Mother Goose and Grimm is a comic strip begun in 1984 by Mike Peters. The strip centralizes on its title characters: an anthropomorphic goose named Mother Goose, and her dog, Grimm. Except when it chooses to be a one-shot, gag-a-day strip in the vein of The Far Side. Other main characters include Atilla the Cat and Ralph the Boston Terrier.
The comic strip takes place in a world filled with funny animals. At the start of the series, Grimmy and Attila were noticeably less anthropomorphic than they are now, and communicated through thought bubbles as opposed to the speech bubbles they use now.
CBS had an animated series based on the comic back in 1991 as part of its Saturday morning line-up. While it did a great job preserving the style and character personalities, it was criticized for having such weak humor and mediocre direction. The show, like many other Saturday morning shows, only lasted 13 episodes and now only lives on as a faded memory.
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- Anthropomorphic Shift: Grimmy and Atilla started out noticeably less humanoid than they are now. One of the most notable changes is that they now speak normally instead of via thought bubbles á la Garfield.
- Art Evolution: The art was much more lumpy and scratchy in the first years. Sometime around 1988, it was streamlined, and the art has stayed the same since.
- Artistic License Linguistics: The March 14, 2022 strip◊ has Mother Goose pull out a Wordle chart when the doctor asked for a chart. Those who play Wordle will notice she pulled out number 243, which was revealed to be "shake". Guesses 4 and 5 have the right letters in spots 1 and 3, but two letters in the wrong spots for spots 2 and 5. No word exists that could fit these guesses.
- "Basic Instinct" Legs-Crossing Parody: The April 22, 2011 strip parodied the leg-crossing scene, with Dick Tracy interrogating Mary Worth, then begging her to stop sitting like that.
- Biting-the-Hand Humor: There's a string of strips in summer 2008 where Grimm and his friend Ralph receive some letters from their newspaper syndicate and discuss them. Ralph even mentions Sherman's Lagoon (another comic strip distributed by the syndicate) at one point in the arc.
- Butt Sticker: A very large friend of Mother Goose's visits and is disappointed not to see Grimm, and is told that she even sat in his favorite chair. As she stands, we see Grimm embedded in her.
- Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: Ham the pig, who was portrayed as Goose's roommate, has been long gone from the strip. Sumo the Cat seemed to have disappeared as well until a December 2011 story arc.
- Atilla seems to be on his way to this as well, with the introduction of Ralph.
- Clapper Gag: A 2003 strip had an elderly Aladdin attempt to get the genie to come out of his lamp by clapping his hands.◊
- Cone of Shame: Worn by Grimmy briefly.
- Drench Celebration: In this◊ strip, Grimm and Attila do this to Mother Goose, after she was able to finish her crossword puzzles in record time.
- Elvish Presley: One Sunday Strip has Santa Claus on the telephone, multiple Elvises behind him. Caption: "No, I said send me fifty elves."
- Express Lane Limit: One strip had Mother Goose at a "10 items or less" line. The cashier asks Mother Goose to move to a different lane, claiming she has a bag of 10 apples, a carton of 12 eggs, a bunch of 39 grapes, and a box of 1500 Cheerios. She decides just to buy a quart of milk... but the cashier says there are 32 ounces in the quart.
- Face on a Milk Carton: There was one of Amelia Earhart...
- Fat and Skinny: Sumo and Atilla, respectively.
- Funny Animal: Mother Goose, which is strange (see Furry Confusion below).
- Furry Confusion: Grimm and Atilla look like a normal dog and cat, while Mother Goose is far more humanoid. However, Grimm and Atilla act no less human than Goose.
- Ill-Fated Flowerbed: No flowerbed nor garden is safe when Grimmy is around.
- Mayan Doomsday: One story arc talks about Ralph's Mayan girlfriend who panics about the supposed "end of the world" and wants him to make a bucket list of what to do before the world ends. This arc, of course, ran◊ for◊ five◊ whole◊ days◊ on the week of November 27, 2012. The aftermath did not occur until December 30◊, the day before New Year's Eve, and only nine days after the supposed "Mayan Doomsday".
- Meet My Good Friends "Lefty" and "Righty": The strip for May 19th, 2012◊. The Cat in the Hat and The Grinch are in a bar. The Cat in the Hat holds up his fists in a threatening manner and says "Oh yeah? You want to meet Thing 1 and Thing 2?"
- Murder by Cremation: This◊ strip had Grimm's Too Dumb to Live friend, Ralph the Boston Terrier, giving a testimony of the death of a possum who had apparently died, so they cremated him and placed his ashes in an urn. However, the possum's wife shows up, demanding to know where her husband is. When Ralph explains to her what happened, the female possum becomes angry, saying that her husband did not die, but was actually playing possum, like all possums are wont to do, then starts ranting that her husband is dead and questions about what she'll do now.
- Name and Name
- Never Trust a Hair Tonic: The cartoon has a hair tonic which could grow hair on billiard balls, as advertised...but it can't grow hair on anything else.
- Non-Mammal Mammaries: Averted with Mz. Goose. Also played with in one strip where Ham asks Goose why she has a bikini top. She actually straps it over her eyes at night to keep the light out.
- Obsessive-Compulsive Barkeeping: The strip for November 16, 2012◊. Grimm is at a bar where the bartender is cleaning a glass with a cloth.
- Print Long-Runners: 25 years in 2009.
- Pun: Whether verbal or visual, one of the strip's specialties.
- Redundant Parody: More than once.
- One had a man watching TV with a woman behind him looking shocked, and the caption, "Scully discovers the XXX Files." Which wasn't actually funny if you had any knowledge of The X-Files, since it was well-established that Mulder really did stash porn all over the office, and that Scully was perfectly aware of it and didn't care.
- Another strip had Edward Scissorhands constantly losing at RockPaperScissors...which is, in fact, already used as a Running Gag in the movie.
- Running Gag: Grimm getting kicked out the house by Mother Goose.
- Grimm being forced by Mother Goose to go to obedience school, one of the things he hates the most.
- To Garfield
Grimmy: What are you watching?Mother Goose: A history channel show about presidents.Grimmy: When did he grow that ugly beard? Did they serve lasagna at his inauguration? Was Odie his vice president?Mother Goose: Grimm, president Garfield and the cat are two different people.
- There's one in a strip during a 2004 story arc where Grimm goes to a veterinarian. While the vet was talking to Mother Goose, he briefly morphs into Garfield but still wears the doctor clothes, prompting Grimm to cry out, "NURSE!"
- Another version:
- In the strip for September 6th 2013◊, there's a Siamese cat and Grimm is looking for "the other one", a reference to Disney's Lady and the Tramp which featured a pair of sly and nasty Siamese cats.
- It could also be interpreted as a reference to Siamese twins.
- To Garfield
- Snowlems: In this panel◊, Grimmy learns to fear the retribution of Frosty, the Yellow Snowman.
- Species Surname: Mother Goose is referred to as "Mz. Goose" by others.
- Sphere Eyes: The main characters.
- Take That!: In one June 2006 strip, Grimm is told by Ralph that a commercial for the Tim Allen remake of The Shaggy Dog is on TV and was then asked if he'd like to go see it. Grimm then declines, stating that "Tim Allen is no shaggy dog."
- Talking Animal: Entire cast at some point. Grimm and Atilla used to speak via Thought Bubble Speech but since the early 1990s they speak normally.
- Theme Naming: The title characters are named for popular fairy tale writers.
- Toilet-Drinking Dog Gag: The comic strip has the dog Grimm host a poker night at Mother Goose's house. When Attila the cat wonders why the game has been set up in the bathroom, Grimm casually points to the commode and says, "Wet bar." Verily, one dog is slurping away at that moment.
- Unexpected Genre Change: Every now and then, Peters will set up a one-panel gag involving none of the cast whatsoever, or just Grimmy staring blankly off to the side.
- Wheel o' Feet: Often done whenever the characters run.
- Wishing Well:
- In one strip, Grimmy wishes he could fly while throwing a coin down a wishing well. Turns out the well was some kind of "Literal Wishing Well" since instead of ganing the power of flight, Grimmy finds himself with one giant fly (as in, the insect) in the paws.
- In another strip, Grimmy wishes to be popular with the lady dogs... and gets turned into a fire hydrant.
- X-Ray Sparks: This happened to Grimm in the July 14th 2012 strip◊ when he was zapped by a lightning bug.