Many story arcs deal with the result of Randy's sheltered upbringing; he's innocent and gullible, can't avoid traps or track scents, doesn't eat his fellow animals, and has no idea how to treat Cindy, the wild vixen he has a crush on — or Dusk, the less scrupulous wild vixen who has a crush on him.
The webcomic has a strong continuity, so reading through the archives will help you understand the current story lines. A new comic appears every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
Most of the cast has picked up a lot of human characteristics, even though they are portrayed at least semi-realistically.
- Myrtle, a hen who can write in English (in chicken-scratch, natch), can't type (though she can hunt and peck) and is addicted to television, particularly soap operas.
- Arthur, an intellectual horse who wears glasses and panics when anyone tries to ride him.
- Stu and Eddie (rabbits) plus all of their offspring — the humans didn't know Eddie was a doe.
- Mighty Thor, a wild mouse who comes to the barn for recompense after someone (Dusk?) eats a member of his family.
- Kira, Toast and the other barn cats and kittens. They love to play with Randy, which usually involves tying him up or turning him into a giant ball of yarn.
- Cocky, a cockatoo who can speak Human. Unfortunately it's mostly in French.
Then there are the animals outside the studio:
- Cindy, the wild vixen Randy has a crush on; she's slowly adapting to living in a human-made environment.
- Dusk, another vixen, Cindy's cousin and rival.
- Ricky and Al, two raccoons who were former residents of an animal center and once paid a visit to GMSA. Ricky has dreams of a career in musical theater; Al is more grounded.
- Birdy, a bluebird friend from Cindy's childhood.
- Vert Lin, a mostly-useless mole whom Myrtle admires as a wise guru.
- April, Randy's sister from Australia (with kits Amber, Ember, and Leaf).
- Trapper, a male fox who believes he has a claim to Cindy because they knew each other as kits.
Humans leave the animals mostly alone, although Randy has done some acting jobs for them. The animals can't communicate with the humans beyond Myrtle's very bad handwriting and Cocky's very bad translations, although all of the domestic animals understand English.
Being produced by two professional writers and illustrators, the webcomic and artwork are of great quality. It is suitable for all ages, and contains occasional references and quotes from TV shows. As of March 2022, the archive contains about 2600 comics.
Now has a barebones character page.
Not to be confused with a, well... faux pas.
Faux Pas provides examples of:
- Accessory-Wearing Cartoon Animal: Arthur wears glasses. Randy and Cindy sometimes wear collars. April sports a giant red ribbon with a bow.
- Action Girl: April, who in this comic punches a Timber Wolf two or three times her size when he threatens Randy.
- Alien Gender Confusion: Cindy (a vixen) is taken to a commercial shoot in Randy's place in the week 60, day 3 installment. The studio honcho mentions to the handler that the shot calls for a "foxy lady" but that "Randy" is a male. The cosmetologist is told to work her "makeup magic" to turn Randy into a girl fox. The cosmetologist makes one careful observation, then reports, "This is a girl fox." The honcho replies, "Great work, Essie. Take a bonus out of petty cash." Poor Cindy can only look at Essie as if to ask, "Are all humans this cuckoo?" Seen in this strip.
- All Love Is Unrequited: Hubert becomes smitten with Dusk, very much wanting to have kits with her, and makes no secret of his attraction. His affection is very much not reciprocated.
- Altar the Speed: Cindy and Randy's wedding gets repeatedly rescheduled as Cindy tries to parse out the human custom of "mare-reed." In the end they elope after Cindy goes into heat on a zoo visit and later on hold a public ceremony while she's visibly pregnant.
- Ambiguous Gender: Occurs with some frequency. Justified since most of the main cast are animals without strong sexual dimorphism.
- Randy appeared as Miss April on a wildlife calendar.
- Eddie is a female rabbit, mistaken for male by the humans who named her. When she and Stu started a family (as of Week 314, they have 53 kids) the secret was out, but 'outside' animals still mistake her for male.
- Cindy's brief modeling career plays with this trope. She was mistaken for Randy (a male fox) and brought over for a commercial shoot here. As the folks making the ad thought she was a male fox, they decided to make her look as feminine as possible.
- Animal Talk: The animal characters can all speak to each other, regardless of species, but no one but Cocky can talk to the humans.
- Art Evolution: The earliest strips didn't usually have backgrounds, unless they were important to the plot. Instead you'd see a wall of white and another color. Or just white. Or maybe a colored circle.
- Artistic License – Animal Care: Quite a bit, though a lot of it can be justified since the owners don't seem to do much of anything so it's the animals themselves who are doing the caring, so they have to make do with what they can manage on their own (and in some cases bad decisions are directly called out). One instance that can't be justified is a strip early on wherein Cindy eats half a carton of rocky road ice cream here. The indigestion from so much dairy would be bad enough. Throw in the chocolate and Cindy should have died or at least gotten extremely sick as chocolate is poisonous to canids — especially since she was recovering from both a cold and a cold medicine overdose.
- Ascended Extra:
- Toast starts off as a nameless member of the "cat herd" but eventually becomes integral to the storyline. He actually makes quite a few appearances before his name is revealed, 20 weeks or so after his debut.
- Penny began as a nameless child of Stu and Eddie, who became a semi-regular thanks in no small part to the fact that she's got a future mate, Jon. (Penny is the oldest daughter).
- Fluffy, the oldest child of Stu and Eddie, eventually began to make more and more appearances, especially since he has become Dusk's Morality Chain, traveling companion, and friend.
- "Aww"-choo: Cindy's sneeze when she comes down with a cold is cute and ladylike, as seen here.Cindy: Ahh... Ahh... Ahh... Tink.
Myrtle: Great. Even her sneeze is cute...
- Barbershop Quartets Are Funny: At the dual wedding for Randy and Cindy and Jon and Penny, a group of cats in this strip appear to offer their musical services in place of the originally planned choir. The foursome strike a classic corny barbershop quartet pose, with one of the cats even holding a straw hat! They get passed up.
- Betty and Veronica: Cindy is Betty (by far the nicer of the two females, very considerate of Randy) and Dusk is Veronica (a sly, manipulative troublemaker who foists herself on an unwilling Randy. She is also darker tinged than Cindy). The bunnies and the cats even use "Mary Ann" and "Ginger" in coded reference to the two vixens here. Randy does too, confiding once to Stu here that "Ginger" is way too scary.
- Beware the Nice Ones:
- Played straight on the one or two occasions we see Cindy as a wild vixen early on. She's an optimistic and personable Plucky Girl, but well aware of her feral background. It takes some adjustment on her part to avoid thinking of Randy's prey animal friends as food.
- Subverted on one memorable occasion with Randy, who shows up to chase Dusk off with a tranquilizer dart rifle. (He was sleepwalking at the time.) Played straight here, when Randy gets angry because Myrtle mistreats Cindy by conking her on the head with a Bucket Booby-Trap.
- Big Eater: Myrtle, when she and Randy go on a trip away from home to find Cindy. She pauses every 20 minutes or so for lunch, even though (since she's riding Randy) the fox is doing all the work. The culmination of the story arc has this exchange:Myrtle: With the sandwiches all gone, at least the load is lighter, eh?Randy: All that food went out the pack, and into you! You didn't lighten the load — you just raised the center of gravity.
- Big "NO!": It's Toast's turn to "play" with Randy, but he wouldn't dare do so with Cindy around. When he's told Cindy is heading to the woods, he gets excited because he's been waiting forever, but he lets out a big "NOOO!" when told that Randy's going with her here.
- Bizarre Taste in Food: Here, Myrtle is seen eating a peanut butter and molasses sandwich with hot fudge on raisin bread.
- Boyfriend-Blocking Dad: Applies to Stu. When his daughter Penny finds a new beau named Jon, Stu puts him through the third degree starting here and continuing here.
- Brain Bleach: One of the rabbits is thoroughly disgusted after learning that mothers clean their newborn bunnies by licking them.
- Brutal Bird of Prey: A hawk who calls himself "the Slayer" tries eating Stu, and in a later arc goes for one of Randy's kits, and unlike any other predators in the comic has no sympathetic traits. Luckily for the animals from the strip he targets, he's a conceited doofus and a less-than-competent hunter.
- Bucket Booby-Trap: Cindy becomes the victim of one of these from Myrtle here, with painful results when the bucket falls and hits the vixen on the head.
- Butt-Monkey: Randy, so very much. He always falls for traps the cats set for him, frequently gets picked on by Myrtle, and often finds himself awkwardly caught in a love triangle with Cindy and Dusk. On one occasion, his going to a commercial shoot saw him him heavily made up to look like a vixen; he also had his paws burned on the hood of a hot car and was put on pain meds that left him extremely loopy. Since his honeymoon with Cindy, he seems to have wised up a bit. But Hubert appears set to replace him in the role.
- Carnivore Confusion: One of the driving tropes of the comic. Wild vixen Cindy has to learn to live among critters she would normally think of as food, while human-raised Randy has no predatory instinct at all and thinks eating a mouse is roughly equivalent to murder. An example is seen here.Randy: So, it's like this, Cindy: we won't eat either Stu or Myrtle. Or Arthur, or —
Cindy: Oh, for... ! Everything edible is suddenly your personal friend!
- Cats Are Mean: The barn cats think Randy is a fantastic source of entertainment and constantly play pranks on him, though Kira and Toast are more sympathetic than the rest.
- Cats Are Snarkers: Granted, it's a World of Snark, but the strip's predominant cats (Kira and Toast) seldom give the straight line.
- Chaste Hero: Randy personifies this trope. He knows he's attracted to Cindy, and that the feeling's mutual, but is completely clueless in the ways of courtship — he still believes babies come from storks as seen here. This changes: He now has kits.
- Childhood Marriage Promise: Apparently Cindy and Trapper were promised to each other as youngsters, but Dusk derailed the pairing by telling Trapper to go out and climb the furthest mountain he could find to "prove himself worthy" (leaving Cindy, herself a venturesome soul, behind). Seen in this strip.
- Children Are Innocent: Stu and Edie's kits are utterly clueless as to why they should be scared of wild foxes at first. While the kittens aren't much for the fox-torturing antics of their parents and actually seem to befriend April's kits.
- Circling Birdies: Referenced here. When Dusk tells the little bunnies she hit her head, they ask if they can see "all the birdies."Unnamed bunny: We heard you hit your head. Does it hurt?
Dusk: Yes it does. Anything else?
Unnamed bunny: We came to see all the birdies.
Unnamed bunny: Like in the cartoons? Flying around your head?!
Dusk: I ate them. Go away.
- Cloud Cuckoo Lander:
- Just about every named bird character:
- Myrtle, and how. Most of what she knows about life and relationships stems from TV shows and fiction, unrealistically coloring many of her life observations.
- Cocky, a cockatoo who fancies himself Randy's agent and speaks fractured French to humans.
- Slayer, a hawk who takes himself far too seriously, thinking he's a warrior but is in fact too scattered and incompetent to function as such.
- Birdy, who likes to tickle her fellow animals and speaks fractured English and is just kind of nuts.
- Lily, one of Birdy’s daughters, is her mom’s goofy clone, while the other daughter Constance is erudite and inverts the trope.
- Ricky, a star-stuck raccoon mime who debuted in Week 54, often acts as if he were on stage — much to his half-brother's embarrassment and consternation. An example occurs here.
- Just about every named bird character:
- Clueless Chick-Magnet: Randy, to some extent. Even though he does nothing to initiate their interest, both Cindy and Dusk fall for him. Eventually, he figures out that he likes Cindy in return, though he's a bit reticent about it for some time afterwards.
- Comically Missing the Point: One of the cats discovers that feathers make Cindy ticklish. He raids Brisbane's feather duster, plucking the plumes and trading them for cat food. One of his prospective customers comments on the cat's business savvy here, but is resoundingly misunderstood.Cat #1: You're quite an entrepreneur!
Cat #2: Not me. Purebred Domestic Shorthair.
- Cunning Like a Fox: This trope runs the full gamut with the various fox characters.
- Dusk fits the dark side of this trope — a manipulative, sly troublemaker not above using skullduggery to get what she wants.
- Cindy and April fit the more positive aspects of the trope. They're plenty clever, but not mean spirited.
- Randy utterly inverts this trope. He's a naïve and clueless Butt-Monkey, though it's justified in that he hasn't lived in the wild.
- Deadpan Snarker: Dusk's dialogue is filled with cutting observations, caustic wit, and sarcastic comments. Among her verbal weaponry, one can count many a Stealth Insult and expressions of Flat Joy.
- Department of Redundancy Department: In this strip, Eddie puts together a parenting advice list for Randy and Cindy. The first four items on the list are "Ignore Myrtle."
- Description Cut: So, so many times. A character will frequently say something like, "I can't believe [x] would do something like that," and then we cut to [x] doing exactly that. Or, "I wonder what so-and-so is thinking." One of several examples occurs here.Randy: Somehow I just can't imagine Cindy having to rehearse her lines, y'know?
[back at the barn]
Cindy: Oh Randy, you're so daring-!
Eddie: He's a male, dear. Put a little more lilt into it!
- Double Agent: Toast serves as an unwilling double agent of Dusk for a period of time, roped into her various schemes to either allure Randy or get rid of Hue.
- Double Subversion: After meeting Thor the field mouse, Randy expects the next thundering voice to belong to something small and harmless. It's a timber wolf. Seen here.
- Embarrassing First Name:
- Engagement Challenge: When mating season finally rolls around, Dusk holds one for herself, which Stu's son Fluffy apparently wins. (It makes sense in context. Sort of.) Seen in part here and here.
- Even Evil Has Standards: When April and her kits arrive at the farm one of the cats suggests they could be their new playthings, only for a momma cat to put the kibosh on tormenting kits for their amusement.
- Evil Is Sexy: In-universe, several of the young male bunnies including Jon, as well as Al the raccoon, find the trouble-making vixen Dusk to be very fetching. Al refers to Dusk as being an "exceedingly hot psycho-vixen" in one strip. Even Thor the mouse expresses sexual attraction to Dusk, saying, "Thor must admit — for a monster, she was one hot mama!"
- Exact Words: Myrtle tries to turn the phrase "A book" into Loophole Abuse regarding Cindy's objection to Myrtle offering parenting advice. Turns out Myrtle has an entire wagonload of books, and she's not afraid to use them.
- Excellent Judge of Character: As Dusk finds out in this strip, Hue's mom Plush has the sneaky vixen's character pegged perfectly, even though they've only just met and talked briefly.Dusk: You think you know all about me, eh?
Plush: Well, lets see... Your life is mostly about what you want. You see yourself as the envy of all females and a fantasy for all males. You are willing to do things for others, so long as you get something in return. You're annoyed if things are not all about you. You're surprised if you make a real friend, but assume you deserve it... How am I doing?
Dusk: You're good!
Plush: Sweetie, I'm better than you know.
- Explosive Breeder: Stu and Eddie already have 29 kittens when they are first introduced.
- The Faceless: Despite the fact that humans are depicted in this strip on several occasions, the reader almost never sees their faces. On rare occasions one does, they're shown indistinctly and at a distance.
- Face Palm:
- When Cocky gets drunk on beer, he is shown covering his face with Feather Fingers here. A few strips later, Eddie is seen doing a double Face Palm while hearing Cocky's babbling inebriation.
- Penny does a double Face Palm when she hears her brother Thomas say that he thinks Dusk is hot in this comic.
- A chagrined Dusk covers her face with a paw when she hears that Cindy and Randy have eloped in this strip, complete with a Homer Simpson style "D'oh!".
- The conversation between Cindy and Trapper when they reunite after many years shows both characters covering their face with their paw in frustration. Cindy does so when she hears how Dusk tricked Trapper into abandoning her long ago, while Trapper does so when he realizes Cindy has developed a strong domesticated streak. Seen here.
- When we first encounter Hue's mom Plush in this strip, she is getting ready to pounce on rabbits Fluffy and Rose. Hue calls out to her, spoiling her hunting attempt, whereupon she puts her paw over her face in frustration.
- Faceplanting into Food: In one story arc, Randy has been heavily sedated to ease the pain of his burned feet during a commercial shoot. He's still feeling the pain-killer's effect here when he returns home and falls asleep face first into his water dish.
- Feather Fingers:
- Myrtle is sometimes depicted with feathers that resemble fingers, which are used as such. She is able to use a typewriter, a pen, and a TV remote, among other things. Here, she's seen holding a pencil.
- In this strip, Cocky is shown using feather fingers to Face Palm while drunk on beer.
- Fish out of Water:
- Cindy is a wild fox who comes to live with Randy and his animal friends on a farm. She finds adapting to such a life challenging, often misunderstanding elements of the human world and erroneously thinking their names refer to food or similar things as in this strip. She eventually adjusts well to her sheltered existence.Cindy: So, moo-vee-zan-tee-vee... are they hard to catch?
- Conversely, whenever Randy ventures out into the wild, he finds it hard to adapt. Gullible and innocent, he grew up in captivity from his earliest days and is a semi-retired actor for TV commercials and the like.
- Cindy is a wild fox who comes to live with Randy and his animal friends on a farm. She finds adapting to such a life challenging, often misunderstanding elements of the human world and erroneously thinking their names refer to food or similar things as in this strip. She eventually adjusts well to her sheltered existence.
- Flat Joy: In this strip, Dusk (who doesn't return Hue's affection) is displeased to hear that Hue's mother sending him away ultimately led to their meeting. She expresses this with a snide expression of joy she clearly doesn't mean.Hue: And that's what led me to you!
Dusk: That's very flattering. Imagine my excitement.
- The Friend Nobody Likes: The other animals tend to think either "Eat her," "Destroy her," or "Accept her, she means well" of Myrtle.
- Furries Are Easier to Draw: While the strip's animal characters are rendered with loving care, human characters are rare, faceless, and drawn without much detail.
- Furry Female Mane: Cindy and Dusk have longer fur on their necks to suggest hair. At first this appears to be standard for vixens, until it's averted with Randy's sister April.
- The Glomp:
- Cindy bowls Randy over with a pouncing hug in this strip, after Randy's pain drugs have (finally) worn off.
- Cindy jumps on top of Randy in a later strip when he returns to the now-pregnant vixen's burrow with food.
- Glory Days: Inverted, as none of the animals seem to miss their showbiz days.
- Green-Eyed Monster: Initially, Myrtle sees Cindy as a rival for Randy's attention, to the point where she refers to herself as his fiance here, even though she's a chicken. She later shifts into matchmaker mode, however, inspired by the soap operas she watches and a desire to interact maternally with fox kits.
- Hand Wave: When Australian vixen April arrives in the fall with kits in tow (it was spring in Australia), Cindy is completely bewildered by this unnatural occurrence. Stu explains that April had kits in autumn due to "a sort of human-like magic" that won't affect her or anyone she knows. This reassures her (but irritates Randy, who was attempting to explain it correctly with a beach ball and a flashlight). Seen here.
- Having a Heart: In this comic, the animals watch a horror B-movie with "lend me your ears" and "may I lend you a hand?" gags.Penny: Eww..! I hate zombie movies!
- Heel–Face Turn: Toast eventually breaks free from Dusk's influence and reforms — (not that he was all that evil to begin with).
- Heroic BSoD: When Stu tells two of his sons, who have a crush on Dusk, that their brother Fluffy has moved in with the vixen here, they stare off in dazed shock with mouths agape. The reaction is apparently contagious once the news is spread around to their siblings as seen here and here.
- He Who Must Not Be Seen: Human characters — even semi-important ones like the couple who own Green Mountain Studio Animals — are seldom seen, and when they appear their faces are almost never visible.
- Honorary Uncle: It's when the little bunnies call her "Aunt Cindy" in this strip that Cindy yields on considering eating the rabbits. Even Dusk gets a pang of conscience when something she considers food greets her like one of the family here.
- Horrible Judge of Character:
- Myrtle has no clue regarding Dusk's malevolent intentions. The fact that Dusk likes television is more than enough for Myrtle to think she's just peachy. She even gives the vixen pointers on how to snag Randy for herself (it doesn't go well).
- Randy's sister April appeared to be leaning this way, thinking Dusk would be a better mate for Randy than Cindy here — but she later revealed she had Dusk's number a long time ago and was just playing along.
- Humans Are Stupid: Whenever humans get involved with the plot, they're usually doing something that causes trouble for Randy and the animals, but usually out of incompetence rather than malice.
- First there's the very hands-off approach shown by the farm's new owners, which forces the animals to rely on Myrtle more.
- Then there's the humans in the productions Randy and Cindy wind up playing in, where they do rather foolish things all over the place that range from dyeing the foxes blue to getting Randy's paws burnt on a hot car hood.
- Finally, there's the Animal Wrongs Activist who thought it was a good idea to take Randy, who'd suffered the aforementioned burnt paws, and 'set him free' in the middle of the forest while he was still doped up on pain meds.
- Humiliation Conga: After taking Myrtle's advice on how to snare Randy in this arc, Dusk winds up dyed purple and green, reeking of perfume, and suffering (at the very least) a massive headache from being startled whilst under a desk. She beats a strategic retreat shortly afterward.
- Hurricane of Puns: Benjamin, the goat at the zoo. Dear God, Benjamin. His dialogue consists mostly of non-stop puns, many referring to Myrtle, as seen here.Benjamin: I'm surprised to see you. I thought you'd chicken out! It seems you're winging it!
Randy: Yeah, ha ha.
Benjamin: It's not your fault, kid. Myrtle is simply not popular around here. She really laid an egg! All around the zoo, she ruffled a few feathers! And the wolf here — from all I've heard, you got left with egg on your face! Ha!
- I Am Not Weasel: Brisbane the wallaroo is often mistaken for a giant rabbit by strangers to the farm. Examples are seen here and here.
- If You Ever Do Anything to Hurt Her...: Trapper relinquishes his claim to Cindy's childhood pledge of being mates on the condition that Randy treat her like gold.Trapper: You!! Tame fox!! Listen up! You had better be the best, most caring mate any vixen has ever had. You hear me??! You are the luckiest fox I know. And Cindy's den is back that way.
- I Know You Know I Know: Here, Stu and Dusk have a verbal exchange where they both acknowledge their awareness that Dusk is faking being drugged and groggy.Dusk: So you knew I wasn't asleep?
Stu: Yeah. But I didn't want to tempt you in a "princely" lip-lock with Penny's beau.
Dusk: Oh. Well, I knew that you knew.
Stu: Uh-huh. I knew you knew I knew.
- The Illegible: Myrtle does the record-keeping and ordering for the animals because no one else can read her chicken scratches, first seen here. The humans can read it, somewhat, even though they mistake "Myrtle Dehen" for "Meghan Dalton" here. Eventually they find her a typewriter (her hunt and peck typing technique is no more successful, however), as shown here.Myrtle: Hey — that's just my unique penmanship!
- Incredibly Lame Pun:
- When Myrtle asks Kira where Randy is in this comic, she replies that he is extremely well. It turns out the cats tossed him down a well.
- When Myrtle finds Randy after looking for him for hours here, Randy says, "I was tied up all morning." Myrtle is furious, saying that Randy had promised he'd be helping her, when they overhear a cat telling Kira that her fox got loose — yes, Randy was literally tied up all morning.
- A TV commercial for a Caribbean snack food in this strip chains together some horrible puns having to do with Pokémon.HEY, mon, try new PIKA-CHEW — the Caribbean snack food you have to eat SLOW! That's PIKA-CHEW! It's POKEY, mon —
- Lampshaded later when Randy overhears the cats overusing the words "well", and decides to make a last-minute trip away from the farm.
- Happens when Myrtle first meets Thor. She can't resist making a lisping joke at the mouse's expense.Myrtle: Who are you?
Thor: Um, well... I am Thor.
Myrtle: I'm th'orry! Can I get you an ath'pirin?
- When an unnamed bobcat happens upon Dusk and Fluffy, he comments on the rabbit's shampoo-infused scent here with a groaningly obvious play on words when he says, "Gee, your hare smells terrific!"
- I Never Said It Was Poison: Cindy didn't tell Randy that she was acting crazy due to Myrtle giving her a triple espresso float. But Myrtle just did!
- Informed Attribute: Rabbits who don't already know Fluffy mistake him for a demon because of his size, yet the contrast is so slight that many readers wouldn't have noticed without prompting.
- Interspecies Romance: A cat and a raccoon both express carnal interest in Dusk the fox at one point. Later, when Dusk holds a competition for which male fox would be her mate, her long-time companion and attempted Morality Chain Fluffy the rabbit "wins". Fluffy later notes that it is hard for him to find a rabbit girlfriend; others of his species see him as a demon due to his large size and smelling like Dusk, prompting his father to ask why, exactly, Fluffy would have Dusk's scent on him.
- Is It Something You Eat?: Cindy's response to most human things she hasn't encountered, especially at first, is to guess it has something to do with food, with one example seen here.Cindy: So, moo-vee-zan-tee-vee... are they hard to catch?
- I Think You Broke Him: When Myrtle's television is taken away in this arc, she stands catatonic, staring at where it used to be. She also instinctively clicks a remote control when one is put into her hands. Eventually the cats start using her to play "Living Statues" here.
- It's All About Me: Dusk, Dusk, Dusk. She has no idea how to cope with not being the center of attention and works hard at being in the spotlight.
- I Want Grandkids: Poor Hubert. As seen here and here, his quest for a mate is driven almost entirely by his fear of his mother's disappointment.
- Kangaroo Court: Early in the strip, Randy fears the cats will 'play' with Cindy like they do with him. He has an Imagine Spot of her in chains, surrounded by a hostile judge and jury of cats.
- Kangaroo Pouch Ride: At some point in her life in Australia, April enjoyed a jaunt in a kangaroo pouch, as is referenced here. Her kits ask Brisbane the wallaroo for a ride, but April corrects them, telling them that only females have pouches.
- Kick the Morality Pet: Dusk explodes in jealousy at Fluffy when it seems that his relationship with Rose is getting serious. When tiny Pippi gets hit with a stray verbal 'kick,' Dusk shows instant regret.
- Klatchian Coffee: Cindy gets a nuclear caffeine blast after Myrtle doses her with some "triple s press o" in this comic.Cindy: "Hi Randy, hiya Brisbane! What'cha doing we should do something, do you want to do something? I know let's race on your mark get set and go -!!"
[Cindy dashes off] FOOOMM!!
Cindy: "I win - that was fun!! Let's race again - five times around the barn ready set - go!!"
Brisbane: "Randy? Is it me or is Cindy acting a little, um..."
Cindy: "I win again - wow are you guys slow!!"
- Literal Metaphor: It's entirely possible for "a little birdie told me" to mean literally that when Cindy's bluebird friend Birdy is around.
- Love at First Sight: Randy is immediately tongue-tied when he first meets Cindy here, and it takes him a long time to admit his feelings to her.
- Magic 8-Ball: In this strip, Penny consults a Magic-8 Ball to ask if Cindy will return to the barn and marry Randy.
- Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: Stu was a magician's rabbit and is implied to have some magic of his own, but we're not sure how much.
- Meaningful Name: "Toast" was so called because his sister Marmalade was always on top of him when they were kittens, as seen here. Later, when he unwillingly partners with Dusk, "I'm Toast" is quite appropriate for the situation he's landed in.
- My Life Flashed Before My Eyes: Said almost word-for-word by a startled cat here, who was unaware there were two foxes in the barn.Cat: Criminy! Three of my lives flashed before my eyes!
- My Nayme Is: As seen in this strip, Stu's wife is named "Eddie" even though the more common spelling is "Edie." Her owners thought she was male.
- Nearly Normal Animal: Cindy, Dusk, and the cats can grasp higher concepts, think in full sentences, etc. but are still effectively animals. The less feral Green Mountain Studio Animals cast are Intellectual Animals, bordering on Civilized Animal.
- Noodle Incident
- When Randy is in the barn recovering from being doped up, and Cindy and Toast go out to try and find Stu, the cats see it as an opportunity to play with Randy, as such opportunities have been hard to come by now that Cindy's living in the barn. When next we see Randy here, he's inside a giant ball of string. We don't see how he got there.
- Whatever happened the last time Randy and Myrtle visited the zoo, the zoo animals were ready to murder Randy on the off chance Myrtle was with him. Referenced a few times here.
- Not Me This Time: A fairly frequent response from Kira or Dusk, usually when Myrtle is the real culprit.
- Not What It Looks Like: Miscommunication is a theme of the strip, so it's fairly common for, say, Cindy to be doing something completely innocuous and have it misinterpreted as attempted murder. (If Dusk is around, she often 'helps' this along, just for fun).
- Odd Name Out: Seen with some of the names of the bunnies here. Benny, Betty, Barbie, Barney, Bitsy... and Frank.
- Old Shame: In-universe and seen here. Retired acting horse Arthur was always "Runaway Horse #2" because he panics and bolts whenever anyone gets on his back.
- Once Done, Never Forgotten: A very early storyline shows Randy and Cindy being dyed blue in a misadventure involving one of his acting jobs. In 2016, she still hasn't let him forget it. And as of 2021, Cindy still hasn't forgotten about it and once again reminds Randy she didn't want any of her kids painted blue.
- Outside Ride: Stu hitches a ride home by hanging onto the bumper of the car bringing Cindy home from a commercial shoot here. He's singing the main theme to Smokey and the Bandit while doing so.
- Panicky Expectant Father: Randy. Eddie dispatches him here to go boil water, then does the same to get rid of Myrtle one strip later.
- Papa Wolf: Randy starts showing signs of protectiveness of his kits amazingly quickly. In fact, when a hawk attempts to grab his daughter, he neatly dispatches the predatory bird.
- Paper-Thin Disguise: Arthur dons a hat, fake mustache and beard, and funny glasses here after a misadventure involving one of his new human owners and a covered bridge.
- Percussive Maintenance: Stu repeatedly kicks a computer monitor to demonstrate that the humans sometimes use it for exercise in this strip.
- Pig Latin: In this strip, Dusk uses Pig Latin to disguise the fact that she's insulting Cindy.Dusk: Ut-bay ot-nay oo-tay ight-bray, if you know what I mean.
- Plucky Girl: Cindy combines mild Action Girl elements (notably a willingness to take on Dusk when she wants to corral Randy for herself) with an overall optimistic outlook as well as an unwillingness to shrink from challenges and new experiences.
- Poor Communication Kills: As befitting the title of the comic, the majority of the animals' misadventures is the result of characters misinterpreting or misunderstanding key pieces of information. Lampshaded here.
- Privacy by Distraction: Eddie sends Randy on the classic "go boil a big pot of water" errand in this strip when his wife goes into labor. Myrtle gets sent off in the next comic.
- Puppy-Dog Eyes: Used with some frequency. Weaponized here when one rabbit holds up a youngster flashing a sad, soulful expression to get Arthur to do them a favor; countered in the next strip by the barn cats, who also know of its power and demonstrate strength in numbers, when the rabbits try the approach again.
- Really Gets Around: Thor mentions that he has had many paramours in this comic.Thor: Thor can sympathize. Thor himself has had many girlfriends.
- Reference Overdosed: A compact expression of this trope occurs here when Randy chases Dusk off the farm with a tranquilizer gun. It turns out he's sleepwalking while mildly under the influence of pain killers — and while doing so, woozily references TV westerns, Star Trek, Lord of the Rings, and Superman in rapid succession.
- Ridiculously Cute Critter: Of all the rabbits, Pippi is by far the cutest of the bunch. She's tiny, sweetly naive, and speaks in a childlike manner. She even manages to get under the cynical Dusk's defenses (calling her "Auntie Dusk" and hugging her), convincing her not to eat the prey animals at the farm. See here especially.
- Right Behind Me: Penny's mother is standing right behind Jon here, when he confides to Randy that his new wife Penny is becoming like her mother — and not in a good way.
- Running Gag:
- Randy getting tossed down the well by the cats.
- "Talking about the weather" as a metaphor for sex.
- Pippi startling Dusk into hitting her head when Dusk tries to sneak into the barn.
- The various characters expressing dislike when they encounter microwaveable brussels sprouts.
- Sand In My Eyes: In this strip, Dusk tries to disguise her tearing up when she sees Cindy's newborn kits by covering an eye and claiming the light is really bad.
- Sapient Eat Sapient: Even birds and field mice can talk in this setting, making Randy's reluctance to hunt his own food understandable. But he doesn't object to prepackaged chicken cutlets or Lamb 'n' Rice Medley, so he either hasn't thought it through or he has no qualms about eating meat he hasn't personally met.
- Schmuck Bait: Randy finds it impossible to resist the various snares and traps the barn cats set for him in the name of "play," and he is invariably ensnared in them through his naïve curiosity.Kira: It's amazing you lived so long to be so trusting!
- Selective Obliviousness: Randy's innocence about sex is complicated. At first he appears to be completely ignorant about the facts of life. Later, he seems actively resistant to learning about it. Ultimately, it is revealed that Randy does know about "the birds and the bees," but all of his knowledge comes from human entertainment — so he's not so much "completely ignorant" as "completely wrong". The last issue is seen in this strip, when he says "Well, after the wedding and the reception, we'll go someplace pretty for awhile. Then we kiss a lot, and snuggle and — you know... sleep... Then somehow the stork finds out about it, but I'm not clear on that part... "
- Shock Collar: Hue gets tagged with a location collar which delivers a potent electric shock if anyone tries to remove it in this strip.
- Here and here by the cats, of all characters to Star Wars, of all things. The first example shows two cats reenacting an exchange from the film between two villains who want to get rid of an intruder, while the second depicts two cats having a "lightsaber" duel using feathers.
- Myrtle dresses Cindy up like the title character from I Dream of Jeannie in this strip and Elvis Presley here. Later in the same arc here, it's revealed that Randy has a crush on Princess Jasmine from Aladdin.
- Randy channels James Bond in this comic.Randy: [wearing a white suit and black bow tie] My name? Fox. Randy Fox...
- Stu hitches an Outside Ride on the car bringing Cindy home from a commercial shoot while singing the main theme from Smokey and the Bandit in this strip.
- There is a very subtle one during the second car commercial shoot; the crew are shown wearing outfits resembling some of the Scooby-Doo cast.
- Cocky quotes The Lord of the Rings and Serenity while drunk.
- Toast sings "Ding-Dong, the Witch Is Dead" from The Wizard of Oz in this comic when he hears Dusk has left the barn — though it turns out his joy is short lived.
- In this strip, Randy is loopy from pain killers and sings "Sloop John B" by The Beach Boys.
- While Ricky's practicing his acting here, he holds a head prop of Skeletor from Masters of the Universe. While paraphrasing a famous line from Hamlet, no less.
- The TARDIS from Doctor Who is mentioned here by one of the cats, who wonders if April's sudden move from spring to winter might be a result of its use.
- After Dusk, still brightly colored from her Humiliation Conga, returns to the farm, one of the bunnies remarks that the new colors make her look "twenty percent cooler", quoting Rainbow Dash almost word for word. Dusk herself imitates Fluttershy's Flat Joy "yay."
- Randy references Lost in Space in this comic when he says "Danger, Will Robinson! Danger!"
- Both The Wizard of Oz and Monty Python and the Holy Grail are referenced back-to-back in this story arc here. Both come courtesy of Bruce, who first shouts "Who dares to disturb the great and powerful Bru!??" and then in successive panels "What... is your name? What... is your quest? What... is your favorite color?"
- The Wizard of Oz is referenced here when Hue closes his eyes and chants, "There's no place like home. There's no place like home."
- An iconic line from Planet of the Apes (1968) is referenced here.Randy: It is nice here, more than not. Though sometimes it's like some old, crazy movie.
Trapper: [trussed up in a snare by Toast] Keep your stinking paws off me, you darned dirty cat!
- When Toast asks why Randy isn't with Cindy while she's giving birth, another feline references the infamously gory stomach burst scene from Alien here. As a result, Toast decides to go help Randy boil water instead of assist with the birth.
- "Zecora," a character's name from My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, is one of the false names Randy gives for his newborn kits.
- One story arc has Randy and Cindy's kits showing off what they've learned today — and here, it seems they now know the theme songs to Gilligan's Island, Spongebob Squarepants, and Batman (1966).
- Stu quotes the catchphrase from the Super Chicken segment of George of the Jungle in this comic when he says, "You knew the job was dangerous when you took it."
- Randy quotes a line from The Lion King (1994) when telling one of his kits they'll be hunting and eating bugs here.Randy: Well, seems to me that Simba described bugs as "Slimy, yet satisfying!"
- When Toast discovers his tormentor Dusk has returned in this strip, he says "Looks like I picked the wrong day to give up catnip," a riff on lines spoken by Lloyd Bridges in Airplane!.
- Sleeps with Both Eyes Open: Cindy sleeps with her eyes open when Myrtle accidentally drugs her into a daze with too much cough syrup.
- The Smart Guy: Of Birdy's two offspring, Constance is extremely erudite and well spoken, while Lily is a Cloud Cuckoolander fractured-English speaker like her mom.
- Sneeze of Doom: Hue, who is carrying five carrots in his mouth in this strip, suddenly sneezes, sending them everywhere.
- Spontaneous Choreography: Randy does an impromptu dance in this strip after he gets his first kiss from Cindy.Randy: Okay, steady on...! Real he-foxes don't prance or giggle!
- Stink Snub: In this flashback strip, Randy is seen in a pet shop as a young kit. The puppies who share his space find his musky odor very off-putting.Unnamed puppy: Whoa, kid — What did you do — offend a skunk?
- Stronger Than They Look: Fluffy the rabbit may not look like a badass, but he is apparently able to vanquish any animal who underestimates him and makes the mistake of taking him on. We never see how he does it, but he is able to beat up and throw foxes and bobcats twice his size. Examples are seen here and here.
- Stylistic Suck: When we finally see a sample of Myrtle's story writing in this comic and this story arc, her finished product is a classic example of Purple Prose.Myrtle: [writing] Myrtle crossed the road forlornly, pushed away from her one-time passion. But the tyrant Randy and his evil henchmen would soon know her wrath.
- Take That!:
- Myrtle places the completed supply order forms under a rock, deep in the mud, because she heard that's how Microsoft handles its customer support in this comic.
- In this comic, Ricky the star-struck raccoon imitates William Shatner doing the soliloquy from Hamlet by William Shakespeare, complete with hammy Punctuated! For! Emphasis! vocal delivery.Randy: To be... or... NOT to be THAT... IS... the question!
- Talk About the Weather: Something of a Running Gag. When humans talk about sex, Randy lies in his translation to Cindy, which gives her the impression that the topic of weather somehow bothers him. An early example is seen here.
- Talking Animal: Only Cocky can talk to humans, but the rest can all talk to each other.
- Taped-Over Turmoil: The rabbits decide to show Randy a tape to educate him about the sex life of his species, which is titled "The Secret Life of the Red Fox," here. Unfortunately, they discover that Myrtle has taped over the video with an episode of Magnum, P.I..
- Tar and Feathers: A cat gets covered in honey and feathers after the cats he sold feathers to for tickling Cindy realize that she's no longer ticklish. His angry customers use the same feathers he sold them, in fact.
- Tempting Fate: A very common occurrence in the comic.
- Myrtle has an internal monologue here in which she notes two difficult situations that have just occurred and wonders what else could go wrong. Immediately after she thinks about the possibility, she sees an out-of-control Arthur the horse dash past, carrying one of the farm's new owners, who unwisely tried to ride him.Myrtle: This is just great. Randy's terrified of the cats, we have a new set of owners... what else can go wrong here?
[One of the human owners tries to ride Arthur, who gallops by in a panic.]
Myrtle: I give up!
- This strip also provides an example. Stu and Randy are discussing a pair of problematic recent occurrences when the former mentions that Dusk turning up would just add to their difficulties. She in fact does so as he speaks.Randy: So Myrtle has wedding fever, and Eddie is going nuts about you setting Cocky free.
Stu: Oh yeah. Fun times. All we need now is for Dusk to return — and we'd have the trifecta of trouble.
- In this comic, Dusk complains that her scheme to prevent Randy and Cindy from mating is falling apart. When she dashes outside to try and stop them, Dusk says "What else could go wrong" — and it starts snowing.
- Myrtle has an internal monologue here in which she notes two difficult situations that have just occurred and wonders what else could go wrong. Immediately after she thinks about the possibility, she sees an out-of-control Arthur the horse dash past, carrying one of the farm's new owners, who unwisely tried to ride him.
- Tertiary Sexual Characteristics:
- Female characters have long eyelashes. Justified since they're animals and there's no sexual dimorphism in the species (rabbits, cats, foxes) which the major characters are.
- The vixens have a little mop of extra fur on their necks, making it look a bit like they have human hair. In addition, Dusk's fur pattern makes her look like she's wearing eyeshadow.
- Textile Work Is Feminine: Played with. Myrtle supposedly has claimed to like knitting in the past, but it's actually a cover for her TV addiction. Seen here.
- Thinks Like a Romance Novel: Randy, Myrtle, and to a lesser extent Hubert think that love requires grand romantic gestures, flowers, candlelight dinners, etc. Hubert also plays the Dogged Nice Guy role to Dusk, even though she is definitely not interested.
- Third-Person Person: Thor, the field mouse, invariably refers to himself in third person: "Thor demands atonement!"
- Three-Month-Old Newborn: Averted here and here with Cindy's kits, to the point where Stu and Eddie warn the new father not to expect cute fox kits so soon after birth. (Kira comments that they look more like moles to her).
- Toilet Humor: A subtle version of this trope occurs here, where Toast suggests the partly comatose Dusk just smelled him passing gas.Dusk: Well well, seems as if a rift is forming here. I smell an opportunity!
Toast: That's probably me — I had lamb and rice medley for dinner.
- Trademark Favorite Food: Cindy loves ice cream and anything with ice cream in it. It's one of the few ways to circumvent her common sense.
- Trauma Conga Line: When Cindy first comes to live in the barn, she is frightened away by the "cannons" section of the 1812 Overture played at full blast here, bashed on the head with a bucket of water from a door sill trap here, catches cold from a miserable night in unfamiliar territory here, and finally is overdosed with cold medicine in a misguided attempt by Myrtle to make her feel better here.
- Eddie plays Type B for all it's worth. Made worse when she's pregnant, naturally.Eddie: Kids? One thing. We're all worried about your father. He may need your help getting home. If he's hurt, then help him get back, any way you can. However— if you find he's having fun while I'm home worrying, I authorize you to subdue him and drag his fuzzy tail home! Is that clear??!
- Her oldest daughter Penny turns on her tsun side when a heavy snowstorm keeps her from going out to honeymoon with her new husband. Unsurprisingly, Eddie is proud.
- Eddie plays Type B for all it's worth. Made worse when she's pregnant, naturally.
- Uncertified Expert: Played with here when Brisbane becomes ordained as a cardinal (complete with a mitre) by a sketchy ministry. He even gets what appears to be a Phony Degree that reads "Doctor Brisbane. Master of Divinity. Et Tu Latinus Plurum. First Angler Congregation Missouri Ministries of the Uniquely Divine Bass." Turns out it's another one of Myrtle's foul ups — all the wallaroo wanted was a St. Louis Cardinals baseball cap! Nonetheless, Brisbane presides over the dual wedding of Randy to Cindy and Jon to Penny.
- Unlucky Childhood Friend: Trapper to Cindy here. Dusk tricked him into trying to impress Cindy by exploring the furthest mountain he could find. By the time he met her again she was already pregnant with Randy's kits.
- The Unsmile: Dusk's attempt to conjure a smile to show how happy she is that Cindy has just given birth in this strip is creepy beyond belief. When Stu and Fluffy see it, the former tells her to "dial it down a notch or two" and the latter does a Face Palm.
- Unusual Euphemism: When Randy takes Cindy to see his human owners so he can translate what they're saying here, the humans start wondering out loud whether Randy and Cindy will mate and raise a family, which embarrasses Randy no end. He translates it for Cindy as "talking about the weather" — which soon becomes code, among the guys, for sex.Cindy: I don't understand any of this, Kira.
Kira: Must be a guy thing.
- Virginity Makes You Stupid: Randy has no idea about non-human sex. He thinks sex and romance work the same with animals as with humans, and his "knowledge" of human sex comes from soap operas. No one has the heart to sit him down and set him straight. Confirmed in the strips that take place after Randy's "wedding," where he is far more level-headed and able to serve as the voice of experience for Naďve Newcomer Hubert.
- Webcomic Time: The March 2014 strips seem to take place in January, of the second year that Cindy and Randy have known each other, and the first mating season they've spent together.
- Weirdness Censor: Cocky is a bird who can speak fluent French and passable English, and it's been proven that he can translate what Randy is saying. And the humans let it pass without a whole lot of commenting!
- Weirdness Magnet: Raccoons Ricky and Al lampshade Randy's tendency to attract odd occurrences here when he asks how they found him at the farm:Al: Well, first we saw a rainbow-colored, grumbling vixen...
Ricky: And a cat covered in feathers, running for its life...
Al: ...then we tailed a fat chicken crawl-jogging by midnight... it seemed like your kind of crowd!
Ricky: Plus, there's the sign out front.
- What's a Henway?: When a group of young foxes, cats, and rabbits are discussing snow, the cat makes an obvious pun on its own Malapropism in this strip.First fox kit: Whoa! What happened??!
Kitten: It snowed. Or 'snew,' as I like to say.
Second fox kit: Pardon — but what is snow?
Kitten: Snow is Mother Nature's way of redecorating the landscape.
Unknown youngster: What's snew?
Kitten: Not much. What's snew with you?
- Who's on First?: Hubert's new nickname, Hue, spawns a few confusing exchanges reminiscent of the famous bewildered Abbott and Costello skit in this comic. Stu even lampshades the routine at the end.Fluffy: Dad and I will be gone for a day or so. We're going with Hue to talk to Dusk.
Penny: Yeah, as if! No way I would talk to Dusk!
Fluffy: Right, you stay here. We're going with Hue.
Penny: Why me?
Fluffy: Not you, Hue!
Fluffy: We're talking Hue, the fox!
Penny: You think I'm a fox?
Stu: When we get back, I'll teach you two "Who's on first."
- Who Would Be Stupid Enough?: Eddie complains internally about people creating a booming voice by climbing into the vents. Only to climb in herself. Subverted: she wasn't stuck. Thor didn't know that, though.
- Why Waste a Wedding?: Narrowly averted after Cindy and Randy decide to hold off on their wedding until winter, as that's fox mating season, but Myrtle is all worked up planning a wedding so it's suggested that Jon and Penny get married instead. But they ultimately decide that accommodating Myrtle's insanity is a terrible reason to get married and opt to deal with the consequences instead.
- Will They or Won't They?: The comic is mainly about miscommunication and the ever-so-slow advancement of Randy and Cindy's relationship. When Cindy first broaches the idea of having kits, Randy thinks she's talking about babysitting. (He sure has a lot to learn about nature.) They've finally "eloped" and are now parents!
- Wrong Genre Savvy: Randy understands human romance, but only as he sees it on television. Concerning fox romance, he's clueless, as he himself acknowledges here.
- You Do NOT Want To Know: A variation of this quote is used by Dusk when a young rabbit asks her what she likes to eat in this comic — hint: it's his species.Dusk: Kid — Danny? Here's a piece of advice. Never ask a question if you won't like the answer.
- Your Universe or Mine?: Downplayed version — Cindy is willing to stay at the barn to keep Randy, but she has some moments of depression and angst at the thought of raising her kits among human weirdness.