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Trivia / Pearls Before Swine

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  • Accidentally Correct Writing: Stephen Pastis drew Guard Duck ordering "Chateaubriand, cooked medium well, and a glass of your finest Pinot Noir". Pastis didn't know what Chateaubriand was, but assumed it was a food and felt it sounded fancy. Chateaubriand is a steak (more specifically, a thick slice of beef tenderloin in special sauce) and a good pinot noir isn't a bad wine pairing either.
  • Beam Me Up, Scotty!: The famous final line from Gone with the Wind is intentionally misquoted in order to make yet another Overly Preprepared Incredibly Lame Pun work. According to Pastis (in one of the treasuries), he accidentally misquoted the line, then wrote the last panel to make it look intentional.
  • Broken Loss Streak: The strip poked fun at the fact that Stephan Pastis was nominated every year for the Reuben Award since 2008, only to lose each one. He finally won in 2019, breaking the streak once and for all.
  • Colbert Bump: During the strip's webcomic days, it underwent a sudden burst of popularity when Dilbert creator Scott Adams endorsed it in his newsletter.
  • Distanced from Current Events: A series of strips about an attempted presidential coup involving Rat and Guard Duck were initially intended to run the week of the 2021 United States presidential inauguration.note  Following the January 6, 2021 insurrection attempt on the United States Capitol, the strips were pulled from their intended schedule, delayed, and replaced with substitutes.
  • Executive Meddling:
    • Pastis originally intended that Dickie the Cockroach would take the heads of people he didn't like, but editors felt this wouldn't go over well, particularly after journalist Daniel Pearl was beheaded by kidnappers in Afghanistan. Pastis changed the strips to have Dickie slapping duct tape on the mouths of people, instead. The original strips were included in later collections so that readers could judge for themselves.
    • Goat is a positive example, as early on the editors requested another character for the strip, and Pastis went through several animals before the Goat we know today was born.
    • Acknowledged In-Universe in the "Kukistan" series. Pig explains that Pastis originally named a real country for that week of strips, but the editors made him change it to a Fictional Country rather than risk offending anyone.
  • In Memoriam: Several. They tend to be the most Heartwarming.
  • Missing Episode:
    • Many books feature comic strips that were never printed as they were deemed too offensive or simply not funny.
    • For some reason, the strip for November 9, 2017 is absent from the treasury book Pearls Goes Hollywood.
  • Old Shame:
    • One book has several early strips that Pastis made when Pearls was still a webcomic. He derided most of them for being Out of Character.
    • There are various strips that were Not Ready for Primetime and those Pastis thought were either too weird or just plain sucked, and ended up getting scrapped.
  • Recycled Script: Averted for the most part, but some strips really stand out:
    • September 29, 2011, a daily strip, was recycled less than a week later into October 02, 2011, a Sunday strip, with an extra punchline from Rat. This was pointed out in some of the latter strip's Gocomics comments.
    • These strips, which ran about a month apart in 2008.
    • Stephan Pastis admitted in one of the treasuries that he did multiple strips that use the exact same joke: one character talks about doing something shady or immoral, another character says something along the lines of, "I hate that. Who does something like that?" And in the third panel, it cuts to either Rat or Snuffles the cat doing whatever it is that they were talking about.
    • There were at least two strips, published years apart, that involve Rat and Pig only ordering crackers and water in a restaurant, purely to avoid paying for anything.
  • Referenced by...: Completing the Mission from The Henry Stickmin Collection has a reference to three comic strips. Two of them being Garfield and The Far Side, and one being Pearls Before Swine.
    Rat: We're out of toilet paper.
    Pig: I never used it.
    Rat: (to Pastis) You call this a joke?
  • Ripped from the Headlines: This particular strip is based on an actual incident that occurred at Comcast.
  • Science Marches On: Pastis justified Zach and Max's friendship with Zebra with the then-common belief that female lions did all the pride's hunting. A few years after they were introduced, it was discovered that male lions hunted more frequently than previously thought.
  • Shrug of God: Quite often, most notably with describing the crocs' dialect.
  • Sleeper Hit: According to Pastis in an interview, this was the case for Pearls. The sales staff at United Features Syndicate didn't think the strip was going to sell, so it was placed online-only on the syndicate's website for about a year. What got it launched in newspapers was that Scott Adams, of Dilbert, was a fan of the strip and endorsed it on his newsletter. The readership increased as a result, and with Adams' support, the sales staff now had enough clout to get it sold to newspapers. It's now appearing in over 750 newspapers, has over a dozen book collections, and was even turned into an animated web series.
  • Trope Namer: Inspired the trope name for Something Something Leonard Bernstein with this strip.
  • What Could Have Been: