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Web Animation / Simon's Cat

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Simon's Cat is an animated web cartoon series by the English animator Simon Tofield, begun in 2008.

Each episode revolves around the adventures of the eponymous plump white British Shorthair, who uses increasingly heavy-handed tactics to get his rather hapless owner's attention. Over time the series has acquired an extensive supporting cast, including a tiny-but-feisty grey kitten 'brother' for the cat, several other feline and canine neighbours, the cat's best friend the (non-sentient) garden gnome and the menagerie of wild critters that live in the meadow beyond Simon's back garden.

The series is hand drawn and then animated in Adobe Flash. There have also been four published books and a series of Daily Mirror strips featuring the titular cat in comic form, as well as two apps.

Cat owners will attest to many of the behaviours seen.

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    Episodes include: 

    Other videos include: 

Simon's Cat contains examples of:

  • Accidental Good Outcome: In one video, there are fireworks outside, which both cats are afraid of. The kitten runs over to the easy-chair and accidentally pries two pieces off with his claws, but the pieces land in his ears, satisfying him since he can now no longer hear the fireworks. Then, he accidentally lies on the grown cat, satisfying him because the kitten is now covering his ears.
  • Agony of the Feet: In "Off to the Vet", the titular trip happens after the cat is stung on the paw by a bee.
  • All Cloth Unravels: In "Christmas Yarn", the cat gets a thread of Simon's sweater stuck in his mouth as Simon walks out of the house, with the expected result.
  • Amusing Injuries: Tons. Simon being constantly scratched, tripped, struck (by paw and baseball bat) or otherwise put in harm's way by the cat's antics is a fundamental part of the premise.
  • Animals Fear Neutering: Played both straight and not in "The Snip". The cat is utterly horrified, but while the kitten's clearly not pleased with the experience, he's also not sure what all the OTT drama is about.
  • Animals Lack Attributes: Averted; the cats in this series are drawn with anuses. However, their anuses are drawn as dots or circles rather than the usual "x" or asterisk shape.
  • Anthropomorphic Zig-Zag: The cat is rather more human-acting when his owner isn't around. The rule seems to be that the cat only does what real cats would do if they could.
  • Art Evolution: Nothing too dramatic, but Tofield's drawing style has gone through this over time, mostly by way of growing smoother and more fluid.
  • Aside Glance: Episodes tend to end with either Simon or the cat giving one.
  • Attention Deficit... Ooh, Shiny!: The cat has a pretty short attention span, unless food is involved.
    • Seen in "Screen Grab", in the beginning. The cat gets annoyed at being woken up by the kitten playing with a feather, and bops him on the head, only to start playing with the feather himself a second later. You can almost hear the dialogue: "Stop tha- Ooh, a feather!"
    • Chloe (the female cat with the heart on her collar) is also prone to getting distracted, especially when butterflies (which she chases and eats) are involved.
  • Attention Whore: The cat will go to any lengths to be the object of Simon's attention, and will relentlessly dispose of any competition (eg. the TV, the computer).
  • Author Avatar: Simon was based upon and named after the creator of the series.
  • Batter Up!: Somehow an American-style baseball bat has become the cat's signature weapon:
    • How he eventually wakes Simon up in "Cat Man Do".
    • What he uses to "defeat" the vacuum cleaner in "The Monster".
    • Gets a callback in "Hidden Treasure", when the bat is among the many objects the cat pulls out from under the fridge. He glances at it thoughtfully before tossing it aside.
  • Big Brother Instinct: Seen (very temporarily) by the cat towards the kitten in "Showdown", after Jazz knocks the latter off the fence.
  • Big Eater:
    • The cat is an enthusiastic fan of being fed, as is obvious from his plump appearance. Many sketches end with Simon wearily surveying the damage and turning to the cat, who simply points at his open mouth and walks off towards the kitchen.
    • The kitten is similar but much messier, often seen eating indiscriminately from both bowls.
  • Bird-Poop Gag:
    • "Missing Cat" begins with the cat being pooped on by a bird.
    • At the end of "The Crow", the vengeful crow poops on the cat.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: The kitten is generally portrayed as a sweetheart who just wants to play with the cat, but he's also quick to take advantage of the older feline, especially if there's food at stake. In "April Showers" the kitten deliberately locks the cat out in the rain as a prank.
  • Birthday Episode: Actually an anniversary episode, but the traditional cake (albeit made out of cat food) is at the centre of "Purrthday Cake".
  • Brick Joke: "Off to the Vet" has two that pay off at the same time. Partway through the episode, Simon sees a mouse while trying to find the carrier in his attic. Later, the veterinarian force-feeds the cat a pill and happily says "Ta-da!" while waving her hands. At the end of the episode, the cat sticks the mouse in Simon's mouth while he's sleeping and imitates the vet's "Ta-da!", motions and all.
  • Butt-Monkey: Rather interestingly played with, in that while Simon just can't catch a break with the cat around, whenever the cat isn't the only animal in the short, he usually ends up in Simon's role.
  • Catchphrase:
    • More like a Catch Action - the cat points to his open mouth and meows, a gesture that usually means "Feed me!"
    • The cat also does it to the food itself if it's alive, as seen in "Icecapade" and "Screen Grab".
    • The kitten also does it to the cat when they first meet; though the other neighbourhood cats are never seen doing it, so maybe it's just a "Simon's cats" thing.
  • Cat Concerto: In "Perfect Pitch", Simon's Cat and Jazz sing (really off-key) in an attempt to woo Chloe. Chloe is so unimpressed she knocks both of them off the wall they're on with her tail, and an unseen man yells at them to stop before throwing slippers at them.
  • Cats Are Mean: Subverted. He can be mischievous, but rarely is he ever intentionally malevolent. Most of the time, he just wants attention and/or food. It's just that, well, see Insane Cat Logic below for details.
  • Cats Hate Water:
    • Played straight with the cat and averted with the kitten in "April Showers". Tofield has explained that the kitten is based on one of his real-life cats who is fluffy enough that the rain doesn't bother him.
    • Also played straight in "Bathtime", where the cat is so affronted when Simon bathes him that he runs away from home, complete with his best toy in a bundle on a stick.
    • In "Pupsitting", the cat attempts to ward off excitable puppy Muffin by spraying him with a squirt bottle, which has no effect as Muffin, of course, has no problem with water. Puzzled, the cat tries squirting himself, and immediately leaps away as if he's been stung.
  • Cat Up a Tree: "The Tree", complete with would-be rescuer Simon ending up stuck himself.
  • Character Tics:
    • Both the cat and the kitten point at their open mouths when they're hungry.
    • Chloe turns her head aside disdainfully when rejecting the cat's or Jazz's advances.
  • Cheerful Child: As befits his relative innocence the kitten is far more positive and playful than the cat, often much to the latter's annoyance.
  • Christmas Episode: In which various holiday-themed objects are destroyed: "Santa Claws", "Fowl Play", "Christmas Presence", "Catnip", "Little Box", "Christmas Yarn", and "Tree Trouble"
  • Clip Show: Several compilations consisting of scenes from previous shorts strung on a broader theme (seasons, holidays etc).
  • Companion Cube: The garden gnome, which the cat quite genuinely treats like his best friend, chatting him up and ensuring he's a part of all the local fun and games.
  • Comedic Sociopathy: Some of the comedy involves Simon getting hurt or his objects getting destroyed, or his cat getting wrongly blamed for something, or similar.
  • Composite Character: The cat and kitten are based on several real-life felines that Tofield has owned.
  • Cone of Shame: "Pug Life", in which the title character accidentally helps the cat out of one.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • As noted, one of the increasingly bizarre array of objects pulled from under the fridge in "Hidden Treasure" is the baseball bat from "Cat Man Do".
    • The squeaky bird toy first seen in "Santa Claws" turns up in a couple later shorts. In the Origin Story series it's revealed as the very first toy Simon gave the cat as a kitten.
  • Copycat Mockery: A literal example of copying a cat in "Kitten vs. Birds", wherein the birds mock the kitten by holding their wings up to pretend they have pointy ears.
  • Cute Kitten: Introduced in "Double Trouble". In the Origin Story series, the cat himself is revealed to have once been one.
  • Dogs Are Dumb: Albeit portrayed as much more sympathetic than is usual in a feline-centric show. Simon's sister's dog Oscar is a happy pup, but isn't very bright, and often makes mistakes like not realising the stick has already been thrown.
  • Everyone Has Standards: The cat may be a Big Eater, but he is visibly horrified when the hedgehog begins trying to eat one of the snails racing in "Ready, Steady, Slow!" Even going so far as to cover the eyes of the gnome. He's horrified again when the female cat Chloe eats a butterfly in "Butterflies".
  • Extreme Omnivore: Chloe, the cat's crush, eats butterflies.
  • Failures on Ice: What happens to both cat and kitten in "Icecapade", when the garden pond freezes over but there's still one more fish swimming around tantalizingly under there...
  • Faint in Shock: The cat passes out entirely on learning of the kitten's neutering operation in "The Snip".
  • Feed by Example: In one video, Simon gives the cat some cat food in the shape of a cake, but the cat doesn't want it. Simon tastes some, but unfortunately that forces him to rush offscreen and throw up.
  • Flushing Toilet, Screaming Shower: Seen in "Hot Water", when the cat runs the faucets and flushes the toilet, making Simon yell in the shower.
  • Funny Background Event: While Simon is scrolling through photos on his tablet in "Missing Cat", the kitten drinks from his mug without him noticing.
  • Groin Attack: The cat causes an accidental one when he deflects a toy car in "Fast Track".
  • Hairball Humor: In the video showing the cats' eating habits, the kitten is described as "the gross one" as directly after eating, he coughs up a hairball.
  • Halloween Episode: Frequent, and often involving Simon's phobia of spiders: "Scary Legs", "Scaredy Cat", "The Monster", "Spider Cat","Spooked!"
  • Happy Rain: The kitten just loves to play in the rain.
  • Hates Baths:
    • The kitten is not, however, overfond of being bathed, as seen in "Muddy Paws". Although as "Pawtrait" demonstrates, he does enjoy having his long fur brushed.
    • The cat himself is so furious he runs away from home after Simon bathes him in "Missing Cat".
  • Heavy Sleeper: Simon is generally pretty impervious to his cat's efforts to wake him - to the cat's great annoyance, as seen in "Cat Man Do", "Fly Guy" and "Off to the Vet".
  • Hidden Heart of Gold: Simon's Cat does some mean things but he is pretty heroic when it comes to saving friends and defeating his larger, grumpier, very territorial rival Jazz, who serves as a kind of supervillain for the series.
    • Seen most clearly in his treatment of Teddy, the starving feral cat he encounters in "Paws for Thought" and "The Shadow". Teddy's plight moves SC to the extent that he actually and willingly shares his food with him.
  • High on Catnip: Of course, after being given a toy full of the stuff as a Christmas present in "Catnip".
  • Hollywood Tone-Deaf: Per real-life caterwauling, both Simon's Cat and Jazz are very off-key when they serenade Chloe.
  • Human Mail: In "Suitcase". The cat takes advantage of Simon's packing for a trip to try and get rid of the kitten, and is visibly disappointed when he fails.
  • Hypocritical Heartwarming: In "Showdown", the cat gets angry enough at Jazz knocking the kitten off the fence to swipe the bigger cat off in one blow. After tenderly making sure his little brother is okay, the cat pushes him back off the fence himself.
  • I Meant to Do That: Seen particularly in "The Box", when he fails spectacularly to balance on a top edge.
  • Impact Silhouette: Seen in "Snow Business" when the cat is knocked off a fence by a snowball. Justified in that it was soft snow he landed in.
  • Insane Troll Logic: Most of the cat's actions boil down to "Getting my owner's attention = Food!". More specifically "Hit with bat = Food!", "Unplug computer = Food!", "Turn off TV = Food!". To the cat, any action he performs must naturally end up providing him food.
  • Instrumental Theme Tune: Introduced in the "Beyond the Fence" advert.
  • I Surrender, Suckers: The kitten does this in "Double Trouble". After plopping into the "surrender" position (lying flat on his back) in response to the cat hissing at him, the kitten waits until the cat closes his eyes and gloats over his victory, then deftly throws a pillow at him, nearly knocking him off the couch.
  • It's All About Me: In true feline fashion.
  • Jealous Pet: The cat towards the kitten, in much the usual manner of an established pet coping with a new arrival. It doesn't help that the kitten is already noticeably smarter than his older 'brother', nor that the little guy is so fluffy and adorable Simon naturally dotes on him.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: The cat is quite mischievous most of the time, but he has his moments where he's affectionate.
  • Jump Scare: "Scaredy Cat"
  • Kindhearted Cat Lover: Simon would have to be one, to tolerate the cat's shenanigans with such patience. Made explicit in the "Missing Cat" series, wherein he is genuinely heartbroken when the cat runs away, and is seen giving the kitten extra cuddles because of it.
  • The Klutz: Simon is frequently bumping into things and tripping up, even when his cats aren't pushing him around.
  • Look Behind You:
    • The cat uses this to get away from a chatty hedgehog in "Cat Chat".
    • And again to distract a bird during a snowball fight in "Snow Business".
    • Simon himself uses this with the cat in "Box Clever".
    • And the cat uses this on Simon in "Fast Food".
  • Love Dodecahedron: Maisie has a crush on the cat, but he's more interested in Chloe, who Jazz also has a crush on. Chloe's not interested in either of the tomcats... but she clearly thinks the kitten is very cute.
  • Made of Plasticine: Some things in the house break more easily than one would expect. Most prominently seen in the "Santa Claws" episode, where the cat strips all the branches off a Christmas tree.
  • Mirror Scare: In "Mirror Mirror", when the kitten appears behind the cat in said mirror at the very end.
  • Misblamed: The cat tends to get this a lot, especially since Simon's understandably paranoid re: his antics by now.
    • In "Fish Tank", the fish throws things out of his tank at the cat, but the cat is the one Simon chases with a sprayer. The cat had previously been bad by trying to catch the fish, but didn't deserve a scolding.
    • A classic version turns up in "Muddy Paws", wherein the cat spends some time in meticulously tidying up the very dirty kitten... only to watch him obliviously create an even bigger mess and trot off, leaving the poor cat alone to face a wrathful Simon.
    • "Hounded", the second short in the "Pupsitting" trilogy, is essentially a full-on festival of this. Simon completely fails to recognize that the cat is lashing out at Muffin the pup out of sheer stress, to the extent that the last scene is of Simon locking the cat outside, leaving him to watch dolefully through a window as his owner comforts and cuddles the interloper instead.
  • Missed Him by That Much: In "Missing Cat", while Simon is out searching for the cat and putting up "Lost" posters near a tall bush, the cat shows up on the fence and goes into the bush while Simon's back is turned. Simon hears the noise and investigates the bush, but by then, the cat has crawled out the other side and come out from behind the nearby tree to where Simon had been previously standing. They don't realize the other's there and the cat runs off before Simon turns around.
  • Mrs. Robinson: In "Lovestruck", Kitten ruins Cat's date, only to become the target of Chloe's interest himself after Cat is accidentally launched out of the scene.
  • Nearly Normal Animal: The cat and the kitten are mainly like normal cats, only more dexterous, doing things like pointing at their mouths.
  • No Name Given: Neither the cat nor the kitten have been named in-universe.
    • Becomes A Dog Named "Dog" in the Apple Arcade mobile game "Story Time", where dialogue reveals that Simon named them "Cat" and "Kitten", respectively.
  • No True Scotsman: Comes into play in "April Showers." After the kitten starts playing in the rain, you can briefly see the cat facepalm, like he's thinking, "What kind of cat are you?"
    • The same gesture is repeated in "Purrfect Storm", when the cat sees the kitten romp past riding Muffin the puppy like a racehorse.
  • Oh, Crap!: The birds in "Kitten vs. Birds" become scared when they hear the kitten's stomach rumble. Apparently they'd forgotten that the little cat they'd been making fun of is still a cat, which are known to eat birds. Of course, the kitten is too innocent to even think of eating them, but they don't know that.
  • Origins Episode: "The Origin Story" trilogy reveals the details of Simon's (initially problematic) adoption of the cat when they were both younger. Turns out the cat has always been a bit of a Jerkass... but he really does love Simon a lot.
  • Pain to the Ass: "Laser Toy" ends with Simon falling over and the cat landing claws-first on his butt.
  • Paranormal Episode: The Halloween short "Spooked!" has the cat seeing, well, something in Simon's bedroom, causing Simon to freak out a little. Finally he laughs and waves it off, leaving the room... after which something causes a lamp to move and the bedclothes to ripple. Cue Snowy Screen of Death.
  • Priceless Ming Vase: In "The Beginning", Simon is seen pursuing model shipbuilding as a hobby before getting bored and deciding to adopt a cat. Genre Savvy viewers will guess what is going to happen to the delicate, elaborate models on his mantel long before the end of this Origins Episode... especially since one of them is the Titanic.
  • Properly Paranoid: In "Off to the Vet", when Simon notices the cat has an injured paw, he quietly goes through the house locking every exit, knowing the cat will flee if given the chance.
  • Pun-Based Title: Most of the episodes have one.
  • Rearrange the Song: Done for each episode's end credits as a kind of Couch Gag. This is retired starting with The Snip.
  • Road Apples: In "Double Trouble", the new kitten blithely poops in the grown cat's litterbox, which the cat of course takes as a huge insult.
  • Rummage Fail: When the cat is trying to retrieve the ball from under the fridge in "Hidden Treasure".
  • Self-Deprecation: Simon's animated avatar is frequently depicted as being somewhat dim and a little bit of a goofball.
  • Share the Male Pain: The cat's hilariously OTT reaction to the kitten's neutering in "The Snip" - he actually passes out, complete with full-on paw-to-brow melodrama.
  • Shown Their Work: Hyper-realistic cat behaviour and movement is the series' trademark. Tofield has obviously watched his real-life cats very carefully.
  • Shout-Out:
    • In "Screen Grab", the voiceover for the nature documentaries is a Shout-Out to David Attenborough, and the commentator for the motor racing is a Shout-Out to Murray Walker, the famous voice of Formula One.
    • In "SOS", the model Titanic drops to the ground in a dead-on parody of its real life counterpart's sinking, cracking nearly in half with the smaller front section falling first.
  • Sick Episode: Simon spends "Bed Head" in bed with what seems like either a bad cold or a weak flu.
  • Silence Is Golden: It's a cat, so it's not going to talk other than the usual meows, growls, trills, etc. Any speech from Simon is minimal and usually grunts or sighs, but occasionally he'll utter a word or two (usually "Come on!", "No!", or "Down!"). In "Window Pains", he actually utters a full sentence ("What're ya doin'?"), and in "Technical Hitch", he has a bit more spoken dialogue than ever before (justified as he's shown having a video meeting with his boss via laptop). Additionally, Simon talks more in "Tree Trouble" (saying Here yo go, watching you, what are you doing, and oh, typically).
  • Sitcom Arch-Nemesis: Jazz, the neighbor's enormous Persian cat introduced in the "Borderline"/"On the Fence"/"Showdown" trilogy.
  • Slippery Skid: When the cat leaps onto the table Simon's just buffed to a shine in "Polished Paws".
  • Snowy Screen of Death: "Spooked!" ends with this.
  • Sphere Eyes: One of the series' visual trademarks.
  • Spiders Are Scary: To Simon, who freaks out over one in "Scary Legs", and then a whole bunch of them in "Spider Cat".
  • Splash of Color: The red laser dot is the only coloured item in "Laser Toy".
  • Spoiled Brat: Again, as cats inevitably are. In "Feed Me" the cat trips Simon merely because he's taking too long to walk His Feline Majesty's food over to him.
  • Stock Scream: A Wilhelm Scream turns up in "Scaredy Cat".
  • Story Arc:
    • The three-part "Jazz Trilogy" in 2018.
    • The four-part "Missing Cat" special in 2019.
    • The three-part "Simon's Cat: The Origin Story" in 2020.
    • The three-part "Pupsitting" in 2021.
  • Thanksgiving Episode: You wouldn't expect a British work to have one of these, but "Fast Food" and (more explicitly) "Paws For Thought" are presented as such.
  • Tongue on the Flagpole: The cat briefly gets his tongue stuck trying to get to a fish in a frozen pond in "Icecapade".
  • Took a Level in Kindness: "The Origin Story" reveals that as a kitten, the cat was a loner, bit shelter volunteers, and was just generally much more anti-social and destructive than he is now.
  • Trademark Favourite Food: A Running Gag through the shorts involves uber-feminine kitty Chloe gracelessly chomping down on butterflies.
  • Tropey, Come Home: In "Missing Cat", the cat runs away after being bathed, and tries to find a new place to live but can't, all the while Simon tries to get the cat back.
  • Urine Trouble:
    • As a tiny kitten in the Origin Story, not realizing what his litter box is for, the cat climbs on his new owner's shoulder and pees there.
    • In "Pupsitting", Muffin the dog pees on the gnome.
  • Used to Be a Sweet Kid: "The Origin Story" reveals that Jazz was a lot more cheerful and sociable as a kitten.
  • Valentine's Day Episodes: "Smitten", "Butterflies", "Tough Love", "Dinner Date", "Head Over Heels"
  • Vicious Vac: From the cat's perspective, when he accidentally turns it on in "The Monster". Exaggerated in the sequel, 'The Monster Returns', wherein Simon has upgraded to a central vacuum system. Both Cat and the Kitten must work together to shut its terrible tentacles back up in its closet...
  • Vomit Discretion Shot: Simon runs offscreen to throw up after eating cat food in one skit.
  • Wimp Fight: The fights between Simon's Cat and Jazz usually take this form, typical of animal scuffles over boundaries (which are mostly about putting up a huge show of intimidation while avoiding actual injury).
  • Yawn and Reach: Attempted by the cat in the course of 'seducing' Chloe - without success, of course - in "Head Over Heels".


Video Example(s):


Cat vs. Vacuum Cleaner

Simon's Cat faces down a horrifying monster.... the vacuum cleaner.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (3 votes)

Example of:

Main / NatureAbhorsAVacuumCleaner

Media sources: