Follow TV Tropes


Webcomic / Housepets!

Go To
The age old story of Cats and Dogs

"Any problem can be solved with the correct application of pressure to a stupid person's face."
Grape Jelly Sandwich, Housepets

We all love our pets, don't we? Now imagine this: your pets are sapient, anthropomorphised, and have the height of a small child. What would they be doing all day? Housepets portrays such a scenario. This comic by Rick Griffin portrays pets virtually as children who are almost human besides height and differences in clothing style.

The main characters are Peanut Butter and Grape Jelly, the beloved dog and cat of the Sandwich family. In a twist on the classic "smart cat, dumb dog" setup, Peanut and Grape are actually fairly similar in intellect with similar interests, and their subtle personality differences shine like a beacon. Peanut is the sensitive and slightly silly one. He's childlike and excitable and loves playing all kinds of games. Grape is the lazy and pragmatic one, though sometimes she is too sensible for her own good.

Initially, the story centered around the pets of Babylon Gardens and the wacky hijinks they found themselves in, but about a year into its run, Griffin started to include more mature themes. While never falling prey to Cerebus Syndrome, much of the comic has dealt with the implications of a world where animals and humans are similarly intelligent, including but not limited to: naming pets as heirs, wild animals deciding to live a civilized life, Interspecies Romance, an African micronation which humans never colonized and is run entirely by animals, and novels marketed towards animals and the associated subcultures that they give rise to.

However, life in Babylon Gardens is not exactly normal, as several members of the cast have become embroiled a great supernatural game played by a set of three demigods, the Great Kitsune, the Astral Dragon, and Pete the Griffin. At the center of this story is King, a human turned into a dog to serve as Pete's avatar in the game, which occasionally intersect with the pets' normal lives. After the game's introduction, it is often hard to tell which is the comic's central story.

According to the author, the comic was initially inspired by childhood drawings made by Griffin of a dog named "Bino". Bino appears as a character in the comic, as the leader of Babylon Garden's "Good Ol' Dogs Club." Portrayed as an antagonist more often than not, he is the middle brother caught between his popular older brother, police dog Officer Fido, and his quirky younger brother, Joey.

Check it out here.

The artists other website also hosts further art and another comic 'A&H club'.

This comic provides examples of:

  • A Form You Are Comfortable With:
  • Aborted Arc:
    • The author decided to prematurely end a story arc which depicted catnip use as similar to smoking marijuana because it would break the self-imposed PG rating, although catnip itself is still available as seen in later strips.
    • Two other arcs were aborted by acts of god. "The Arc Specifically About Being Naked" was killed by a broken computer, and "All Hallow's Ween" was ended by a medical emergency.
    • Subverted with "All's Fair". He had a flare-up that led him to urgent care, but it timed perfectly with the Year 7 milestone. So he decided to take a week off, then he did a week-long Spot arc, then resumed the arc with a Part 2.
    • In-Universe, Peanut realizes the Guys and Dolls Imaginate Show Within a Show is running long and ends it with a cardboard sign saying "Everyone Gets Married. The End.".
  • Abusive Parents: Sasha's dad is a drunk who yells at her and locks her outside all night in the snow.
  • Accessory-Wearing Cartoon Animal: Pretty much all of the cats, dogs, and rabbits wear collars as their only attire.
  • Adorkable: Several characters qualify, most notably Peanut, Joey, Tiger, Sasha, Truck and King.
  • Affectionate Nickname
    • Sasha uses them frequently. She calls Fox "Foxie-bon", and Bino "Biney-bon". We haven't heard one for current boyfriend Kevin yet.
    • Grape calls Maxwell "Maxie". She also expressly forbids Peanut from calling Maxwell that.
    • Bailey calls King "Kingy".
    • Bino tries calling Duchess by a pet name, but she won't allow him to do so in public.
  • All Animals Are Domesticated:
    • Not exactly, as the wolves moving into the neighborhood caused quite a stir, but if they're friendly enough they seem to be able to integrate without too much trouble, and they're all sentient, so it works.
    • There is also mention of a feral level of animals, most notably Joel's former pets.
  • All There in the Manual: The official names of several characters are only given within the tags of each comic. As well as any official monickers a character may have (such as "The Other Daryl" to refer to a Big Eater wolf who happens to have the same name as another character).
  • All Just a Dream: Typical ending of any of the mortals' dealings with the celestial nerds. It doesn't negate what happened, but it becomes a convenient way of ending an audience with the gods.
    • Keene even called Pete out on it once.
      Pete: Then I must ask something of you, mortal.
      Keene: And that is?
      Pete: Wake up. *snaps his fingers*
      Keene (waking up in his bed): DON'T YOU PULL THAT IT-WAS-ALL-A-DREAM THING ON... ah crud
    • Then in the end of the "Heaven's Not Enough" Great Kitsune surprises everyone by not doing that, which also leaves all the mortals involved in the middle of Australia.
    • Defied when it's revealed that all the main characters are NPCs in a Dungeons & Dragons ripoff. The deities are quick to point out that the universe and everyone inside it existed before they turned it into a game setting, so it's all just as real as before.
    • The ultimate payoff of the "Temple Crashers" arc - everything actually happened, but this ends up being how Keene gets everyone still trapped inside the collapsing temple to safety, since in the temple he wields the power of dreams. Naturally, he's none too happy about the anticlimactic resolution.
  • All of the Other Reindeer: Joey, most acutely. He even plays Rudolph in a Christmas pageant.
    • Tiger also qualifies as well, being a dog with the name of a cat.
  • Alternate Appearance Aura: Peanut, Grape, Max and Tarot in the Pridelands Imaginate, thanks to Tarot's powers.
  • Alternate Reality Episode: THE GALLIFRAX PROTOCOL, in which Tarot, Peanut, Grape, and Max visit an alternate Earth where they resemble "normal" animals instead of their normal Funny Animal appearance.
  • Alternative Number System: Spo came from a very large family. How large? The sibling born immediately after him was named Spp.
  • Alt Text: Especially in the later comics, the alt text occasionally provides a secondary punchline for the strip, or some other humorous comment. As of the website redesign in 2016, however, most of the alt texts are missing.
  • Amazing Technicolor Wildlife: For example, you have normally-colored Peanut alongside Grape, a purple cat.
  • Amazingly Embarrassing Parents: Not quite her parent, but Bill is this to Bailey.
  • Ambiguous Gender: While the Biggelsworths also have this description, Fiddler and Keys. We know one is male and one is female, but no real indication of who's who to this day. When Breel, the marten masseuse, was introduced the forum erupted in debates as to the nature of their gender.
    • Peanut had this problem with Grape early on, just automatically assuming she was male until she revealed otherwise, which was hard for him to process.
  • Ambiguously Gay: Bruce and Roosevelt, judging from this strip where they're practically cuddling on the couch while watching (American) football. Later, they share a rather intimate moment in what looks to be a hot tub but turns out to be the otters' pool with the heater cranked. Their status has become less ambiguous with this comic.
    • Cory the skunk, who in his first appearance flirts with Zach.
    • Breel, who when introduced was very 'friendly' with Keene. Like with Bruce and Roosevelt, his status was eventually confirmed.
  • Amicable Exes: Sabrina used to date Maxwell, and they're still on fairly friendly terms with one another.
  • Anchored Ship:
  • Animal Jingoism: Not outright hatred, per se, but the Good Ol' Dogs Club only admits dogs, and then there's the interspecies romance taboo...
  • Animals Not to Scale: Almost all dogs, cats, rabbits, and raccoons are the same size (about waist height on a human) while mice are about real life size, and ferrets (plus King and Tarot) are on a scale somewhere in between those, the wolves are huge and musclepacked, apparently from living in the wild, while real wolves are smaller than some dog breeds. Equines and kangaroos, despite being sapient the same as everyone else, are no more outwardly anthropomorphic than their real life counterparts, and are of the same size as them; the consistency is all over the place with this comic.
  • Animal Stereotypes:
    • Played with to a degree, but the cast act more like children then animals to the point where Rick sometimes adds in stereotypical animal behavior specificly for people who look for it.
    • In the first Christmas strip, after Joey gives his girlfriend Squeak a block of cheese, she tells him straight out "the whole cheese thing's a stereotype".
    • Based on his first appearance, some readers assumed that Cory was on the way of joining the long list of cartoon skunk bad guys. They ended up being right.
  • Animation Bump: Most notably, the switch to color, but the drawing style has been improving overall.
  • Animal Wrongs Group: PETA, during the "A Sinister Shadow" arc.
  • Arranged Marriage: Not a marriage (yet), but the whole reason Peanut and Tarot ended up together is because Spirit Dragon asked Tarot to attract Peanut. This was to keep Pete from trying to take Peanut as an avatar.note 
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: Tarot, especially early on, tends to follow dire predictions with more mundane inconveniences, like this one:
    Tarot: The truth shall be brought to light, and I fear that day, for all who do not hold love in their hearts shall perish, and their souls will be broken into shards as countless as all the sand on the face of the earth. Plus it's terrible for your complexion.
  • Art Evolution: Compare this comic to the next day's. A second evolution was implemented around October 2012, this one a conscious decision by the artist for a new art style.
  • Art Shift: Played for laughs In-Universe within "That's Why Your Save It For The Cover", where the last panel of the Show Within The Show "Spot (Superdog)" was drawn well by Joey, causing it to heavily stand out from the rest of the normally Stylistic Suck comic. The Punchline of that comic is that said drawing was a actually commission Peanut didn't expect to have to pay.
    • In a meta sense, with Rick's shift to a more comic book-like style of page with the 101st "chapter", there are some changes- the colors are more muted, the backgrounds more detailed, and the female animals (at least the dogs, from what's been seen so far) have more noticeable... assets.
  • Artifact Title: Rick seems to be introducing more and more characters (the Wolf Pack, Itsuki, the Galactic Nerds, the Forest creatures, the zoo creatures, Karishad) who wouldn't exactly be considered 'house pets'.
  • Aside Glance:
    • Peanut in the fourth panel of this comic glances at the audience after Grape solves his problem by simply breaking the remote controler to Bino's shock collar, cutting off Peanut's rambling panicked explanation so she can take a nap in peace.
    • Bruno the bear gives one when Bino challenges her as part of his attempt to become an honorary wolf, displaying her disbelief that such a small canine like him seriously thinks that waving around a stick is going to scare her off.
  • Ass-Kicking Pose: Employed by Miles and his pack when coming to Fido's defense near the end of the "Jungle Fever" arc.
  • As You Know:
    Bahamut (Dragon Judge): Explain your actions in seizing the fate of a mortal.
    Pete: You're tell me.
    Bahamut: Technically, we all are, but that sorta makes it hard to tell a story.
  • Attractive Bent Species: Played straight with Thomas when Sofia hits on him after he becomes a camel like her, thanks to Pete's cursed treasure. Inverted with King when he meets Bailey, since in that case he's the one who falls in love and wasn't of her species to start with. In both cases, it's Love at First Sight.
  • Author Tract: In-Universe, lampshaded by Grape in "The Boring Adventures Of Spot":
    Grape: Don't you think you're editorializing a bit much?
    Peanut: A little, but that's why people make comics, right?
  • Awkward Kiss: Maxwell gets one. From Rufus, of all people. Especially because Rufus is a dog, which Maxwell has been shown to be quite smug around. Also because Rufus lives on the sandwich farm, there's a question of how he met Rufus in the first place. Also doesn't help that Grape wants to know all the fun,juicy details of why Rufus kissed him as Maxwell continues to turn more red.
  • Backup Bluff: When superpowered Res is holding off The Forgotten, it's constantly saying it's hopeless, but Res replies he may just be stalling, while thinking to himself not to expose how terrified he is. As it turns out, he had the power to finish it after all.
  • Baleful Polymorph:
    • Joel, who starts out as a Jerk Ass, gets captured and turned into a dog named King by Pete, to serve as Pete's "pet". At first, we find it fitting considering Joel's established personality. But Pete didn't do it to force him to become a better person, he wanted to use Joel/King to his advantage. Once Jo— er, King falls in love with another dog and realizes how much he prefers his new life, he decides to stay this way once he's finally free of Pete.
    • Thomas Milton, nephew of the late Mr. Milton, who breaks into Pete's temple to steal treasure. Turns out Pete placed a protective spell on it, one designed to deprive human thieves of their hands... which means turning them into handless animals, like a camel in this case (since Thomas came with a camel to help him get the loot). Thomas now has to figure out how to reverse its effects... but all the scrolls he could have used are buried under the temple once it comes down, forcing his camel Sofia to drag him out by his new tail to save him. Whether he'll also find true love and life as a camel to be better than his human life remains to be seen, as it does seem his camel companion Sofia has... a bit of a thing for him now.
    • Then Thomas spreads it to Steward, who conspired with him to lift the loot from the temple. He angrily spits a single coin at Steward... and then it turns out the treasure's still cursed, so Steward turns into a badger.
  • Bears Are Bad News: Bino's encounter with Bruno, as part of his efforts to become an honorary wolf, does not go well. After the audience gets an Aside Glance from her, in disbelief that Bino thinks his challenge is a serious threat, she then simply falls onto him, squishing the dog beneath her.
  • Bear Hug: Fox gets one from his new partner Mungo, as seen here.
  • Become a Real Boy: When he is incarnated by Cerberus, Breel is shook when his heart starts beating.
    Breel: Hey, we've established I've been alive before, I can handle it
    (Cerberus removes Breel's halo, and he immediately clutches his chest)
    Breel: WHAT is that moving in my chest?!
    Keene: You mean the breathing, or the heartbeat?
    Breel: Does everyone have those?!
  • Becoming the Mask:
    • Heavily implied that this was happening with Spirit Dragon before Peanut broke her heart to stay with Tarot
    • Even though he didn't want it at first, after falling in love and marrying Bailey, it's safe to say Joel/King has decided he wants to be a dog. At the end of the Cosmic Game, he chose to remain a dog and stay with Bailey, Fox, and all the friends he's made.
  • Berserk Button:
    • Parodied out of Universe. At one point, Rick left a comment stating he would "e-strangle" the next person to mention how much more buff Fido looked after a minor style revision. A few comics later Rick then commented himself how buff Fido was looking, leading readers to wonder if Rick would now e-strangle himself.
    • If you should ever find yourself in the comic's universe, here's a handy list of things you should not do:
      • Don't tease Tiger about having the name of a big cat.
      • Don't wake Grape from a nap.
      • Don't be a cat or cat-lover in the Good Ol' Dogs Club when Bino's around.
      • Don't mention the name Joel around Fox, he's quick to get angry ever since he was kidnapped (or rather dognapped). Then there's Heaven's Not Enough...
  • Big, Bulky Bomb: Played with in this strip, in "The Great Water Balloon War" story arc, in the form of an absolutely huge water balloon requiring much of the contents of a pool to fill it.
  • Big Damn Kiss: One between Keene and Breel frees them of their bonds.
  • Big Eater: Tiger. RL dogs are basically walking garbage cans, after all.
  • Bigger on the Inside: In this strip, even Zach, who's been in the temple in the back yard of Mr. Milton before, is absolutely stunned by how huge the place looks like from the inside, far in excess of the external dimensions.
  • Big Red Button: Ferrets love 'em.
  • Bilingual Bonus: The line from the Japanese comedy show in this strip is, ‘Call a doctor!
  • Black Dude Dies First: Parodied as Max, who has all-black fur, plays the first victim in the And Then There Were None Imaginate.
  • Bland-Name Product:
    • One of the books Peanut uses to get caught up on the Pridelands series of books is Pridelands for Imbeciles.
    • Nothing goes as well with a game of Universes and Unrealities as a fresh bag of Doritas.
  • Bouquet Toss: Tarot caught the floral bouquet thrown after King's wedding, with the help of Karishad.
  • Brain Bleach: Evoked by King in response to Miles' Christmas party plans
  • Bread, Eggs, Milk, Squick:
  • Brick Joke: They happen from time to time.
    • When Peanut is done up as the ghost of Banquo in their Macbeth imagination play, Maxwell screams like he did when he was freaked out by Sabrina and her spiritual connections.
    • Most recently, the alt texts of this and this. More specifically, the joke's about Pete really wanting to use a ballpoint pen instead of a "writing wedge".
    • The comic of 8/18/2010, and this one just over three years later, is a Brick Joke concerning Tarot's prophesy of Sabrina nearly drowning.
    • In "Heaven's Not Enough, Part 2", Tarot can be seen using her cellphone to make a text message. Come part 3 of the same arc, and it's revealed she was messaging Kerishad, the local Cloud Cuckoo Lander.
    • The first thing King ever said to Bailey was, "Please don't sniff my butt." Apparently she obliged, because come his proposal to marry her which she accepted, she suddenly remembers, "I never got to sniff your butt!"
    • Fox is pretty big on believing he's the protagonist of a summer blockbuster adventure. That comes up a few times, especially when he goes on the run to try to prove Sasha didn't attempt to kill Keene Milton and is being reprimanded for it. In response to being told that the case wasn't a summer blockbuster type thing, he exasperatedly asks:
    Fox: Why does everyone keep telling me that?!
  • Call-Back: Rick Griffin could give Oda-sensei a run for his money at this trope.
  • Call to Adventure: In "Temple Crashers 2", specifically when Tarot recruits Fox's help. He's a little reluctant, but ultimately joins.
    Fox: Resolving the fate of the world might be outside my wheelhouse.
    Tarot: Nah, you'll be fine. Come on, we need to get you a hat.
    • Then at the climax of the arc, Great Kitsune pulled one for Res.
      Res: Why can't you stop this?
      Kitsune: Despite the omnipotence, there's quite a few things that I cannot change—it's beyond my paygrade, as it were. So if you act now, one of a dozen things is about to happen; if you don't, one thing will happen.
      Res: What's that?
      Kitsune: You'll find out! In about, oh, five seconds.
      Res: (jumps into the mana pool)
  • Canada, Eh?: Res
  • Carnivore Confusion:
    • Usually played straight. It's accepted as a fact of life that predator species kill and eat prey animals for sustenance (something that gets pointed out more than once and even happens on-panel); however, it should be noted that like the predators, the prey species are also fully sentient, able to talk to and even hold lengthy conversations with the animals who want to eat them.
    • Except for some, like the cows, which seem to be either non-sapient, or just don't care.
    • Illustrated by the title and cover of the second book Housepets! Hope They Don't Get Eaten featuring a picture of the wolf cubs seasoning an understandably concerned looking Zach.
    • One of the Bigglesworths attempts to eat Squeak and Spo, only to be foiled (and disturbed) by Squeak's foot (macro?) fetish.
  • Cassandra Truth: Grape was right that last time about Pete...
  • Catch-Phrase: For Peanut: "_______ is/are a thing, isn't it/aren't they?"
  • Cat Concerto: Fiddler and Keys
  • Cats Are Mean: By and large downplayed, since Grape is only mean compared to Peanut. Sometimes played straighter for comedic effect.
  • Cat Up a Tree: Grape has been trapped up a tree by angry dogs at least once.
  • Censor Box: Parodied with Bino during "The Arc Specifically About Being Naked".
  • Chair Reveal: Those ferrets sure love showmanship, with a twirl of a tall-backed chair revealing the instiagtor of the big water balloon war.
  • Chained Heat: Zach and Jessica end up in a trap, both dirty, injured, and cold, so they snuggle for warmth. Cue Keene showing up thinking he caught a gargoyle.
  • Chekhov's Gun:
    • The last panel of this just seems to be a throwaway gag, involving the reactions of Peanut and Grape to seeing what Fido is up to with Sabrina. A year and a half later, it turns out it's not.]
    • The golden statue of himself the Great Kitsune sent to King within "Never believe it's not so" eventually comes to prominence within the "Housepets 5000 BC" arc when it was used to contact the Great Kitsune about Satau managing to find himself within the present. It's revealed within this arc that the statue is the Great Kitsune, himself, disguised as a golden statue using shapeshifting magic.
    King: Have you been in there the whole time?!
    Great Kitsune: No! ...not anymore than I'm everywhere all the time.
  • Chronic Hero Syndrome: Sabrina is compelled to save any wayward animal she finds.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Throwaway character Delusional Steve.
    • Also Sasha if her bookmark is any indication.
    • Tiger and Karishad are probably the biggest examples of this yet.
  • Clarke's Third Law: The unwitting time traveler Satau is marveled by the various "magical devices" of the future. When pointed out by Peanut that they actually run on electricity, Satau said out this doesn't seem much different from magic.
  • Cluster F-Bomb: The audience doesn't see the words used, but King's response to being included on a quest with Tarot and Grape includes "a crescendo of creative profanities".
  • Comically Missing the Point: Spo in Wham Line.
  • Comically Small Bribe: Max tries to bribe a pet store employee to sell him catnip (which pets aren't allowed to buy) with a quarter. It works in an ironic way.
  • Common Tongue: Sabrina has to use a translator spell so they can communicate with Satau.
    • Averted with Sofia the camel. She speaks Arabic, and Rick doesn't provide subtitles, leaving it to the fans to translate on the forum. Thomas seems to understand her, though Sofia has doubts.
    Sofia: هل تعلم اللغة العربية فعلا أم أنك تخمينت هذا الوقت؟ (Did you actually learn Arabic or have you been guessing this whole time?)
  • Completely Missing the Point: Peanut in particular happens to be prone to this, as shown in this strip where he asks about a trivial issue instead of about the fantastical world he and Sabrina are descending into.
  • Contrived Coincidence: So, it just so happens that the moment Peanut and Grape's relationship might be heading somewhere interesting, another dog shows up having been told by the spirits themselves that Peanut would need a companion.
    • Three years later, we find out that Tarot had been sent by Dragon as part of her gambit to prevent Pete from acquiring an avatar. In fact, it seems most of the coincidences and plot holes found throughout the series have been caused directly by the Great Game.
  • Cool Down Hug: Cerberus brought Pete down from a Villainous Breakdown with a simple paw on his shoulder.
  • Corner of Woe: Grape plays this during the Imaginate play for And Then There Were None. Adds in Shower of Angst for showing rain clouds over her.
  • Cosmic Chess Game: Or rather Universes & Unrealities. King even says it word-for-word; it's the trope page quote.
    Spirit Dragon: To compare the game to chess would be like comparing all of civilization to an amoeba!
  • "Could Have Avoided This!" Plot: After Fido's fight with Jata, Ralph says (at least professionally) he had no issues with Fido being involved with Sabrina, and only wished he had known beforehand what Fido had planned, instead of dragging the K-9 force into a potential international incident.
  • CPR: Clean, Pretty, Reliable:
    • Played with in this comic, when a police dog, Sgt. Ralph, douses an apparently non-breathing Fox with water to revive him after being smothered by Joel's boss.
    • In this comic it's neither clean nor pretty: the moment Fido gives Sabrina a breath after her near-drowning, she barfs water in his face.
  • Crazy Cat Lady: The owner of the Mr. Bigglesworth cat group.
  • Crazy-Prepared: Peanut brings a backup generator to the country to power his Nintendo DS.
  • Crossover: Ponbon, a small yellow creature from another of Rick's works makes a number of appearances from time to time - as a novelty ice cream pop, as a Macy's balloon, and in person in this arc.
  • Curse Cut Short
  • Cut a Slice, Take the Rest: "Four Finger Discount" Jack does a variation here.
  • Cuteness Proximity: Let's be honest. King and Zachary in the same room could be used as a weapon. The ferrets have their moments too. In Itsuki's case however, it's just one more annoyance as his fellow students insist on hugging the fluffy tanuki.
  • Dances and Balls: The Yarn Ball, a new year's dance celebrated by cats.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Pete has moments of this. Sofia has shades of this when her Arabic is translated.
  • Deal with the Devil: When Keene ends up in hell and is trying to find a way to escape and rescue Breel, he realizes too late that he has accidentally made a deal with a devil when the cute demon he has just made an agreement with suddenly speaks in a less cute voice and says "THEN THE CONTRACT IS SEALED". The consequences of this have yet to be seen.
  • "Dear John" Letter: Uh oh, Bino...
  • Expressive Ears: Cats, particularly.
  • Eyepatch of Power:
    • One of Miles' cubs dons one during the water balloon war when acting as the 'leader' of the dog soldiers. According to Rick this is somehow the same eyepatch worn by Delusional Steve, a one time character seen in a flashback to Grape and Peanut's first meeting. Unfortunately for Steve, any signs of Power seem to be averted in his case.
    • Eyepatch of Power vs Hungry Cat - Hungry Cat wins.
  • The Faceless: For the longest time, the humans have never been seen above the nose. Some non-parent humans, like Joel, do have faces exposed. More have had their faces shown as the comic progressed, until a full reveal in the Christmas Day, 2015 strip.
  • False Start: Peanut goes to tell Grape how he feels about her, but before he can, he overhears her making a date with Maxwell.
  • Fan Dumb: An In-Universe example. Lester is practically the poster boy for several varieties of Fan Dumb. He even mentions the trope by name in his rant.
  • Fan Fic: In-universe, Grape's Pridelands fanfic is a recurring theme. Complete with an Author Insert named "Gapre".
  • Fantastic Racism: African Prince Leopard Jata 'complements' Jeeves by saying "Thank you, pale're a credit to your species."
  • Fantasy Keepsake: All the Or Was It a Dream? scenarios use this, with decreasing subtlety.
  • Fantasy Kitchen Sink: According to Sabrina, "everything is a thing." That would explain the presence of gryphons, dragons, Cerberus, and Norse frost giant Aurgelmir.
  • Feather Fingers: While birds in this universe ( Tarot in the Pridelands simulation and Trinket for example ) can't use their wings for picking up or manipulating things, their wings do tend to take on a hand shape when pointing or gesturing.
  • Female Feline, Male Mutt: Grape and Peanut, Fido and Sabrina.
  • Fictional Document: The Prideland Series. Its popularity, particularly among pets, is equivalent to that of Harry Potter or Twilight.
  • Foot Popping:
    • In this strip, it's King's foot that rises when going for the kiss with Bailey, instead of the usual gender roles for the trope.
    • In this strip, Sasha's foot rises as she kisses Fox's cheek, wishing him goodnight.
  • Foreshadowing: Back when we first found out about the Cosmic Game, you can see the name of Pete's avatar has been scribbled out and replaced with King's. All you can see are the letters "GRA," but we later find out that Grape had been Pete's first choice for his avatar. Incidentally, this was set up way back in the first six months of the comic's run.
  • Formally Named Pet: At least ten cats called Mr Bigglesworth, due to their owner being a Crazy Cat Lady. They all look the same, though most are not related and some are female. They occasionally mess with other pets who don't know there's more than one.
  • Four-Fingered Hands: The entire bipedal non-human cast fits this.
  • Four-Temperament Ensemble: Joey and his nerd friends:
    • Joey is Melancholic as he's the artistic perfectionist of the group.
    • Lester is Choleric as he's usually the most irritable and aggressive of the bunch.
    • Dallas is Sanguine as he seems more cheerful and playful than the others.
    • Squeak is Phlegmatic as she's the most laid-back of the nerds.
  • Free-Range Children: The housepets, who even as adults usually have a childlike demeanor, are allowed to roam Babylon Gardens for the most part unattended. When they go somewhere such as the mall or the zoo they sometimes are required to wear leashes, however are allowed to wander about freely if they hold on to their own leash.
  • From Bad to Worse: King's choice of turning back into a human. At first if he turned back into a human he'd have to deal with being an escaped convict, but now if he turns back into a human he's more or less told that he is literally going to hell, and the only way he can have a pass is to stay a dog as they are judged less harshly by heaven than humans.
  • Full-Body Disguise: Fox and Karishad dyed their fur to appear as the other, in a halloween strip.
    Fox (as Karishad): This was his idea.
    Karishad (as Fox): Oh no you don't, this was MY idea!
  • Funny Background Event: Some readers would like a reverse comic telling what exactly is happening here.
  • Furry Comic: Gee, really?
  • Furry Confusion: Subverted, for now.
  • Furry Reminder: Every once in a while. According to Rick: “I do this partly because people want to see them act like animals for some reason." Taken to an extreme in a Saturday bonus pic that shows kangaroos Bruce and Roosevelt being shipped home from Australia in pet carriers after the ferrets inadvertently canceled their plane tickets home.
  • Game Show Appearance: Great Kitsune as a typical Game Show Host stereotype here.
  • Gender-Blender Name: The bear that Bino is supposed to challenge as part of becoming an honorary wolf is named Bruno, but has certain feminine characteristics that show the bear isn't male.
    • This has led some fans to claim her name is short for "Brunhilde".
  • Giant Foot of Stomping: One of these is used to demonstrate what Squeak sees in the 'Big Noses'.
  • Gilligan Cut: "Discount" Jack is operating a ferris wheel at one point, and when he's questioned about his ability to do so, he points out that even if he has only one arm, the controls are simple and "What could possibly come from that?" Next panel, we cut to a news anchor cheerfully reporting civilians running from a runaway ferris-wheel, which seems to be going 60 MPH in the video.
  • Glasses Pull: Used here to punctuate an Incredibly Lame Pun. (YEEAAAAAAAAAH!!!!!!)
  • Gosh Dang It to Heck!:
  • Gratuitous Japanese: Lampshaded here with Itsuke, a tanuki hired by the auto shop near Babylon Gardens.
  • Gross Up Closeup: A bone chewtoy of Peanut's is given a close-up shot of the gnarled, chewed-up end.
  • Growling Gut: Truck manages to play music on his growling stomach on one strip.
  • Half-Dressed Cartoon Animal:
    • The ferrets.
    • The police dogs, when on duty, wear a vest onto which their badges are pinned.
    • Fox has been known to sometimes wear a leather bomber jacket, such as when he first meets King.
    • Itsuki, possibly to retain the PG rating given certain tanuki anatomy characteristics.
    • When preparing food, Lucretia wears a "Sniff the Cook" apron.
    • Played with and lampshaded in this strip as well.
      Miles: [after modeling several outfits to help him blend into human society] Is there any reason none of these configurations contain pants?
    • Grape may need a security blanket after the trauma she suffers in this strip.
  • Happily Married: More than a few of the regular cast.
    • Miles and Lucretia, although not married (as they're wolves), are official mates and are known to behave like a happy husband/wife. At one point Miles acted pretty enthusiastic at the prospect of making it official in the eyes of human law.
    • Mr. Earl Sandwich and Mrs. Sandwich are the only known human family in the series so far to be officially married, and by all available evidence it's a happy marriage.
    • Another pair of wolves, Rodney (Miles' cousin) and Snow, are mates as well, without any signs of it being an unpleasant pairing.
    • King and Bailey. They do have to fight for their life together, but other than the problems outside their marriage (namely Pete), they are happy together. King just has a few things to learn about being a father to puppies, that's all.
  • Heroic B.S.O.D.: Peanut is prone to these. So far it has happened when three cute barn cats ask him to have a slow-motion pillow fight with them, when Grape herself is invited for it, and once more when Grape tells him she knows about his crush on her.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Parodied by Max in the arc "The Great Water Balloon War", specifically in this strip where he throws himself onto a water balloon to shield others.
  • Hidden Depths: Daisy. And how!
    Fox: Next... name please.
    Daisy: Hi, I'm Daisy!
    Fox: Last name?
    Daisy: Hi, I'm—
    Fox: Look, whatever—when was the last time you saw or had contact with Sasha Hartford? This is serious.
    Daisy: *drops her smile* I spoke with her a few weeks ago, she was ruminating on the expectation of obeisance from all dogs, especially by her owner, and was having trouble reconciling the systemic reinforcement of her projected behavior.
    Fox and Mongo: *Stunned Silence*
    Daisy: What?
  • Hilarity in Zoos: Most storylines involving the Zoo end up in this territory, from otters getting frozen in their lake, to various shenanigans involving Bruce and Roosevelt. Karishad leaving to be employed by Keene did not relieve the hilarity.
  • Humans Are the Real Monsters: While the majority of humans shown are actually quite nice, when there is the need for a villain (who isn't Pete) it's normally a human being. This also bleeds into the comic's depiction of heaven, where its spelt out that humans have to work extra hard to be permitted into the pearly gates, whereas the sentient animals generally get a free pass.
  • I Can't Believe It's Not Heroin!:
    • To pets, orange soda acts like alcohol.
    • And to cats, catnip acts like cannabis, to the point where Rick chose to abort an arc - an example being when one character proclaimed another "blew through his stash like kibbles!"
  • Hypocrite: Joel's boss to Fox.
  • I Ate WHAT?!: Whatever Max fed Grape, it's certainly wasn't salad.
  • Idea Bulb: Averted and lampshaded by Peanut in one of his Spot comics. He tries to use an asterisk instead, but his explanation is enormously unwieldy.
  • Ignore the Disability: Peanut puts his foot firmly in his mouth when accidentally using a bunch of cliche phrases about hands and arms when talking with "Four Finger Discount" Jack, who is missing an arm. Jack looks angrily at Peanut over it but then lets up in the last panel, saying he was just messing with Peanut.
  • I Have This Friend...:
    • In this strip Fox asks his cousin Bailey about a hypothetical dog with a romance problem, but she in turn cuts straight to the chase and tells him to just go ahead and hook up with the object of his newly discovered affections.
    • Bailey seems to get a lot of this kind of thing. In this strip King attempted something similar, and Bailey was similarly direct in her response.
  • Incredibly Lame Pun: When King asks Fox what good a watch representing Joel's fate is for a dog, Fox replies that King could be a watch dog. King was not amused.
  • Infinite Canvas: In a comic, Spot (Professor) explains Infinite Canvas thusly:
    Spot (Professor): Not only does it take advantage of UNLIMITED page space, but it's also impossible to anthologize! (Next frame shows Spot looking sad)
  • Instant Awesome: Just Add Dragons!: Great Dragon's reveal would be awesome, according to King, if he hadn't wet himself in fear.
  • Interspecies Romance:
  • Intimidating Revenue Service: Cerberus threatens the Milton ferrets with an audit if Rock doesn't take Tarot, Sabrina and Bailey home from Australia with them.
  • Interface Spoiler: The tags give out the official names of the characters before they have been formally introduced as such. Also, if the character's explicitly named within the tags, either they're recurring characters or will star in a major role later in the comic. Nowadays, you have to scroll down to see what the tags are, so perhaps this is less of a problem than it was before.
  • It's a Wonderful Plot: The arc "It's a Wonderful Dog's Life", where Joel is turned into King. Joel even invokes it at the very beginning. In this arc, it proves to be a Deconstructed Trope: King's initial experiences (outside befriending Fox and Sasha) do not invoke any sort of epiphany, and Pete never intended to change King back into a human. He also explained to King that real life doesn't work that way.
    • Arc #100, "The 4 Animals You Meet In Heaven", had shades of this, as Keene roams Heaven after apparently dying. In the end, it turns out to be a Near-Death Experience. And as the later arc "Temple Crashers 2" insinuates, he may not have learned his lesson.
    • The more than year-long "Temple Crashers 2", another climax to the Celestial Nerds storyline where Keene and Tarot race to get to Pete's mana pool in the temple that Henry Milton imported. This also brings to a close several plot threads, such as Herman Steward's apparent chicanery, and Thomas Milton's quest for his uncle Henry's untold riches.
  • I Want My Beloved to Be Happy:
    • Peanut helps Grape get ready for her date with Maxwell, even though Peanut is in love with Grape.
    • This is why Bailey took King's place as Pete's avatar. Which is strongly inferred to be Pete's intention ever since King proposed to her.
  • Jerkass: Several, and not only just pets or just humans. Max gets explicitly called on it by Grape, with which he agrees readily.
  • Jerkass Gods: Pete, definitely Pete. With all he's done to torment Joel/King in order to get a game piece. And Spirit Dragon's avatars have a few complaints too.
    • King also worries that Kitsune is one, to the point that he won't let Bailey ask him to look after their three children while the couple have a night out to themselves. He won't even let Bailey say his name. You can't really blame King for being paranoid, but it's odd he would consider Kitsune the same kind of god as Pete, since while Kitsune did let Pete toy with him he did eventually step in to bail King out altogether once Pete had taken it too far, and was really only doing what was best for King all along.
  • Just Friends: Peanut and Grape. Subverted, here.
  • Kids Are Cruel: The dogs in general towards Tiger's name.
  • Kiss of Life: After giving mouth-to-mouth to Sabrina after she fell into a pool and nearly drowned, Fido gets water barfed into his face.
    Fido: That wasn't very romantic.
    Sabrina: Sorry to ruin it for you, hon. Now get me to the Vet before I die of pneumonia.
  • Knights and Knaves: One of the puzzles in the temple has three idols, one tells the truth, another lies, the third is random and you need to figure out which one that is. But, they only speak an obscure language and say "bo" or "lal" instead of "yes" or "no", you only get two questions and then everything scrambles, and there might be some spiked walls.
    Peanut: Would you answer bo to the question "will you answer lal to this question?"
  • Lampshade Hanging:
    • To the point that the characters are beginning to show Medium Awareness.
    • Rick has freely acknowledged that the characters of Housepets aren't really that much like actual housepets most of the time.
    • The Alt Text for the comic Desert Jewel lampshades Grape lampshading them not "inoculating against ancient diseases", directly naming this trope in the process.
  • "Last Supper" Steal: Breel has a meal with all the ferrets, and the first frame of the two comics looks exactly lke The Last Supper. Interestingly enough, Keene is in the Judas position.
  • Lawyer-Friendly Cameo:
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall:
    • Rex mentions the "computer issues" that thwarted The Arc Specifically About Being Naked, which was supposed to be the first Bino-centered arc.
    • Peanut is literally leaning against the back wall as he talks about not seeing Crossover character Ponbon again in this comic.
    • Peanut does so here regarding a common fan reaction to the type of plot that was being lead into.
    • Joey looks out at us as Peanut says he is glad there's no one out there watching the Ten Little Indians Imaginate.
  • Lets Just See What WOULD Have Happened: In this strip Great Kitsune may or may not have let the Earth explode ( restoring it afterward ) in order to show Dragon what would happen if she were to modify an infinite-range detection spell to cause damage.
  • Let Us Never Speak of This Again: Grape's reaction when she and Peanut see Sabrina and Fido kissing.
  • Like Brother and Sister: Grape and Peanut in most cases.
  • Literal Cliff Hanger: Zach in this strip is left dangling from a branch over a chasm.
  • Little Miss Badass: Grape as a kitten shows a fully grown alligator who's who and what's what, with just a broom.
  • Sliding Scale of Animal Communication: Almost all animals can talk with one another and with humans, with no real issues with understanding one another.
  • Sliding Scale of Anthropomorphism: Of the Civilized Animal school.
  • Smart People Wear Glasses: Miles (who somehow managed to get a pair of reading glasses while in the wild), and Marvin (while calculating Tiger's nutrition rates in this strip.
  • Something Else Also Rises: Zach's ears and tail when Jessica kisses him.
  • Something We Forgot: King gets this feeling when the group sails from Australia back home. That's because they forgot Bruce and Roosevelt.
    • Totally averted, but played seriously by Peanut. He can't remember how many puppies he had to babysit for King and Bailey, but since he can't get a straight answer he continues to worry endlessly until the poor guy is left shaking out of needless worry until King and Bailey come home.
  • Spider-Sense: When a hunky cheetah steps out of a taxi cab that brought him to Babylon Gardens, Grape comments that her "hunk sense" is tingling, to which Peanut replies "That's Spider-Man's power, actually."
  • Spit Take:
  • Spontaneous Choreography: Somewhat here (Neither one knows who "Uncle Reuben" is, yet they're dancing about going to see him.)
  • Squee!:
  • Stable Time Loop:
    • Peanut had unwittingly set up a stable time loop during the PsyCon2: PsyConner arc by telling his past self he visited the Gate of Mystery after he, himself, traveled through it due to his future self telling him he went through it.
    • It's implied that Dragon's crush on Peanut is the result of him failing to hide himself in time behind the lantern that's supposed to hide his presence (as he isn't supposed to be within the time period he was accidentally sent to alongside the rest of his friends).
  • Starving Student: Implied in this strip as the reason Itsuki invites the Sandwich family to his apartment. He also invokes the trope during a hot dog eating contest.
  • Stealth Pun:
    • The "father" of the Sandwich household is named "Earl". His full name has never been said in-comic.
    • There's also an Uncle Reuben.
    • The main two characters, also in the Sandwich family, are ingredients for a sandwich.
    • And then there's the "mother", Jill.note 
  • Stock Animal Name: The Messrs. and Misses Mr. Bigglesworth, a group of identical Siamese cats.
  • Stop Being Stereotypical: Kangaroos Bruce and Roosevelt are expected by the zoo staff to speak in incredibly cringeworthy Australian lingo when patrons are in earshot. They despise every second of it.
    Grape: Guys, it's okay! We're regulars.
    Bruce: Oh thank goodness! Every single word feels like throwing up!
    Roosevelt: "Shrimp on the barbie?" We're herbivores!
  • Straight Gay: Bruce and Roosevelt, the kangaroos that work at the zoo, cuddle while watching manly sports together. In case you're wondering how we know they're a couple.
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial: Peanut certainly did not see Bino's shock collar remote.
  • Take That!: Any page that has Tiger or Marvin "Arbelt" is almost certainly a parody of Garfield.
    The cast page for Tiger: I hate Thursdays. I like pizza. I hate cockroaches. I like my teddy bear Poom. That’s characterization, right?
    • Several of Peanut's Spot(Superdog) comic strips are pretty much Rick taking jabs at storylines or plot elements of questionable quality from superhero comics. This storyline is a Take That towards Superman: Grounded, for instance.
    • The Shout-Out to Ghostbusters is followed immediately by a take-that to Star Trek V: The Final Frontier.
      Keene: Excellent use of a Ghostbusters reference.
      Res: It was either that or a Star Trek V allusion.
      Keene: You made the right call.
  • Tarot Troubles: Discussed in this strip, where Tarot explains to Peanut the real meaning of the "Death" card, and adds that "The Tower" is the card that really signifies actual death.
  • Tempting Fate: While looking out the window to his office, Keene claims in this strip that the water war he started couldn't be stopped with all the water in the neighborhood. The sky then opens up in a torrential downpour.
  • Tertiary Sexual Characteristics:
    • Lampshaded in this comic.
    • It wasn't until two months after the comic started that Peanut (and 96% of the audience) even realized Grape was a girl.
  • That Was Not a Dream: Standard celestial policy - after a mortal has a run-in with one of the Cosmic Nerds they are told to "wake up" and immediately do so in their bed. However an item is always left which tells the mortal it was not a dream.
  • Theme Naming: Earl Sandwich is clearly fond of this. It seems to be a common practice on his side of the family, but it's usually lost on his wife.
  • Thief Bag: The Milton Ferrets award the contest prize to Daisy in a traditional white sack with a dollar sign on it, which is lampshaded by Rick in the comic's title.
  • The Last of These Is Not Like the Others: Listen, learn, avoid being eaten by an eleven-headed grognak, and be polite.
  • Third-Person Person: Spot (Superdog) in this comic
  • This Is My Human: Many of the animals treat their owners more like parents, although this isn't universal.
  • Through a Face Full of Fur: This is a Furry Webcomic, after all. In one comic, Peanut's entire face turned red from embarrassment.
  • Those Two Guys: Tiger and Marvin, who spend most of their time either in one-off hijink comics or as crowd extras. They're virtually always seen together, though. Tiger got his own arc in mid-2014 that at least gives him (and presumably Marvin by extension) a bit more character and roundness.
  • Time Skip: Towards the end of the "Real Stories of the K9PD" arc after the central conflict has been resolved, the comic skips ahead six months to Christmastime since it began in July 2016 and ran until December 21 even though the story itself took no more than a full day to happen. Lampshaded in the title of the strip that takes place six months later.
  • Too Incompetent to Operate a Blanket: Parodied in this strip, the ad selling a product aimed at people supposedly too stupid to operate a regular drinking glass.
  • Too Much Information: Apparently, All of Joey's personal life elicits this kind of reaction.
  • Trial by Combat: Jata invokes this trope to the T twice for Sabrina. Not hard for him, seeing how built and well-trained he is.
  • True Meaning of Christmas: The pets sometimes try to debunk the idea behind Santa.
  • TV Never Lies: The occasional one-off strip involves unusually truthful TV commercials.
  • Uncanny Valley: Referenced in this strip with the CGI Dick Clark.invoked
  • Unflinching Walk: Played with in this strip with the characters doing this away from a massive water balloon explosion, in the story arc "The Great Water Balloon War", complete with Cool Shades for extra coolness points.
  • Universal Translator: The justification for how Satau, one of the Spirit Dragon's past avatars who accidentally got himself trapped into the future, managed to suddenly learn modern day English. This is a spell cast by Sabrina, in case you're wondering.
  • Unsettling Gender Reveal: Happens with Grape, both to Peanut and Maxwell.
  • Unsound Effect:
    • Played with here in the first "Imaginate!" story, with Grape and Peanut using a sign reading "Explosion!".
    • PAUNCH
    • The "explosion" of the big water balloon towards the end of the "The Great Water Balloon War" story arc uses "EXPLOOSHION!" as Peanut, Grape, and Zach emerge with an Unflinching Walk.
    • SUPLEX
    • FACE
    • Poor Max gets BOOT not once but twice!
  • Unwanted False Faith: The woodland critters following Zach as the "Opener of Ways".
  • Valentine's Day Episode: Every Valentine's Day brings a set of four paper valentines featuring characters from the strip. They're mostly meant as jokes, but they're also provided in a large printable format so you can give them out.
  • Vomit Discretion Shot: In this strip King loses his lunch after a stomach-upsetting trip on an amusement park ride, with the resultant spew out of view of the audience.
    King: The spirit is willing, but the flesh is a leaky chemical quagmire.
    • Happened to Itsuki in the same arc. Apparently, it was his first time eating hot dogs.
  • Vomit Indiscretion Shot: We don't see the act, but we do see the vomit.
  • Wacky Cravings: Way to freak out your husband, Bailey.note 
    • Later, when it's for real... note 
  • Wall of Text: In this strip Sabrina's explanation of her past produces a wall of text separating the second and third panels; lampshaded by the Alt Text.
    Alt Text: Yes, it is literally a wall of text between panels 2 and 3. Get your tl;drs ready
  • Water Guns and Balloons: Housepets had an entire story arc based on a water balloon war, "The Great Water Balloon War", between the titular creatures that was used to parody military and wartime tropes, starting here.
  • Webcomic Time: Lampshaded herenote 
    Fido: —FOX! Er, when did you get back from Kansas?
    Fox: Uh, like the first week of January? I don't ask to be the center of your attention but come on
  • Wedding Day: King and Bailey. Plus a Bouquet Toss caught by Tarot.
  • Wham Episode: This series has several of them, each of them changing the comic forever, as more and more of the plot is revealed:
    • The first is very early, setting up the possibility for romance between Grape and Peanut, the two original protagonists of the comic. That entire arc sets up Peanut's "cat lover" status, as well as displaying the prejudices of the pet world.
    • The second is A Sinister Shadow, the first real darkness in the comic, where the status of pets as people is first seriously questioned, as well as showing the first human face in the form of Joel. While not obvious at the time, this arc kicked off the second major conflict of the comic, the status of pets in the human world.
    • The third became evident with this comic from Oops I Arced. A dream that had occurred earlier in the comic had Grape meeting a gryphon named Pete, and when she woke up, she had a gigantic feather from it despite it being (supposedly) a dream sequence. This was later followed up by the appearance of Tarot, who confirmed that magic existed in-universe, but the girl seemed a bit crazy. However, the existence of Pete was confirmed by the aforementioned comic from Oops I Arced, setting off another central conflict to the comic as Pete is unleashed, and then turns Joel (from the A Sinister Shadow arc) into a dog and gives him the name of King. Rather than being an odd one-off event, King becomes the third major protagonist of the comic, with many arcs following his struggle of fitting into the world of pets as an ex-human.
    • King's arc gained special significance a few arcs later, with dog days of summer revealing that Tarot is actually the avatar of a higher order being, a Dragon who is Pete's counterpart. She seems much more benevolent than Pete, but, along with the Great Kitsune, ultimately it is revealed that all three of the higher order beings - the gryphon, the dragon, and the kitsune - are ultimately playing games with the lives of mortals, and not only is King caught in the middle of it, but Tarot is shown to be not just a silly creature, but actually the avatar of a being of immense power. King rejects his role as a mere piece in a game run by bored demigods, and as such is set off on his own, stuck as a dog until the game is over, but given the promise of a reward at the end of the game, as all avatars receive. It is also implied that the dragon has an interest in Peanut beyond Tarot's interest, with the demigod herself wanting to be his girlfriend.
    • The next lies in Imaginate, Too!, when Grape reveals that she knew that Peanut had a crush on her all along, and the pair are forced to attempt to articulate what their relationship means to each of them. When Peanut eventually fesses up to the fact that he wants to be her boyfriend, Grape challenges him as to what more he could want - and declares that he is her best friend in the world, before kissing him. This adds a great deal of ambiguity to their relationship, as from there on the pair are seen snuggling periodically, calling into question both of their extant relationships as well as the exclusivity of it. While it is obvious that Grape and Peanut are taking their boyfriend and girlfriend considerably more casually than humans do, other relationships in the comic range from being of similar seriousness (Bino and Sasha) to being much more serious (Fido and Sabrina), and it is not really clear that Maxwell understands the depth of their relationship - though Tarot said from the very beginning that Grape could take him if she was willing to reject Maxwell, something she didn't want to do.
    • More than twenty arcs later, the Trial in Heaven reveals that not all is what it seems with the game of the gods. While Pete had been shown time and again to be a jerk, self-concerned, conceited, and ultimately appearing to care little for mortals, this is all turned on its ear as it is revealed that not only does Pete care, or at least has cared about mortals in the past, but it is revealed that the Dragon is not the kind-hearted creature that she seems - it is heavily implied that not only has she been meddling in the affairs of mortals, but in their love lives, with two of her followers dating two creatures that Pete was interested in, and the ex-boyfriend of one of said followers dating a third - all conveniently ruining Pete's own plans, but implying that all of their relationships may be, to some extent, a sham set up by the Dragon to prevent Pete from winning. Worse still, it is implied that the goal of the game that Pete and the Dragon had disagreed upon hinged upon the equivalence of humans and the other animals which inhabit the world - and Pete, not the Dragon, was on the side of the equivocation of human and animalkind, with the Dragon opposed to it. Thus, rather than the black and white conflict as it had appeared before, both sides were painted in gray - Pete is a jerk, but the comic is meant to lead the readers to sympathize with the pets, and King's arc in particular shows the difficulty of the transisition between human to animal - as well as the fundamental difference between the mindset of many animals and many humans, though the wolves had also worked to blur that line in the other direction by living as people, and far more responsible people than the ferrets, their benefactors, do. It also sets up for Pete having some sort of backup plan, but because of the Unspoken Plan Guarantee, we still don't know whether it has come to fruition.
    • Who can forget about Jungle Fever? This Arc focuses on Fido who finally confess his love of the cat name Sabrina in front of everyone in Babylon Gardens. Some are shocked while some already knew that.
    • The big storyline of 2014, Heaven's Not Enough. King has finally figured out that Pete still has an ace up his sleeve, which in a condensed form means that Pete is not forfeiting the cosmic game he's playing. Furthermore, he doesn't actually need him to fight as his avatar. However, it doesn't stop Pete from continuing on with his contract to King, just to torture him some more. Except, in a completely unexpected twist, Bailey takes the fall for King and signs Pete's contract, becoming his avatar. Now she has been whisked away to who-knows-where to duel against Spirit Dragon, where it is expected that she will be gone for a very long time from reality's point of view. Then Fox finds out who his best friend really is...
      • The arc takes on three parts. In Part 2, King and Fox head to Heaven so King can sort things out with the higher-ups. While King has a cryptic meet-and-greet with the big boss, Bahamut, Fox has a dalliance with two female husky angels. Part 3 has King disrupting the Cosmic Game and bringing it to its conclusion, leading to both Dragon and Pete losing their wager, and King winning permanent status as a dog.
    • In 2016, Arc 100 is The 4 Animals You Meet in Heaven, where Keene suddenly finds himself dead. Those four animals: a marten masseuse named Breel; the previously-known Cerberus; his mother; and his owner, Henry Milton, who has decided in Heaven to become a ferret himself. In the end, Cerberus discovers that Keene met his end prematurely, and sends him back to a moment shortly before his death, when his limousine was pushed into a reservoir, allowing him to escape alive.
  • Wham Line:
    • Joel: "I was kidnapped by my own pets once." Made more dramatic by the fact that this page is the first time that an entire human face is shown.
    • Later on Joel's alter ego King gets one when Tarot tells him " Sorry, I don't date humans."
    • "Heaven's Not Enough" has two Wham Lines:
      • " O Pete who art in Heaven... I Have a great burden on my mind, and I cannot bear it any longer... ...So I'm calling your bluff, MOTHER PHEASANT."
      • Upon Fox finding out his best friend is Joel: "...King?"
    • "Well don't worry. Wherever we end up, your big sister will take care of you."
      Pete: That only dredges up emotions worse than fear.
      Dragon: Yeah, I know.
    • Then at the End of Year Seven, we learn that Bailey is pregnant with a litter of THREE puppies!
      Bailey: I usually don't go for fried food, but I am eating for four now!
      King: *freezes for a beat*
      Bailey: Did I forget to mention that?
    • "Isn't that Kevin's girlfriend?"note 
    • "Oh, hey Thomas. Enjoying the curse I conveniently forgot to tell Steward about?"
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: What a number of readers were asking after this scene in the Imaginate version of Guys and Dolls.
  • Where the Hell Is Springfield?: Someone coughs over the name of the state during King and Bailey's wedding ceremony.
  • Who Wants to Live Forever?: At the end of "Temple Crashers 2", Breel wants to stay on Earth and be with Keene.
    Cerberus (Right Head): Oh dear, I think going to the bad place might have given him some serious trauma.
    Cerberus (Center Head): I'm gonna have a word with Kitsune about screwing up the souls I let him borrow.
  • Wide Eyes and Shrunken Irises: Happens to Peanut with his Sanity Slippage since he forgot how many pups King and Bailey had.
  • Wimp Fight: What Maxwell and Bino's 'fight' resulted in.
    Rick: Ok i'll be honest, I pretty much drew this just for panel three.
  • Wrestler in All of Us: When trying to prevent Peanut from answering the door before her, she hoisted him up and away in a German Suplex.
  • X Meets Y: In universe, it seems that the Pridelands series is The Lion King meets Warrior Cats.
  • Your Favorite: In one of his intros to an early strip, Rick mentions that Bino's favorite food is pizza.
  • Your Television Hates You: Some inconvenient scheduling affects a snowed-in Bruce and Roosevelt in "Snowed In, Part Two":
    Bruce: Sure the power's out, but we got food, we got blankets, we got each other, and it's not like we have any place to be! What's got you riled up?
    Roosevelt: What was the marathon we just watched? The Thing, The Shining, Storm of the Century, 30 Days of Night, Misery
    Bruce: You could have changed the channel at any time!