VG Cats is a video game-themed Funny Animal webcomic by Scott Ramsoomair. Rather than directly emulating the Two Gamers on a Couch format that was popularized by Penny Arcade, this comic instead does humorous parodies of video games and anime, with the comic's characters — Cloudcuckoolander Leo and Snark Knight Aeris — via Deep-Immersion Gaming.
All of these comics have consistently good artwork (a few instances of re-used backgrounds not withstanding), but not so much with the updating schedule. There were a grand total of nine strips in 2010, and eight in 2017. Add that in with Adventure Log being cancelled and Super Effective not seeing an update in years, you have some serious Schedule Slip.
In 2020, Scott popped back up and said the strip's downtime was due to a combination of other projects and depression. He is currently working on a new website, and has said VG Cats will eventually resume, but Super Effective is finished. As for Leo and Aeris, he is working on a prequel story on Patreon revolving around them first moving in together. The strip finally released a new page in September 2020.
Please note that the site does not use a permanent URL system for its archives, and so the links used in examples may no longer lead to the intended page. Ideally, along with a link, also give the issue number and title.
Provides examples of:
- Added Alliterative Appeal: Crossing over with V for Vendetta, Leo comes to a house in a Guy Fawkes mask and does the same speech, only replacing V with H. #216 Aech
- Alternate Universe:
- Scott ran a brief (very brief - like, not even into double digits) comic called VGKitties, exploring the notion that Leo and Aeris were ordinary housecats interacting in housecatty ways, rather than a pair of funny animals.
- Also used in one of the actual comics, which depicted an alternate universe where Sonic was more popular than Mario, Mortal Kombat (now "Minor Konflict") was family friendly, and the eponymous cats were now dogs with their roles in the comics swapped.
- And Zoidberg: Ashley Williams of Mass Effect is specifically mentioned over the other species as stuff Commander Shepard would have sex with (except in her case, not).
- Animated Adaptation:
- Anthropomorphic Shift: Early strips seemed to indicate that Aeris and Leo belonged to and lived with Scott, despite being anthropomorphic. Eventually it shifted to the two of them living independently as apparent college roommates, and in 2013-14 flashback strips showed them as children living in fully humanlike houses with their families.
- Arc Welding: #334 and #335 both take place in the same era (when Aeris and Leo were kids) but are unrelated. #336 ties them together and shows the aftermath of each story. Scott even says this was an arc weld, as he hadn't set out to do a three-parter, but changed his mind after writing the first comic.
- Art Evolution: Here is the earliest appearance of Aeris and Leo, back in 2001. And this is their early-2010 appearance. Yeah. Character style varies wildly from strip to strip.
- Artificial Stupidity: #277, Cheeseburger Apocalypse forces Leo, Aeris and Pantsman to play Left 4 Dead 2 with a bot playing as Coach, who proceeds to waste medkits on paper cuts, try to heal Aeris while she's standing in pools of Spitter acid or being punched in the face by a Tank, and generally make bad situations worse by ignoring Special Infected attacks outright or being easily distracted from them.
- Ass Shove: Solid Snake's attempt at solving the "temperature sensitive" keycard
- Also, from #76, the second appearance of Johnny Evilguy where he talks Leo into buying his "Orange Sapphire of Might", (some guy's testicle) as an insta-kill item. Leo's attempt at using it on a high-level enemy results in this trope.
- Attack Backfire: Used in this comic for using fire as a weapon in cold weather; pleasant for obvious reasons.
- Author Avatar: Pantsman was originally this, but over the years he's become less prominent, and Aeris has stepped into the role of Ramsoomair's megaphone.
- Author Tract: "Nerd Rage", an entire strip consisting of a tirade on how casual gaming is ruining the industry. Lampshaded here where other characters point out that flat out explaining your points makes a shitty allegory, though that didn't stop him from dedicating seven panels to it.
- Bad Santa: Santa's Bad List is, but of course, written in the Death Note.
- Better by a Different Name: In some Author Tract, Pantsman declares his hate for Inuyasha, saying it was better when it was Fushigi Yuugi, then calling it "Dragon Ball Z for girls".
- Beyond the Impossible: Aeris aborts Leo from time - and he recovers from it.
- Bizarro Universe: In the aptly-titled "Bizarro!", where Sega won the Console Wars, and the protagonists are VG Dogs with flipped personalities. Damn you, Sliders!
- Brick Joke: The rat flail. Starts as a "weapon" during a D&D strip. Becomes a plot point when they re-enact Bleach as Ichigo!Leo's weapon.
- Cats Are Snarkers: Aeris the cat is easily the most sarcastic character in the webcomic.
- Cheeky Mouth: Intentionally invoked on Sonic the Hedgehog and some of Leo's expressions. Seen less on Aeris and some of the more exaggerated expressions.
- Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: Krug. His last appearance was between issues 269 & 270... which was a guest comic to parody Ghostbusters.
- Continuity Nod: In the ever-popular "The Perfect Gift", Aeris owns figurines of the monstrosities Leo created in "Wright to Life". They sit just below her Haruhi Suzumiya girls Playboy Bunny poster and next to a Lucario figurine.
- Couch Gag: The strip resumed in September 2020 with Leo digging his way out of the couch.
- Damn You, Muscle Memory!: The "First Comic" and "Last Comic" buttons are in the middle, between the "Previous Comic" and "Next Comic" buttons. This may be the only webcomic on the internet to do this.
- Deep-Immersion Gaming: Spoofed in one issue (#311 "Dress Rehersal") where Aeris and Leo, who are already dressed as Princess Peach and Luigi, are asked to put on the cat suits from Super Mario 3D World over top their existing costumes.
- Defictionalisation: The "Wright for Life" comic led to the actual Spore team creating their own◊, replacing the drawn aliens with ingame ones, and later on physical models were made. Of course, Spore players can attempt something like this as well.
- Different World, Different Movies: This comic shows a world were Aeris and Leo are dogs with swapped personalities (Leo is now the exasperated straight-man and Aeris is the excitable simpleton) who play games such as Minor Konflict and the Shadow the Hedgehog-esque Yoshi the Dinosaur.
- Don't Explain the Joke:
- Aeris's response to Leo when he makes an incredibly misogynistic joke about why girls like stories about vampires and feels the need to spell out what he's talking about. Leo does this a lot. "Recurring, if you will."
- And again in #367 (Moostache), rather than letting it speak for itself Leo has to make absolutely certain we understand that the gag is that the guy doesn't just milk female Pokémon, but males as well.
- Double Entendre: "That is the BIGGEST barrel I've ever seen, is it pump action?"
- Dumbass Has a Point: In #155, after Leo mocks Aeris for playing an online MMORPG:Aeris: Online RPGs are about social interaction, damn it!
Leo: Yes, social interaction, of course.
Leo: "SPARE MONIES FOR A NEWB?"
Leo: "HEAL PLZ?"
Leo: "HOW I MINE FOR FISH?"
Leo: [turns to Aeris] "HAY A GRL LETS CYBER!"
- Easter Egg:
- Furry Confusion: Lampshaded. Despite living in a house with a toilet Leo still does his business in a litter box much to the confusion of Areis.
- Gone Horribly Right: In a parody of the 2016 US Election, Dr. Eggman wins the Mobius election, but the last panel shows that whatever his plan was, he didn't want to win the election for real.
- Good Eyes, Evil Eyes: Leo's eyes are wide and somewhat goofy. Aeris, while not evil per se, is deeply cynical and dangerously unstable, and has narrower, unconnected eyes.
- High-Pressure Blood: This comic shows a Worms game going on... normal, right? Well, when part of the ground was destroyed by a rocket, we cut to... Leo in pain and blood stains behind him. Take a wild guess what happened. Also counts as Bowel-Breaking Bricks when you think about it.
- Human-Focused Adaptation: Discussed in this comic.Starring a cast of two-dimensional characters no one cares about! With special guest stars the Transformers.
- Hypocrisy NodYes, I am aware of the hypocrisy!
- I'm Cold... So Cold...: This comic has Pea-Steve say this before dying while he and Pea-Bob wait for Potato-moto.
- In Name Only:
- At times. Some comics have only gaming, others have only cats, and still others have neither. Lampshaded in #77 (I'm gonna get sued for this..), at least as far as it not being relevant to gaming goes.
- The shortlived VG Kitties had nothing whatsoever to do with gaming, though it had plenty of Aeris and Leo.
- Jackass Genie: What happens when you ask the Monkey's Paw for Duke Nukem Forever. Three wishes left...Two if you include Leo's wish for a large wiener.
- Just One More Level: This strip has Aeris getting in a "quick" game of Civilization. By the time she's reached the Bronze Age, she's not only gotten ridiculously old, but an apocalypse happened that involves soldiers fighting a giant mutant version of Leo.
- Let's Mock the Monsters: You know, maybe we shouldn't be jamming the helpless critters into airtight balls and hemorrhoids.
- Lionsand Tigersand Humans Oh My: Funny animals, regular animals, and humans exist together in this webcomic.
- Mundane Solution: When playing Five Nights at Freddy's, Aeris pokes holes in the whole scenario, and rattles off several simple ways to counter the robots: dressing up in animal costumes to fool the robots, which is redundant as Aeris and Leo are furry animals to begin with, turning off some of the extra equipment to save power, or guarding the building from outside.
- Nightmare Fetishist: Aeris rants about how characters in Fire Emblem Awakening are making out on the battlefield and asks if anyone wants to die having sex. Tharja does.
- Oh Wait, This Is My Grocery List: Strip #304, parodying Slender, has the Slender Man accidentally take one of the creepy pages to the supermarket and leave his shopping list pinned to a tree instead, where Aeris and Leo find it.
- Orphaned Series: Not the main strip, but Adventure Log stopped at eleven strips and was deadlinked over a year later. According to Ramsoomair, the Adventure Log update schedule was directly tied to each release of the official Final Fantasy XI newsletter (which included the comic as an insert). The game always had rather shaky support from Square, and when they stopped making new newsletters, Scott stopped making new comics.
- Orwellian Editor:
- Not all of Ramsoomair's rejected comics are in the "Misc Other Comics" archive. In particular, two are just flat-out gone. In the first, Aeris & Leo had their own table at a convention, and Aeris commented nastily on the attendees. Apparently, some interpreted this as a swipe at convention-goers in general and it seems Ramsoomair responded by removing it without a word. Next was the aforementioned Friendship Is Magic strip which some fans took the wrong way despite Ramsoomair making it clear from that very news update that he is a fan of the show himself. He's also worked in other references to the show in the comic in later issues, so it's safe to say that was just a joke taken the wrong way and he felt bad about it (he did warn that he would do it, though he didn't exactly say why). In both cases, Unfortunate Implications won the day.
- Other times, he simply edits comics. He's removed references to Leo raping and murdering Aeris' mother to simply raping her anally, for example, while he took a giant swing with an axe and cut the vast majority of his Splatoon comic where he made a joke about the passing of Satoru Iwata that fans found tasteless. He doesn't always announce these either.
- Pink Girl, Blue Boy: Aeris is literally pink. Leo is gray, but his preferred color of clothing is blue. Possibly a Genius Bonus, as there are certain breeds of cats - thanks to specific recessive genes - that have grey fur, and the technical term for this is a 'Blue' cat.
- Poe's Law: It's really, really hard to tell if "Nerd Rage" is an Author Filibuster or a Stealth Parody, as people have voiced every one of those complaints without irony.
- Reality Ensues: In one of the parodies of One Piece, Chopper tries to tell Zoro he has to remove his colon after one of his battles.Zoro: What's that, Chopper? "Band-Aids Heal Everything"?
Chopper: [holds up a colostomy bag] This is going to be your new rectum.
- Ret-Gone: Aeris attempts to do this to Leo by going back in time and aborting him from his mother. He gets better.
- Self-Deprecation: He's fond of this, typically with a heaping helping of Hypocritical Humor.
- In addition to the randomized "Updated whenever" comments in the title bar, this, and the first strip of 2012.
- After calling out Sonic's new design being suspiciously similar to the recent Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, the following panels reveal that Aeris and Leo are not too different from a certain other webcomic duo...
- Aeris's shelf in this strip is home to Gurren Lagann, Lucario, and Spore creature figurines. On the wall is a Haruhi Suzumiya poster.
- Speaking of Gurren Lagann, a scene is re-enacted in this strip.
- One of the update lines says the world ends with Update, if you want to enjoy life, expand your update.
- To Friendship Is Magic in this strip, this one, and most obviously this one.
- Aeris is wearing a BMO shirt while Leo is clearly seen playing FTL: Faster Than Light in this strip.
- Conglaturation has Dot Matrix and Phong with a bunch of nulls, two of which used to be Bob and Enzo.
- This strip features a wanted poster that looks directly like one from One Piece, complete with the Marine inscription.
- That One Level: In-universe, this comic has Aeris going through her old games and remembering why she never finished them.
- Unexplained Recovery:
- Uninstallment: Inverted. There are many missing numbers in the archive, but you can find some of those in the "Misc Other Comics" section. Except for #200, which never existed to start with - for a time, there was an estimated release date next to the number, even as Ramsoomair released strips #201 & onward, but eventually he changed it to "TBA Never", suggesting he had some kind of blowout planned like the animated music video released in lieu of #100 but never finished it for some reason.
- Unusually Uninteresting Sight: Nobody in-universe seems to notice Leo and Aeris are walking, talking cats until the three-hundredth strip.
- Vague Age:
- Aeris's ID in the (very brief) Animated Adaptation simply reads "Legal". She might at least be going to college, given this strip.
- The first published version of this strip indicated that Leo was 21 years old; Ramsoomair later edited the figure to the less precise "many years earlier", as Leo himself has yet to reach that age to begin with.
- Vandalism Backfire: Aeris talks about how Leo had once been scammed into buying a console called Boxxors-O-Roxxors (really just a box of rocks) and had used Aeris money to pay for it. Aeris promptly beat the crap out of him with the box, and Leo has been attempting this trope as petty revenge. Unfortunately, Aeris saw it coming.Leo: So I've secretly been peeing in her coffee ever since!
Aeris: So I've been switching our coffees ever since.
Leo: [drinks coffee] Mmmmm!
- Vitriolic Best Buds: Aeris and Leo, for all her antagonism and his dim-bulb moments, do care for each other.Shown in this comic.
- Walking Techbane: This strip has Leo bragging about how he not only red ringed Aeris's Xbox 360, but that they just die when he touches them.
- Wanted: Leo Leonardo, dead or alive. Reward: 90,000,000 dollars.
- What Did I Do Last Night??: Samus Aran gets this after a Christmas party. The answer is "Master Chief."
- You Monster!:Leo: Do you think Sims feel pain?
Aeris: You're a MONSTER, and you're going straight to hell.