal-Minded: Kenny sometimes takes things at face value that are meant metaphorically. When Wheeler tells him he needs to mark his territory to claim Cocoa as his girlfriend here, it's implied Kenny did so by peeing on her.
- Little Known Facts: In this strip, Will tells a bogus version of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer to a naive Kenny. It involves Santa and his reindeer coming down with radiation poisoning from the reindeer's magical nose.
- Lost in Translation:
- Lampshaded in this comic. Will is at the veterinarian's office and tries to tell the doctor that he's got a burdock stuck in his behind. Given that he can't talk to humans, all the vet hears is barking, which he interprets as the pit bull asking for a shot.Veterinarian: What's that, boy? You want a shot?
Will: Something got lost in translation...
- In this strip, Kenny claims to know how to speak cat language. His translation leaves a lot to be desired, though.Kenny: Meorr roew meeooewr [which translates to] I've been awarded the Nobel Prize in Morphology.
- Lampshaded in this comic. Will is at the veterinarian's office and tries to tell the doctor that he's got a burdock stuck in his behind. Given that he can't talk to humans, all the vet hears is barking, which he interprets as the pit bull asking for a shot.
- Lotus Position: In this strip, Oliver shows Will how to meditate in order to calm his angry feelings. The pitbull is shown sitting in the classic lotus position while doing so.
- Loves Me Not: Kenny is seen plucking the petals off a flower here, saying "She loves me. She loves me not... "
- Magic 8-Ball: This comic shows Kenny and Will using a Magic 8 Ball to predict the future. It gives Kenny a snide reply to his question, to which Will opines, "I think the ol' eight ball has become bitter." Kenny uses one again here, asking it if Will is insane.
- Manipulative Editing: A story arc titled "The Real Dogs of C Kennel" shows Tucker filming various sequences involving the kennel dogs which are meant to be realistic, off-the-cuff experiences — except that they're not. Here, Tucker films Cocoa and another female dog discussing political polarization, then tells Cocoa to start over and this time hit the female dog in the head, swear at her, and storm off camera. And here, Tucker tells Kenny to be spontaneous, then gives the husky a script with lines to memorize and asks him to act surprised.
- Matchlight Danger Revelation: Played with here. Will and Kenny are digging in a pitch black tunnel with just their eyes seen. When Kenny says he smells gas, Will says they should find out where it's coming from — so the husky strikes a match, illuminating their faces. The final panel shows the two pooches in the infirmary wrapped in bandages.Will: Just where the @#*!! did you get matches, anyway?
- The Maze: Here, Will shaves a maze into his fur, the better to frustrate and confuse the fleas on his back.
- Meat-O-Vision: Here, Will is so hungry he starts hallucinating that the head of one of the kennel workers is a bowl filled with dog food.
- Michael Jackson's Thriller Parody: The kennel dogs are seen performing a Flashmob dance of the Michael Jackson "Thriller" Video in this strip.
- Mix-and-Match Critters: This strip takes designer breeds to an ultra-extreme level when a critter that's a mix of eagle, giraffe, mastiff, dragon, and poodle shows up in the kennel.
- Motive Misidentification: The kennel dogs see a group of people setting up tents nearby in this comic. Initially, they think the people may be protesting mistreatment by government or business oppressors — but it turns out they're just camped out waiting for the adjacent mall to open.Will: Wow. Are they setting up for a protest movement? Maybe the people have become fed up with the ruling class and government that doesn't represent them...
Tucker: [looking through binoculars] Pre-Christmas blowout sale at Macy's...
Will: ...or to save 3 dollars on a toaster.
Kenny: Occupy the mall!!
- Mouse Trap: Will, being a colossal Jerkass, decides to play a practical joke on Kenny in this strip. The final panel shows his sleeping friend surrounded by a multitude of mousetraps while Will holds an airhorn in his paw.
- Mouthy Bird: Here, Wheeler is shown with his beak scrunched up while he whistles.
- Mrs. Robinson: An extreme case to the point of suggesting pedophilia is seen in this comic titled "Flea Cougars." Here, a female flea is seen carrying a flea larva with her, the implication being that she's attracted to significantly younger men.Unnamed Flea: I know Shirley digs younger guys, but a larva? Really?
- Must Have Caffeine: This comic shows Will having an angry meltdown when he's expected to be funny for that day's strip, looking straight at the reader while doing so. His rant is interrupted with a card employed to cut off his tirade that states "We Are Experiencing Technical Difficulties," claiming his reticence happened because he hasn't had his coffee yet this morning.
- Mysterious Animal Senses: Subverted when Will addresses the idea that dogs can see ghosts (which is why they sometimes bark at nothing) in this comic. Turns out they're just doing it as a tease, or as the pitbull puts it, "But seriously... we just like screwing with ya."
- Nails on a Blackboard: Will gets the other dogs to stop barking by raking his claws across the kennel wall in this comic. It's implied that the sound is really grating, as it makes them grit their teeth and causes their hair to stand on end.
- Nap-Inducing Speak: Here, Will cures his insomnia by having Tucker explain the details of how Minecraft works.
- Narrative Profanity Filter:
- In this comic, Will's swearing is blanked out in his speech balloon by black bars. He says he's deliberately using profanity to keep "the editors on their toes" here.
- Here, Tucker posts his unvarnished opinion about squirrels on Twitter. Two of the words are blocked out with bars, one saying "Censored" and the other "Really Censored."
- National Stereotypes: Kenny and Tucker are shown watching a TV show commemorating "National Celebrate Your Heritage Day" in this comic. The latter (a schnauzer) suddenly claims he has a "hankering for bratwurst," while the former (a Siberian husky) suddenly starts doing That Russian Squat Dance while shouting "Dance with me, comrade!"
- Nature Is Not Nice: In this comic, Tucker gets assaulted by a squirrel, a bee, a skunk, and a lightning bolt the minute he leaves the kennel.
- Neat Freak: Iggy is a Nervous Wreck about several things, one being dirt. In this comic, he's terrified of two muck-covered critters, one being Kenny.
- Nervous Wreck: Iggy is always nervous, frequently about health or safety related issues, as in this comic, though things like lightning and spiders can also invoke fear in him. In this strip, he's even shown to be afraid of Santa Claus!
- Non-Action Guy:
- Tucker, The Smart Guy and Geek of the comic strip, is also the least athletically inclined. It's shown clearly here, when a kennel worker tries to get the schnauzer to play fetch. Clearly, Tucker has no interest in participating in this or anything else that involves physical prowess.Kennel worker: Hey boy! Wanna play fetch?
Tucker: Well, I'm not very good at sports.
Kennel Worker: Come on! Who's a good boy?!
Tucker: Fine... I suppose I'll indulge him... Please let him throw underhand.
- This strip shows Tucker proclaiming himself to be a bad boy and a modern rebel as he dutifully votes "thumbs down" on everyone's YouTube comments.
- Tucker, The Smart Guy and Geek of the comic strip, is also the least athletically inclined. It's shown clearly here, when a kennel worker tries to get the schnauzer to play fetch. Clearly, Tucker has no interest in participating in this or anything else that involves physical prowess.
- Noodle Incident:
- In this strip, Iggy references the time Kenny gave a potential adopter Amoebic Dysentery after petting him.
- Whatever the dogs did together the previous week in this comic caused Kenny to lose all his hair — and it hasn't grown back yet.
- Iggy's fear of spiders in shown in this strip to stem from a bad past experience with a particular arachnid. How it happened is unknown, but Iggy is seen trussed up in spider silk while hanging upside down.
- Kenny's unspecified past encounter with a space heater led to the company adding a warning label saying "Keep away from drapes, furniture and husky fur" in this comic.
- Here, a kennel worker first praises Kenny for being a good dog, then hedges when reaching Will. The pitbull believes the kennel worker's reticence to praise him stems from an earlier, vaguely alluded-to incident between the two of them.Kennel worker: And Will... you're such... a... um... dog.
Will: Still sore about the corduroy pants incident?
- When Will goes off unhinged over the weather being too cold outside in this strip, Kenny references an otherwise undescribed meltdown that has occurred before.Kenny: This is worse than the Great Toe Stubbing of 2011...
- Here, a kennel worker gives Will a bone, calling him a good boy with a following asterisk in the speech balloon. Tucker surmises the qualification stems from "last week's pant leg incident," without further elaboration.
- No Poker Face: The kennel dogs play cards in this comic — and if Kenny's toothy smile is any indication, he has a great hand. It's so obvious that Will Lampshades it, Iggy becomes a Nervous Wreck, and Tucker folds.
- The Nose Knows: Here, Will discusses his extremely acute sense of smell, claining it's an awesome ability to have until he gets a whiff of a person who hasn't showered in a month.
- Nose Nuggets:
- Tucker tries to film Kenny for a video blog here. When the husky asks what he should do, Tucker suggests he do what comes naturally — so Kenny picks his nose.
- Will looks around the kennel to make sure he's alone before picking his nose in this strip, but Cocoa manages to sneak up behind and catch him in the act. She's plenty grossed out by it.
- No-Respect Guy: When Iggy gets invited to play volleyball with the other dogs in this comic, it's revealed that they only invited him because they needed him to serve as the ball.
- Not So Above It All:
- Here, Will and Wheeler disparage the show Beavis And Butthead, at least while Cocoa is within earshot. Once she leaves, they enthusiastically admit the truth — they love the show and plan to DVR that night's episode.
- Cocoa is disgusted here when Kenny brings her a dead bird — at least until he leaves, when she picks it up in her mouth and runs off with it.
- When Kenny and Will try to woo Cocoa and her female friend here, the two distaff canines express repulsion for the beards they've sprouted. Or at least outwardly — turns out they're actually turned on by the new chin whiskers, but don't want to admit it.
- Now That's Using Your Teeth!: In this comic, Wheeler steals Kenny a can of his favorite dog food, but informs the husky he wasn't able to procure a can opener. Turns out that's not a problem — Will opens it for him by biting the top clean off.
- One-Hit Polykill: Played with here when Wheeler and his friend Clyde manage to hit two kennel workers on the head with one stone.
- Our Zombies Are Different: This Halloween strip imagines an alternate scenario where the kennel dogs have become zombies. It's played for laughs, especially when Kenny steals Tucker's front leg bone playing fetch.Tucker: [yelling at Kenny, who holds Tucker's front leg bone in his mouth] Hey, I need that to surf the web!
- Overly Long Scream:
- Tucker does an absurdly long-sustained yell in this strip after a download on his laptop fails at 99%. The scream takes up the top half of all panels of the comic.
- In this comic, Iggy's absurdly long-sustained yell at a spider has apparently overshadowed Dilbert and Hägar the Horrible, the neighboring strips in that day's newspaper.
- Over The Top Christmas Decorations:
- Wheeler's birdhouse is shown festooned to the gills with Christmas lights and ornaments in this comic, to the point of monopolizing an electrical outlet with multiple extension cords. In a later strip, Wheeler has changed his decoration scheme over to a gigantic star attached to his birdhouse roof — something it turns out he stole from the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree.
- Kenny's resident flea population gets into the holiday spirit here, as the husky is covered with Christmas lights, miniature trees, and a tiny angel ornament tree topper.
- Even Kenny himself decides to get seasonally festive, decorating himself here with mistletoe, ornaments, and a star.
- Paper Master: Played with here. When Tucker says he gets his news from Facebook even though he knows half of it is fake, Will whacks the schnauzer with a rolled up newspaper, saying, "Or you could just read this." And here, Will whacks the human kennel worker with a rolled up newspaper when he reads an article saying that we are now in the middle of earth's sixth mass extinction.
- Paper-Thin Disguise: Wheeler's attempt to pass himself off as a rooster here so he can hit on some henhouse chickens consists of head-feathers, tail feathers, and a wattle made of construction paper and taped onto his body. Judging from the disdainful look from the rooster now on duty, it's not very convincing.
- Pardon My Klingon: Wheeler stubs his toe in this strip. He shouts "CHIRRP!" followed by "Pardon my parakeet." Apparently, "CHIRRP!" is profanity for this species, and it's implied that Wheeler is swearing in a foreign language here.
- Parlor Games:
- The Peeping Tom: Wheeler, who is carrying binoculars in this comic, complains that he's considered creepy for using them when human bird watchers are considered normal when doing the same thing.
- Percussive Therapy: In this strip, Will is seen taking out his golfing frustrations on his clubs by bending their shafts around the top of a fence. The pit bull gestures towards the mess and says "Did you see what I did to those clubs? It was awesome!"
- Performance Anxiety: Played with in this comic. Wheeler is seen performing a mating dance to attract a female bird, when he suddenly stops. He then glares at a birdwatcher who is spying on him through binoculars and shouts, "Really, dude? Like I'm not under enough pressure already?"
- Perfumigation: Wheeler’s new cologne is clearly not a hit with avian females, as seen here. He’s shown sitting on a telephone wire in isolation, with other birds crowded near the edges of said wire as far away from him as possible.Wheeler: Okay... So that’s a fail for my new cologne...
- Pet Dress-Up: Iggy is seen in this strip wearing a doggy sweater and a baseball cap with a beanie propeller.
- Pie in the Face: Lacking any other comic strip ideas here, Will decides to toss a pie in Kenny's face for a laugh. The pitbull calls it "going old school."
- The Pig-Pen: Kenny is habitually filthy. Here, he's hidden under a pile of mud, here and here, he's covered in muck, here, he's seen submerged in a muddy swamp covered in gunk, here, he has gone without a bath for so long that he's growing mushrooms on his underbelly, while here, he's so gross that an alligator spits him back out when he tries to eat the husky. And in this strip, he's so filthy that Mike Rose from Dirty Jobs refuses to give him a bath!
- Pinocchio Nose: Wheeler's crest feathers twitch when he lies, giving him away here. His solution is to cut them off with scissors.
- Poisonous Person: Or reindeer, in this case, and played with. In this strip, Will tells a bogus version of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer to a naive Kenny. It involves Santa and his reindeer coming down with radiation poisoning from the reindeer's magical nose.
- Political Overcorrectness:
- Here, two kennel workers argue amongst themselves, one saying the greeting "Merry Christmas" offends him while the other says he finds said kennel worker's offense-taking offensive. Will and Tucker find the whole exchange ridiculous.First kennel worker: You saying Merry Christmas offends me.
Second kennel worker: You not saying Merry Christmas offends me!
Will: [holding a cup of hot eggnog] Humans... they do this crap every year.
Tucker: [also holding a cup of hot eggnog] I need stronger nog...
- In this strip, Will and Cocoa are building what they eventually call "snow beings" after the latter objects to the terms "snowman" and "snow 'person'."
- Here, two kennel workers argue amongst themselves, one saying the greeting "Merry Christmas" offends him while the other says he finds said kennel worker's offense-taking offensive. Will and Tucker find the whole exchange ridiculous.
- Polly Wants a Microphone: Inverted in this comic, when Wheeler meets an attractive parrot. It can only say "Polly want a cracker?" and appears to be very dimwitted. Wheeler is actually impressed by this!
- Pop-Cultural Osmosis Failure:
- Here, Kenny says he's never heard of Bugs Bunny, much to Will's chagrin. The issue appears to result from a significant age difference between the two dogs.Kenny: What?! All I said was that I've never heard of Bugs Bunny...
Will: You make me feel so old!
- Here, a pair of Millennial humans are gushing about George Takei — except they know him as a famous Facebook guy, not from being on Star Trek. Will is not amused when he overhears this.
- In this strip, Will writes graffiti on the kennel wall saying "Brooks was here. So was Will," a reference to The Shawshank Redemption. Kenny is too young to understand the allusion and asks if that's from Orange Is the New Black. Will exasperatedly shouts that's he's really getting old when he hears this.
- Here, Kenny says he's never heard of Bugs Bunny, much to Will's chagrin. The issue appears to result from a significant age difference between the two dogs.
- The Prankster: Will loves playing practical jokes on his fellow pound mates. Examples include painting Kenny's fur black while he's asleep in this comic, surrounding a sleeping Kenny with mousetraps while about to blow an air horn to awaken him in this strip, doodling all over a sleeping Iggy in magic marker here, and super-gluing the keys of Tucker's laptop together in this comic.
- Product Placement: Kenny is shown offering a can of Pepsi to a cat he wants to befriend in this strip.
- Punishment Box: In a story arc from late 2010, Will is put in solitary confinement after egging the kennel owner's car, beginning with this strip. Ironically, he's happy to be away from his kennel mates at first, but eventually starts to Go Mad from the Isolation.
- Puppy-Dog Eyes:
- In this comic, a kennel worker is shown teaching the dogs how to utilize sad, soulful eyes and ultra-cute expressions to get adopted more easily.
- Kenny uses huge, shining, soulful eyes to try and get adopted in this comic and this one, while Tucker does the same in this strip. Even Will gets into the act here.
- On another occasion, Kenny whimpers and uses sad, soulful eyes to coax a date from Cocoa in this strip. Believe it or not, it works!
- Subverted here. Will gives two treed squirrels an intensely soulful look, but says he's trying to "kill them with kindness." Literally, it would seem.
- Ratings Stunt: Will and Tucker are watching the news on TV here, when the weatherman announces he will be doing his forecast while wearing a storm trooper outfit and wrestling a Kodiak bear. Will asks if it's sweeps month already.
- Rhyming List: Kenny describes his shedding in this strip using a Dr. Seuss Green Eggs and Ham singsong list manner that rhymes.Kenny: I will shed in a box.
I will shed with a fox.
I will shed in a tree.
I will even shed in your coffee.
I'll shed here.
I'll shed there.
I'll shed everywhere!
- A variant of this classic hand game is shown here, in which Will adds an element where he points to his fangs, thereby winning in every case.Unnamed Dog: I hate rock, paper, pit bull.
- Kenny and Will are seen playing this game here in best Calvinball fashion by using real rocks, paper, and scissors — not to mention an M-80 firecracker, which beats everything else (and leaves the two pooches covered in Ash Face).
- A variant of this classic hand game is shown here, in which Will adds an element where he points to his fangs, thereby winning in every case.
- Roses Are Red, Violets Are Blue...: Played with when Kenny tries to woo Cocoa on Valentine's Day here by writing her a love poem. While it begins "Roses are red, violets are blue," it veers off the rails immediately after.
- Running into the Window: In this strip, it's implied that Wheeler (a bird) just crashed face-first into a window while flying.
- Sarcasm-Blind: Kenny and Iggy both seem oblivious to sarcasm, though in Kenny's case it's because of his stupidity, while Iggy's is more because of his hypochondria.
- Scatterbrained Senior: The unnamed elderly dog in this comic has memory problems that are probably the result of some sort of age-induced dementia. He's talking with Kenny, who has a similar issue which likely is caused by his having Attention Deficit Disorder.Kenny: I hate having A.D.D.
Old dog: It's like getting old.
Kenny: What were we just talking about?
Old Dog: Beats me...
- Sdrawkcab Speech: Played with here. When Kenny looks at himself in the mirror, he barks at his image with the sounds given as "Bark Bark Bark." His reflection replies with "Krab Krab Krab!"
- Secret Room: A comic variant is seen here. Kenny relaxes and enjoys the good life in a palatial room, complete with fireplace. Turns out it's hidden under a huge mound of fallen autumn leaves.
- Secret Underground Passage: The dogs are seen digging a clandestine escape tunnel from the kennel on several occasions, such as in this strip.
- Selfie Fiend: Implied in this strip, where a butterfly is seen taking numerous pictures of itself with a cell phone. Will's reaction is to say, "I liked you better as a caterpillar."
- Two of Kenny's fleas re-enact the ending scene from Titanic (1997) in this comic, with a drowning flea named Jack bidding a tearful goodbye to his sweetheart Rose, the latter seen floating on a leaf. Turns out the husky is being given a bath.
- This strip serves as a tribute to the classic "Seven Dirty Words" comedy routine made famous by then-recently deceased George Carlin.
- This strip contains a reference to Peanuts. Wheeler, who watches Will and Kenny bark at each other and snicker while ignoring him, says that Woodstock would never have had to put up with this. It happens again here, when Will grabs Wheeler in his mouth saying his prey instinct just kicked in.
- In this comic, Kenny scares off a squirrel by tunneling through fallen leaves like the shark from Jaws. He even sings "Da Dum, Da Dum" and raises his upper jaw filled with teeth above the surface of the leaf pile to make the connection crystal clear.
- Harvey Dent, a Batman villain also known as Two-Face, is referenced here. Iggy is afraid of both water and filth, and decides to flip a coin to choose how to proceed. Will refers to him as "The Harvey Dent of cowardice." Another comic suggests that Tucker was duped into investing $4000 in the fictional Wayne Enterprises.
- Here, Tucker is decked out like a member of the Ghostbusters team.
- Cocoa is seen reading a book titled 50 Shades of Greyhound here, a spoof of Fifty Shades of Grey. It must be equally racy, as her eyes are wide with astonishment.
- Here, Will mixes references to Thanksgiving and Star Trek, dressed like a character from the latter (saying "We shall boldly go where no pilgrim has ever gone before") while pretending he's on the Mayflower.
- The short-lived sitcom $#!+ My Dad Says is parodied in an arc beginning with this strip as $#*! My Pit Bull Says. Also counts as an example of Symbol Swearing.
- This strip references the movie Life of Pi. As he's being given a bath, Kenny daydreams that he is forced to crawl into a small lifeboat — while having to share it with a 500-pound Bengal tiger.
- The dogs are seen doing the Harlem Shake in this strip.
- In this comic, Will creates a work of visual art portraying a canine flanked by windmills, which he titles Dog Quixote. It's a nod to the classic novel Don Quixote, which features a famous scene where the title character charges a windmill.
- The kennel dogs are seen reading the classic children's book Go Dog Go by P.D. Eastman here. Even Tucker, who is usually engrossed in technology, opts to participate.
- Here, Tucker's cell phone becomes a miniature Transformer, morphing into a tiny robotic life form that shouts "Freeze, Autobot scum!"
- Kenny and an unnamed rival kennel dog are seen in this comic settling a turf dispute by playing Rock 'Em Sock 'Em Robots.
- Here, Tucker is seen playing Candy Crush Saga to the point of addiction.
- Will and Tucker are seen watching American Horror Story followed by SpongeBob SquarePants as a closing diversion in this comic.
- Both Doctor Who and Superman are referenced in this strip, when Tucker and Will encounter a telephone booth.
- This comic shows Will about to go out and play a round of golf. His golf bag is full of dynamite, echoing Caddyshack.
- Will creates a remix of filmed snippets of Tucker, setting the montage to "The Safety Dance" by Men Without Hats and posting it online here.
- This strip alludes to the movie Fight Club. Will's first line paraphrases its most notable snippet of dialogue by saying "First rule of Bite Club: don't talk about Bite Club."
- Here, Tucker is seen building a snow version of the USS Enterprise from Star Trek.
- The iconic "Life is like a box of chocolates — you never know what you're going to get" line from Forrest Gump gets quoted here. When Will continues the quote, he says, "Well... in your case, probably extremely ill," to Kenny.
- This Halloween party comic shows all the kennel dogs dressed up like Olaf, the snowman in Frozen. When Tucker complains that everyone else stole his costume idea, Will tells him to "Let it go."
- Will is seen making creepy snowmen here in similar fashion to Calvin from Calvin and Hobbes. One has a giant scorpion gripping its side, while the other has a creature popping out of its stomach like a character in the film Alien. Lampshaded by Tucker as well.Tucker: Calvin, meet your match...
- In this comic, Kenny exuberantly describes his shedding in the singsong Rhyming List manner of Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss.Kenny: I will shed in a box.
I will shed with a fox.
I will shed in a tree.
I will even shed in your coffee.
I'll shed here.
I'll shed there.
I'll shed everywhere!
- Here, Kenny misunderstands what to do with the stick he just caught playing fetch, treating it like a wand to cast a Patronius Charm in best Harry Potter fashion. He continues to try and cast spells in the following strip, managing to turn Tucker into a large bird in the process.
- Tucker is seen singing and dancing to "Watch Me (Whip/Nae Nae)" by Silento in this comic.
- It turns out the kennel dogs don't know any Christmas carols in this strip, so they sing "Don't Stop Believin'" by Journey instead.
- Kenny sings the opening line from "Do You Want to Build a Snowman" from Frozen to Will in this comic. The pitbull does not take the suggestion well.
- Here, Will dumps food out of three different-sized doggy bowls and wears them on his head in the manner of a Devo pyramid helmet, singing "Whip It" while doing so.
- Frosty the Snowman is alluded to here when the dogs place a hat on a snowman they've constructed. It doesn't actually come to life, but Will's imagined version is more like a snow Godzilla.
- Here, there's a reference to an iconic line from the movie Airplane!.Will: I picked a heck of a week to quit drinking.
- In this comic, Kenny channels Gollum from Lord of the Rings by saying "Where... Is... It? My... My... Precious!" when trying to locate his favorite tennis ball toy.
- After reading the comic strip Beetle Bailey here, Will kicks Kenny in the same manner that Sarge kicks Beetle, saying he likes Sarge's style.
- When Wheeler sees a bat hanging from a tree here, the bird says "I'm a Team Jacob guy," a reference to The Twilight Saga.
- Here, Will and Wheeler get referred to as "the bargain bin version of Snoopy and Woodstock" from Peanuts.
- In this comic, Will shouts "We are Sparta" while he, Kenny, and Iggy hold frisbees in front of them like shields. It's an allusion to 300.
- This strip contains an allusion to Lost. While tunneling, Will opens a hatch door he encounters, then enters a small room featuring a large Dharma logo on the back wall.
- In this strip, an airborne Wheeler crashes into a flying goose and plummets into a river. When the bird sees Will, he tells the pitbull he just re-enacted the "Miracle on the Hudson."
- Side Effects Include...:
- Played with here. Tucker gives Iggy a home-brewed anti-anxiety medicine but isn't sure if it has any strange side effects or not and asks Will to keep an eye out for anything unusual. Immediately afterwards, Iggy is seen shooting his tongue out like a lizard to catch a fly.
- In this strip, the kennel dogs are watching a television commercial for a prescription medication that has a long list of increasingly improbable side effects.TV Announcer: Ask your doctor if it's right for you. May cause blurred vision, stiff neck, fever, blindness, cirrhosis of the liver, stomach reversal, nerve nodules, skull rot, spontaneous combustion...
- Slasher Smile: In this strip and this one, Will's dagger-toothed grin goes beyond The Unsmile level into something genuinely menacing and creepy.Tucker: But when you smile, it makes me fear for my life...
- The Smart Guy: Tucker is by far the most bookishly intelligent of the main characters, a geeky technophile who spends lots of time online and has a multi-varied knowledge base.
- Sneeze of Doom: Will sneezes so hard that he blows his nose clean off in this comic.
- Snowball Fight: The male dogs at the kennel engage in an all-out snowball fight in this comic.
- Something That Begins with "Boring": Here, Will and Kenny clearly have nothing else to do except play "I Spy" — but the game is unbelievably dull because they're color blind.Kenny: I spy with my little eye, something... gray!
Will: Let's see, those trees, the road, that sign, those cars...
Will: This game sucks when you're color blind.
- Spammer: In this comic, a frustrated kennel worker gets his phone so inundated with spam messages that he decides to use it as a frisbee while playing with Kenny.
- Sphere Eyes: All the characters have round, bulging eyes with little black dots for pupils. The eyeballs normally are seen touching each other also.
- Spiders Are Scary: Implied in this strip, when a spider is about to drop on an unsuspecting Iggy. Will borrows Tucker's camera, poised to record the impending hilarity for YouTube. And in this comic, Iggy is shown to be so frightened of arachnids that he surrounds his dog bed with a ring of gasoline and sets it ablaze to ward them off.
- Spike Shooter: In this comic, a porcupine is shown shooting its quills at Will in sniper fashion.
- Spoon Bending: When Will hears on the news that an animal's sixth sense can be attributed to psychic ability or ESP in this strip, he decides to test this by trying to bend a spoon.
- Spraying Drink from Nose: Here, Iggy is seen spraying milk from his nose after he laughs.
- Static Electricity: Here, Will vigorously rubs Kenny's fur and then approaches Tucker, touching the schnauzer on the nose and giving him an electrical shock. Tucker's fur is left frazzled, while Will manages to knock himself off his feet.Tucker: I see we are one step closer to solving the energy crisis.
- Stick-Figure Comic: Played with here, when Kenny is shown having drawn his kennel friends in rudimentary fashion on the inside wall of the enclosure.Kenny: My stick figure family.
- Stink Snub: In this comic, Kenny’s doggy odor is so repulsive that he disgusts nearby humans and other canines and causes birds to fall stunned from the sky. And in this strip, he reeks so badly that Will hangs up a dirty sock — as an air freshening alternative!
- The Stoic:
- Here, Will is depicted as having the same aloof expression regardless of emotion (Bored, Excited, Inquisitive, Angry, Happy, Happy to Be Angry) — at least until the caption says "Grey's Anatomy Marathon," when the pit bull suddenly becomes wide-eyed. Played with here when it appears the pitbull is unfazed when he hears Wheeler blow a dog whistle — but his frizzed-out tail gives him away.
- In this strip, dog and cat reactions to various emotional states are depicted. All the dog category pictures show lots of varied and demonstrative reactions from Kenny, while the feline side shows the same staid and blank expression on the cat's face regardless of category.
- Stripperiffic: Wheeler steals a Halloween Ladies Police Officer costume for Cocoa to wear, but it apparently only consists of lingerie, a hat, and handcuffs. Seen here.
- Stuck in the Doorway: Wheeler has apparently put on sufficient weight that he's seen wedged into his birdhouse opening in this strip.
- Subbing for Santa: Here, a present is seen in front of each kennel dog's cage door. Will is seen winking in the next panel, implying that he's actually responsible for the anonymously placed gifts instead of Santa.
- Sugar Causes Hyperactivity: The naively child-like husky Kenny is seen in a hyperactive sugar-rush state after eating a bag of candy corn in this comic. It's also implied that Kenny got buzzed on sugar from eating 350 Pixy Stix here. And in this strip, Kenny has been rolling for five minutes straight after consuming something sweet, with no signs of stopping.
- Super-Breath: Inverted here in a Shout-Out to The Three Little Pigs. Will is talking to a pack of visiting wolves who are bragging about their ability to "huff and puff." Turns out they're extremely ineffective, believing that eating garlic knots will turn their puny exhales into a potent weapon.
- Super Serum: The dog in this comic has apparently turned to using performance enhancing drugs to improve his fetching skills — to the point where he's seen holding a large uprooted tree in his mouth!
- Symbol Swearing: Seen several times in this comic strip, with one example happening here. In this case, swearing is part of Kenny's updated image to try and impress Cocoa. Another occurrence involves Will here, when he gets his paw caught in a Mouse Trap. It happens again here, where Will exasperatedly asks where Albuquerque is. Sustained examples happen here, where Will's copious symbol cursing indicates to Tucker just how cold it is outdoors; here, when it's suggested Will's potty mouth was inspired by watching Hell's Kitchen; here, where Kenny and Will speak while only using lines from The Usual Suspects; and here, where it's revealed that Sesame Street was just transferred to HBO.
- Take That!:
- Jersey Shore:
- In this comic, graffiti-spraying vandal Will is told by a kennel worker that he'll be punished by being put in solitary confinement. The pit bull scoffs until the man adds that Will will also be forced to watch a Jersey Shore TV marathon while incarcerated. Will screams loudly when he hears this.
- This strip lampoons the series. Tucker is watching what Will thinks may be The Walking Dead, but it turns out to be Jersey Shore instead.Tucker: This show is utterly frightening... look what's happened to these people! They've been reduced to staggering down the street... mumbling incoherently.
- Barney & Friends is skewered here when Will uses a boombox playing music from the show to drive squirrels out of a tree.
- A pair of disparaging allusions appears here, mentioning Keeping Up with the Kardashians and Here Comes Honey Boo Boo. Cecil says he wants to be famous one day, to which Tucker advises he study hard and maintain a good work ethic. But when they watch a TV program that references these two shows, Will suggests he consider a frontal lobotomy instead.
- Here, Tucker decides to pass on his Facebook Wall when he sees it's dominated by Miley Cyrus. He's sufficiently turned off by this that he atypically chooses to read a book instead.
- Will is shown watching an action-packed remake of Mary Poppins done by George Lucas here. One in 3-D. With digitally remastered C.G. penguins. With chimney sweeps being blasted by lasers. The pit bull's reaction is to say, "Please — someone stop George Lucas!"
- This strip disparagingly references Kanye West and Kim Kardashian. Kenny tries to impress Cocoa by comparing themselves to the aforementioned couple, saying they'll make "terrible music together." There's a later disparaging mention of Kim Kardashian here, when Will tells Tucker he feels the flies he has been watching mate are more important to the future of humanity than anything she might have done. Played with when Will turns on the TV here — the network news that day is so bad that he says he actually misses Kardashian.
- In this comic, Will tries to interrupt Tucker when the latter is on his laptop. Tucker tries to wave him off, saying he's busy taking "an important personality test." Turns out it's "What Disney Princess Are You?" with the implication that this is anything but "important."
- Airlines get skewered in this comic for their money-grubbing, overcharging behavior. Will pretends he's running an airline called "Pit Bull Air" (which is just a cardboard box) and decides to tack on a fee when Kenny expresses nominal amounts of passenger comfort.Will: [pretending he's a flight attendant] Excuse me sir. Are you able to move your legs?
Kenny: A tiny bit... I can wiggle my toes a little.
Will: You will be billed an extra hundred bucks. [beat] What? I'm going for realism here.
- When Will catches a thrown football in this comic, he manages to deflate it in the process. His line "Here come the Tom Brady jokes" disparagingly references this American football quarterback's suspension for letting air out of game footballs, known at the time as "Deflategate."
- When Will asks a bored Kenny and twitchy Iggy the question "Anyone ever wonder what happened to Paris Hilton," neither of his friends change expression. Clearly, neither dog could care less.
- Here, Will punches a snowman that resembles Olaf from Frozen in the face. He then says, "Admit it. You found that satisfying" while looking out at the reader.
- Disney gets lampooned for its relentless takeover behavior here, when Will says the corporation wants to privatize air traffic safety. He's looking at an airport control tower topped with Mickey Mouse ears at the time.
- Jersey Shore:
- Talking Animal: All the characters are Nearly Normal Animals who are able to speak to each other, same species or not, but not to humans.
- Teacher's Pet: Invoked here when Wheeler disparages the smug first robin of spring. He compares his rival to a schoolboy toady.Wheeler: Nature's equivalent of the kid that always brought an apple for the teacher...
- Terrified of Germs: Iggy fits this trope to a T. He's a hypochondriac who imagines he has all kinds of conditions, such as brain hemorrhages (as in this strip), as well as being paranoid about contracting disease-causing microbes (as in this comic, where it's implied he thinks he has caught Ebola). In yet another strip, he is seen sterilizing his water dish after Kenny drank from it — with a flame thrower!
- Tertiary Sexual Characteristics:
- Themed Stock Board Game: The kennel dogs are seen playing a fictional version of Monopoly in this comic. It's apparently tailored to mirror the financial issues of the then-current Great Recession.Tucker: I'll sell you my mortgages on Park Place, bundled with Pennsylvania Avenue as a mortgage-backed security — then I'll package that as a C.D.O. structured asset backed security.
Unidentified Kennel Dog: Oh no... I'm bankrupt! Bailout!
Kenny: Whatcha playin'?
Tucker: Monopoly 2009 Edition.
- Theremin: Will is seen playing a theremin in this comic. He says he finds it less cliched than a harmonica.
- Thermometer Gag: It's strongly implied in this strip that Will got his temperature taken rectally off screen — and much to his surprise.
- They Changed It, Now It Sucks!: Suggested in-universe here. Will and Kenny are watching a supposedly updated version of Lassie, titled Lassie in the New Millennium. The dogs do not approve of the changes made in the show involving Apple Maps.Unidentified Person: What is it, girl? Timmy fell in a well? You say Timmy shouldn't have used Apple Maps?
Will: It's just not the same.
- Thieving Magpie: It's unclear what kind of bird Wheeler is, but he is seen stealing items for his dog friends at the kennel on several occasions. In this strip, he filches beer and sausages for them on New Years Day, as well as stealing a Christmas tree from Charlie Brown here and office supplies from Alice and Dilbert here — not to mention a microwave oven here.
- Toilet-Drinking Dog Gag:
- Played with when Kenny is grossed out seeing a dog drinking from an open fire hydrant in this strip.
- Here, the kennel dogs are depicted as being at a party with beverage cups in their paws. Apparently, their "punch bowl" is a toilet, as a pooch is seen pouring a bottle of booze into the toilet tank with a mischievous grin. The comic caption reads: "Bowser kicks the party up a notch by spiking the punch."
- Toilet Humor:
- Here, Iggy and Will are trying to find out where an infestation of mice is coming from. The chihuahua suggests they follow a trail of "bread crumbs" the mice are leaving behind as they go. Will takes one look at them and informs Iggy that they're not bread crumbs.
- It's implied that Will and Kenny decide to break out of their routine by relieving themselves inside the kennel in this strip.
- In this comic, Wheeler says he can fly like a plane does but without the carbon emissions — almost, anyway. Will finds the poop gag nature of the comment off-putting.Wheeler: Yeah, yeah... I can do that with zero carbon emissions. Well... almost zero.
- Toilet Paper Prank: The kennel dogs are seen covered with toilet paper here. Will complains that he's being unfairly singled out for the prank — even though there's a roll of the stuff sitting right behind him!
- Too Dumb to Live: Here, Kenny asks Will why squirrels are so smart. The pitbull replies that the dumb ones get squashed in the street by cars — and while Will explains this, the sound of a stupid squirrel getting run over comes through the kennel window.
- Took a Level in Badass: Cocoa's rejections of Kenny's amorous advances are usually verbal — polite, yet firm. Here however, the female beagle gets out a pellet gun and shoots the little floating red hearts surrounding the hopeful husky, pointedly emphasizing her disinterest when he starts speaking to her.
- Toothy Bird: In the second panel of this comic, Wheeler is shown gritting his teeth in pain when he gets a stomach cramp.
- Tracking Device: Wheeler's latest girlfriend is sufficiently insecure that she insists he wear a tracking collar in this strip.
- Tradesnark™: Will is seen having trademarked standard dog utterances in this comic such as "Bark," "Woof," and "Arf." The words appear in his speech balloon with the letter "R" in a circle following them.
- Trrrilling Rrrs: Here, Oliver the Great informs Kenny that the proper way to say his name involves rolling the "r's." He instantly regrets it, as the husky slobbers all over him trying to use the pronunciation.
- True Art Is Incomprehensible: Tucker's latest webcomic entry here contains such obscure references in universe that he believes he has produced a successful installment this time.Tucker: Even I don't get it, so it must be good.
- Turn the Other Cheek: Inverted here. Will gives two treed squirrels an intense Puppy-Dog Eyes look, but says he's trying to "kill them with kindness." Literally, it would seem.
- Uncatty Resemblance: Played with here, when Will says he'd love to have the opportunity to resemble anyone who wants to adopt him from the kennel — except for the guy in the audience with a unibrow.
- Under the Mistletoe:
- Here, Kenny fashions a piece of headgear that dangles a sprig of mistletoe in front of his face. His hope is to coax Cocoa to stand under it so the husky can kiss her.
- In this strip, an arrow with mistletoe trailing beneath flies through the air and embeds itself in the kennel wall above Cocoa. It's a stealth ploy from Kenny to land a kiss on the female beagle from behind — and he's successful.Kenny: The smooch ninja strikes again...
- The Unintelligible: Occurs with Wheeler in this comic, where the bird is seen speaking gibberish. Will chalks it up to a springtime-induced circumstance.Wheeler: Florbity florbity flib flib frorbit.
- The Unsmile: Will flashes a creepy lopsided toothy grin in this strip.
- Unusual Euphemism: The epithet "Holy monkey!" is used in a few strips, such as this one, said by Will when Kenny bites his tail, and this one, said by Wheeler when he runs afoul of spinning wind turbines.
- Vicious Vac: Played with in this strip. Tucker frightens his kennel mates with a Ghost Story (complete with flashlight shining under his face) about a vacuum cleaner, calling it a "one eyed demon."
- Water Hose Rodeo: Will is seen being gleefully tossed about by a gushing pressure washer hose in this strip.
- We Are Experiencing Technical Difficulties: This comic shows Will having an angry meltdown when he's expected to be funny for that day's comic strip. His rant is interrupted with a card Lampshading this trope, employed to cut off his tirade.TV Card: We are experiencing technical difficulties. We'll return when Will has had his coffee.
- What Could Possibly Go Wrong?: Will says this line word for word in this comic. The panel shows him about to launch Kenny on a catapult, the latter wearing an army helmet and pointing skyward.
- What Is This, X?: In this strip, the multitudinous dogs all bid each other good night before going to sleep. When one of the dogs says this to Will, his reaction is to sardonically shout "What is this? The freakin' Waltons!?"
- What Measure Is a Non-Cute?: When Charlie the labradoodle gets adopted in this comic, Will speculates it's because he has a cute breed name. The pitbull then places a sign in front of his enclose, calling himself a "pitboobly" in order to attract a new owner.
- Wheel of Decisions: In this comic, Will and Kenny consult a wheel to spin to make a decision on whether to eat a piece of roadkill. It turns out all the choices involve the answer "Yes" or synonyms/translations for the word.
- When I Was Your Age...: Oliver (who is apparently older than Will and Kenny) tells his kennel-mates that he had an unbelievably tough time of it growing up in this comic — even when he was playing.Oliver: When I was a pup, I played fetch in two feet of snow... uphill... both ways.
- Who Would Want to Watch Us?: Tucker decides to document the kennel residents doings on his cell phone in this strip, claiming that people will want to watch this. Will asks why anyone would be interested in doing so — following which, the two dogs do an Eye Take at the reader.
- Wine Is Classy: Here, Kenny is depicted as a snobby wine connoisseur, going hand in hand with his purebred husky status.
- A Wolf in Sheep's Clothing: In this strip, a wolf is shown covered in fleece and eyeing a sheep.
- Worth It: When Will decides to scare a kennel worker with a bark in this strip, he strives for maximum effect by amplifying his bark with a bullhorn. He even says "Totally worth it" after doing so.
- Writing Lines: Iggy is seen writing "If you're a hypochondriac, stay off Web M.D." on a blackboard several times in this comic. It's implied he's doing so because he thought he had caught Ebola and scared his friends in the process.
- Wrong Turn at Albuquerque: Will, who is digging a tunnel in this strip, comes face to face with Bugs Bunny who is burrowing in the opposite direction. Given the pit bull's reaction, Bugs must have cited one of his signature catchphrases when they met.Will: Where the @#$%!* is Albuquerque?
- Xanatos Gambit: Here, Will looks at a piece of roadkill Wheeler just brought him, asking Kenny if he should eat it or not by consulting a Wheel of Decisions that has several options on it. A closer look reveals that all of the choices involve the answer "Yes" or synonyms/translations for the word.
- X-Ray Sparks:
- Tucker’s attempt to make his wireless router more powerful backfires here. It has become so supercharged that the dog’s skeleton is visible underneath his skin.
- In this comic, Tucker gets assaulted by a squirrel, a bee, a skunk, and a lightning bolt the minute he leaves the kennel. This last jolts the schnauzer so strongly that his skeleton is visible beneath his skin.
- Yet Another Christmas Carol: A holiday season story arc shows Will being visited by three ghosts in the manner of A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens, starting with this strip.
- You Need a Breath Mint: Kenny's breath is horrifically bad at times. In this strip, he repels a potential adopting human once they smell his breath — according to Will, Kenny just ate a skunk. In this comic, Kenny's breath is so awful that he leaves Will's fur bristled on end after simply speaking to the husky. And here, a passing vulture mistakes Kenny’s halitosis for carrion.