Sheldon is a Webcomic following the day-to-day life of Sheldon, a billionaire Child Prodigy and Young Entrepreneur who started his own immensely successful software company. He's raised by his Grandpa, who isn't always sure how to deal with Sheldon's riches or nerdiness. They own various pets: Arthur the Wonder Duck, a Civilized Animal; Flaco, a Intellectual Animal lizard; and Oso, an unintelligent but enthusiastic dog. Sheldon's friend Dante is another recurring character.
Dave Kellett, the author, also writes a scifi webcomic called Drive.
This series provides examples of:
- The Ace: Flaco is an Olympic pentathlete, an admiral in the Bulgarian navynote , a former cosmonaut... let's just say he has a lot of trophies. All played for laughs, of course.
- A Fool and His New Money Are Soon Parted: In one arc Sheldon gives Dante 2.5 billion dollars, which he loses to a Nigerian email scam (or rather to Arthur, who buys a bunch of mansions).
- Alternate History: The history of the Roman Empire — or rather, Arthur's "alternate take" on it — pops up sporadically.
- Answer Cut: This strip has Sheldon asking Gramp if he's seen his Black "Amex" Card, admitting that he doesn't know where it is and that he's terrified of who might find it. Cut to Arthur coming across said card in the woods.
- Ant Assault: In one arc, the house is invaded by a large colony of ants that grows increasingly brazen in its attempts to steal food after the characters' attempts to get rid of them fail to work — after a while, they become bold enough to openly demand that the others turn over their food, spelling their requests by forming their swarm into letters.
- Art Evolution: The art of the strip has improved a lot in a very subtle way, which becomes very apparent if you compare earlier strips to recent ones. Also, Flaco already went through quite hefty art evolution between the strips where first appeared and where he was named.
- Art Shift:
- For a week-long storyline, the strip is drawn in a grayscale quasi-impressionist style reminiscent of comic strips from the 50's.
- In 2008, we had an entire week of strips from guest authors, resulting in this.
- Big Eater:
- Arthur is a complete glutton who frequently stuffs himself to the point that he can't move or see his legs.
- Gramp is also a Big Eater when he's trying to diet and failing.
- Big "NO!": Gramp does this when he finds out that Sheldon bought a $4000 segway.
- Bilingual Bonus: Arthur at one point could speak dozens of languages due to the translation software that was stuck in his head. Every now and then he shows off that he can still speak more than English in the oddest ways.
- Bread, Eggs, Breaded Eggs: Arthur's file of rejected Halloween costumes includes Salvador Dalí, a Kodiak bear, and a Kodiak Bear crossed with Salvador Dali.
- Breaking the Fourth Wall:
Arthur: I didn't actually break the fourth wall. You are so dang sensitive about that.
- This strip shows Gramp "behind the camera" and talking to the reader.
- Here, Arthur points out that his beak is rather flexible for something made of Keratin, then comments that it's like they're living in a cartoon... which makes Flaco very, very upset.
- Buffy Speak: This strip has Gramp doing it. Apparently, his computer is doing "the thing with the blinky and the red flashy."Arthur: Man! Now I'M curious to go, just to see what he's talking about.Sheldon: Half of tech support is linguistic archaeology.
- One strip lampoons the tendency for kids' games to eventually become this. Sheldon and Dante start playing musical chairs, then begin to add a few new rules, like setting the chairs far apart so you have to run faster, and eventually the game includes things like Sheldon trying to hit people with a tennis ball launcher while wearing a crown and a "salmon of invincibility".
- Another example turns croquet into this. The details are deliberately obscure, but it involves swinging the mallet while hanging upside down from a tree... and shots are no good if you have pants on.
- A third strip combines the two previous strips.
- Carnivore Confusion: Lampshaded in this strip, where Arthur munches on a Thanksgiving turkey and Sheldon points out how disturbing that is.Arthur: Oh don't be such a hypocrite. Humans eat apes.Sheldon: We do NOT eat apes!Arthur: Oh yeah? What about "McDonald's"?Sheldon: THAT'S BEEF!Arthur: SUUUURE it is...
- Character Name and the Noun Phrase: Parodied a few times in background gag with fake Harry Potter book titles, with examples such as Harry Potter and the low interest cdr loan, Harry Potter and the acne skin cream and Harry Potter and the crash of Scholastic's stock after the final book came out.
- Charlie and the Chocolate Parody: In addition to the Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory Shout Outs, one storyline has Gramp winning a trip to the Fatty Chunklins Chocolate Plant - but it's a prize for KIDS only, and Gramp can't have Sheldon take him because he's at camp that week. Thus, he decides to dress Arthur up as a child. There they meet Colonel Chunklins and his workers, who look like Oompa Loompas but are not in fact Oompa Loompas (they're just short because of the super-high mercury levels in the factory and they're painted orange because that's the uniforms that Colonel Chunklins makes them wear). Arthur eats some of his magical candy and, well...Arthur: (now blue and bloated a la Violet Beauregarde) I REGRET NOTHING.
- Child Prodigy: Sheldon owns a multi-billion dollar corporation. Of course this one's here.
- Cloudcuckoo Lander: Arthur owns this trope.
- Coincidental Broadcast: Occurs in this strip.TV: Attention seniors! Do you suffer from cracky foot? Are your feet super dry all the time, and your toenails gettin' all wonky?Gramp: Hey.TV: Have your feet developed the look and feel of a rhino's hide?Gramp: Hey.TV: And what's with that hat?Gramp: HEY.
- Compulsory School Age: In several older strips, Sheldon and Gramp have conversations about whether or not Sheldon needs to go to school, with Gramp wanting him to and Sheldon against it. This seems to have been abandoned recently.
- Cone of Shame: Arthur has to wear one after getting surgery. In fact, he even CALLS it his "cone of shame".
- Curse Cut Short: Involving a small bird perched on Arthur's beak. Arthur produces an impromptu freestyle poem about it, and culminates with several words that rhyme with "turd" while building up to his worry that the bird will take a dump on his beak. Right before he can say the final word, the bird craps and flies away.
- Cute, but Cacophonic: Oso, the family's pet pug, is both adorable and very, very loud.
- Dead TV Remote Gag: In one strip, the remote dies while Arthur is using it so he calls Sheldon to come change the batteries. When Sheldon arrives and says Arthur can do it on his own, Arthur uses the excuse that Sheldon is now closer to the TV than he his to get him to change the channels for him.
- The Ditz: Oso, who embodies all the sheer dumbness of a pug dog. For instance, when Sheldon tries to teach him to fetch, Oso is utterly unable to locate the ball when it's a few inches from him or even distinguish it from random rocks.
- Dante isn't as dumb as Oso but he's still not too bright.
- Lil' Butter isn't the brightest cat around.
- Does Not Like Spam: Sheldon and Arthur both hate eggnog.
- Epic Fail: Sheldon is asked to throw out the first pitch at an all-star game. He winds up hitting a senator.Arthur: He should've known better than to sit in Row 43...Sheldon: OH GO AWAY...
- Everybody Hates Mathematics: Averted by Sheldon. He is quite fond of math, and on one occasion is even late to school one day because he wants to finish a formula.
- Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": We never learn what Gramps' name is. For the first decade or so of the comic. We've since learned his name is Seamus.
- Everything Is Big in Texas: Discussed in this strip.
- Everything's Better with Dinosaurs:
- Everything's Better with Monkeys: When Sheldon's company's stock goes down, Sheldon comes up with a two-step plan to fix the situation. Step 1 is to purchase a monkey for the company. Step 2 is for everyone to laugh at the "funny little monkey".Sheldon: (as the monkey climbs on him) Hee-hee! He's tickling me!
- Evil Lawyer Joke:
Arthur: If it's true that "those that can't do, teach"... what happens to those that can't teach?Sheldon: They become lawyers. And sue the pants off everyone else to make up for it.
- A storyline in which Sheldon visits his corporate lawyers is pretty brutal towards lawyers. It culminates in a strip where Sheldon apologizes to the legal community for the jokes... because a lawyer won't stop poking him with a court summons. And the next day, a lawyer bills Sheldon just for walking by him.
- One also shows up in this strip.
- Exact Words: Sheldon has the accountants "balance the books"...
- Technically, Arthur DID throw away his banana peels...
- When Flaco is competing in the Olympics, he has difficulty training for the pentathlon because his high-pitched "Squee"-ing spooks the horses. Arthur notices that the official rules for the pentathlon don't specifically use the word "horse" - they just say "mount". So they have Oso sent to China so Flaco can use him as his mount.
- Felony Misdemeanor: According to Arthur, dudes in sandals.
- Also, tightly-wound people on vacation.
- 1970s workout shorts.
- Arthur's complaining about correct wearing of baseball caps is more of a background gag here.
- Gramp wants a milkshake.
- Actually a felony, but the reasons for complaining still count.
- Arthur's reaction to weird Christmas lyrics.
- Arthur hates it when you use his exfoliating scrub.
- Arthur's reaction to Gramp buying peanut butter with the nuts in it.
- Forced Meme: In-Universe, "Frr" — Sheldon and Dante have a bet over whether Sheldon can use his money and connections to make a random word into a meme. Sheldon wins.
- Foreign Cuss Word: Arthur slips one by in German when discussing the Daimler company's ill-fated merger with Chrysler.
- For Inconvenience, Press "1": One storyline has Gramp having to put up with customer service.
- Fridge Logic: In-Universe, this is Exploited by Arthur in a time travel arc to get back home.
- Funetik Aksent: Frequently for French people. Example: Suzette.
- Furry Confusion: Lampshaded and parodied here in a strip involving Arthur, Flaco, and Oso.
- Several strips milk for humor Arthur's willingness to eat chicken & turkey or awkwardness over other people eating duck.
- Taken to a more serious spin in the 2-week-long owl arc, which happens when Arthur & Flaco treat a normal owl like a cartoon animal.
- Genius Ditz: Sheldon uploaded an entire encyclopedia into Arthur's brain in the experiment that gave him the ability to speak, but he chooses to ignore the uploaded knowledge unless he absolutely has to use it.
- Gilligan Cut: The comic has a contest to see who deserves to date a girl more, Sheldon or Dante. Arthur tells them that they're having trouble counting up the e-mail votes, but he's got "a crack team of high-tech experts working on it". Cut to Gramp working on it in the "Voting Headquarters".Gramp: I spilled my cod-liver oil on the keyboard...Arthur: AGAIN?!
- Grade-School C.E.O.: Sheldon, thanks to a program he wrote that speeds up the internet during the dot-com boom, becomes the CEO of a large software company while ten years old.
- Hurricane of Puns: When Arthur decides to put on clothes...Arthur: You don't like these clothes on me?Sheldon: Leave me out of this?Arthur: Well, am I clothes to the truth? Am I clothes but no cigar?Sheldon: I'm clothes to leaving.Arthur: Don't clothes your mind to new possibilities!
- Hypocritical Humor:
Arthur: Hold the phone. We stumbled on some bread crumbs, here. I gotta get in on this.
- Here, Arthur insists that he and the chicken that Match-Harmony set up on a date with have nothing in common. Then he notices that the chicken has found some bread crumbs...
- This strip has Arthur yelling about how much yelling there is in the house. All because Gramp asked him to put his dirty dish in the sink.
- Hypocritical Heartwarming: Dante's reaction to a bully calling Sheldon a nerd? "NO ONE CALLS MY FRIEND A NERD!' Only I get to call my friend a nerd!"Sheldon: One sentence too many.
- I Am Big Boned: This strip has Gramp claim to be big-boned.Arthur: Sure. "Big-boned". Surrounded by "big, gelatinous masses of fa..."Gramp: ALL RIGHT.
- I Have This Friend...: This strip has Sheldon doing this with Dante.Sheldon: Let's say I had this billionaire friend... and he meets this very pretty girl. And let's say this friend wanted to talk to this girl, but was too shy. What would you recommend this friend do?Dante: Hmmmm... am I this friend?Sheldon: It's ME you moron.
Sheldon: Gramp, let's say you knew a hypothetical kid. And this hypothetical kid wrote some cool software and started his own company. And this hypothetical kid made tons of money. But he gave tons to charity, too. Let's say this hypothetical kid decided he didn't need to go to school anymore. What would you say to that kid...?(Gilligan Cut to an annoyed-looking Sheldon waiting for the bus)Arthur: Let's say a hypothetical duck wanted to laugh at a hypothetical kid...
- Another strip has Sheldon doing this to Gramp.
- I'll Tell You When I've Had Enough!: This strip has Sheldon drinking multiple cups of chocolate milk when he discovers that another company is trying to buy Sheldonsoft. "IT'S THE ONLY THING KEEPING ME GOING!"
- Incredibly Lame Pun:
Gramp: How many minutes of thought did you put into that?Arthur: A solid three.
- "Why did the turtle cross the road? To get to the 'SHELL' Station!"
- This strip has Arthur make the "put it on my bill" joke.
- Arthur's Halloween costume. He's dressed in a trashbag that happens to be white. In other words, he's white trash.
Sheldon: ZIS EEZ WHAT I DO.
- Here, Arthur points out that people only say "pomp and circumstance" together - you never hear anyone say "pomp" by itself. Sheldon responds that it's because "if you try to say pomp by itself it sounds pompous."
- Inherently Funny Words:
- Interspecies Romance: Arthur once went on a date with a chicken.
- Involuntary Dance: "Stayin' Alive" has the power to make ''anyone'' dance.
- Loophole Abuse: When Gramp goes on a liquid diet, he attempts quite a few of these - helping himself to melted ice cream (which he knows isn't technically a liquid), sticking a Twinkie in a blender and trying to puree it, pouring a beaker of hydro-chloric acid on a steak in an attempt to make it a liquid (which backfires spectacularly)...
- Mad at a Dream: This strip has Sheldon mad at Arthur for something that happened in his dream - specifically, in his dream Arthur had fourteen camels and he wouldn't give Sheldon one and then he flew them to the moon and left Sheldon in Maine and he was a jerk. In the next strip, he's STILL mad at Arthur, despite Arthur's pointing out that it was just a dream. Then Gramp comes in and demands to know why Arthur wouldn't let him feed his Pegasus at the 1910 World's Fair.Arthur: COME ON.
- Mad Scientist: Sheldon created a talking duck while still in the 4th grade.
- Mall Santa: Gramp gets a job as one in Christmas 2008, while keeping it a secret from the rest of the family. Hilarity Ensues when Arthur & Flaco go to see Santa.
- Meat-O-Vision: This strip has Sheldon going through this as a result of there being no candy in the house. He imagines a coffee table as a peanut butter cup, a lamp as a piece of candy corn, and Arthur as a gigantic marshmallow Peep.
- Memetic Mutation:
- In-universe, Sheldon manages to turn the word "Frrr" into a catchphrase, thanks to a generous bribe to Snoop Dog to include it in his next single. This eventually extends to truly ridiculous lengths.
- A few internet memes crop up here and there, such as the Chuck Norris craze.
- Millennium Bug: Gramp once bought 72 packs of disposable razors due to Y2K panic.note
- Mundane Made Awesome:
Dante: It's just a dang...Sheldon: Let him have this.
- Sheldon is going to send undulating waves of electromagnetic energy through a comestible dish, causing its molecules to vibrate, and thus, heat up. That's his way of saying that he's going to microwave a corn dog.
- Gramp sent Sheldon an e-mail all by himself!
- Arthur got a letter in the mail.
- Must Have Caffeine: Gramp is a complete and utter coffee addict.
- My God, What Have I Done?:
Sheldon: You've inadvertently cut off our supply of "Nutter Butters".Arthur: WHAT HAVE I DONE?!!
- Played for Laughs here. After Arthur tells Gramp that he's fat, Sheldon points out that now he will go on a diet - and Gramp does the grocery shopping, meaning that Sheldon and Arthur will go on a diet as well.
Arthur: What kind of a dad does that? What kind of a dad ships his son first-class mail?Sheldon: A... not very good one?Arthur: SANTA! I'M TOO PRETTY FOR THE NAUGHTY LIST!
- He has this reaction again in this strip after shipping Flaco with their letters to Santa just to make sure that they make it to the North Pole.
- My Skull Runneth Over: Shortly after discovering the Arthur is fluent in several dozen languages Sheldon realizes that his brain is 97% full and is forced to delete most of the data.
- Nearly Normal Animal: While Oso is mostly focused on pugly pursuits, he occasionally worries about things like the balance of power in North Koreanote ... and is highly critical of Brechtian theater.
- Nerd Glasses: Sheldon wears 'em.
- Noodle Incident: In the time travel arc it turns out that somehow Flaco becomes a Admiral in the Bulgarian Navy. It does get it explained but since Flaco only talks in squeaks we never hear the story.
- Our Slogan Is Terrible: One storyline has Sheldon trying to think up a good slogan for his company. Eventually, he lets Arthur come up with one, and gets "SHELDONSOFT: WE MAKE STUFF." and then "Sheldonsoft offers good software, good prices, and good service... pick two."Arthur: What's wrong with that?Sheldon: "PICK TWO??"
- Overly Long Gag:
- Overly Prepared Gag: "CAP AND TRADE!"Sheldon: Too long a walk for that joke.
- Painful Rhyme: Played for Laughs in this strip.Arthur: Little fish, little fish, won't you jump in my beak?
For you are the breakfast-y treat that I seek.
In rivers, or lakes, or even this creek...
There's no better snack in the world - you're unique!
You're fantastic! Delicious! And your form is so sleek!
Like an IKEA chair that's been made out of teak.
- Painting the Medium: Arthur uses a speech bubble as an umbrella in one strip after noticing that his speech balloons block the rain as long as he's talking. He decides to just keep talking to stay dry, but in the next strip he's gone one step further and somehow nailed three speech balloons in place as a makeshift canopy.
- Parental Abandonment: The Christmas 2005 story arc confirms that Sheldon's parents are dead.
- Raised by Grandparents: As Sheldon's parents are deceased, he is raised by his grandfather.
- Rhymes on a Dime:
Sheldon: It's the strangest of things, this talking in rhyme.
- One storyline has Sheldon suddenly speaking in rhyme, much to his horror, and winds up spreading it to Gramp and Dante. Eventually, Arthur cures them by suggesting that they say the word "orange".
It spreads like a virus in almost no time.
I just say a comment, a word, or a phrase...
And folks will rhyme with me for days upon days.
Even with you! Who's as dumb as a clam...Dante: Uhhh... "I will not eat Green Eggs and Ham"?Sheldon: (doing a Face Palm) NO NO NO...
- This strip has Sheldon watching SCI-FI over WI-FI. AND he has his WI-FI SCI-FI blaring in HI-FI.
- Right Behind Me: Subverted in this strip. Sheldon is practicing how he'll say hello to the new girl in the neighborhood. Then Arthur coughs in order to make Sheldon believe that said new girl is standing right behind her. Actually, Flaco is - he and Arthur were just messing with Sheldon.
- Running Gag:
- Arthur hates eggnog, which he at one point describes as tasting "like hate". This comes up just about every year. So does a crack at Peeps most Easters, and he takes a shot at plot holes in It's a Wonderful Life some Christmases.
- There's also the recurring series, "Punctuation Marks that Never Caught On", showing extremely — often overly — specific alternatives to question and exclamation marks for conveying comically specialized moods and tones.
- How amazingly dumb and unnatural pugs are often comes up in conjunction with Oso's mishaps.
- The various pets sitting on Gramp's head.
- Scrabble Babble: Subverted in one strip, where a random word Arthur put out — "waesucks" — turned out to be real when Sheldon looks it up in the dictionary, to Arthur's intense relief.note
- Played straight in the next strip, where Arthur puts out "ducktastic".
- Secret Test of Character: This strip has Arthur finding Sheldon's Black Amex card and assuming that Sheldon is giving him one of these - he's testing whether or not Arthur has the backbone to seize life's opportunities. Guess what Arthur does.
- Security Blanket: This strip reveals that Arthur has one in the form of a teddy bear named Prime Minister Winston Cuddles.
- Seldom-Seen Species:
- This strip features a Dogue de Bordeaux and a Himalayan Squishie alongside other breeds of dogs. This is lampshaded in the next strip, where it's explained - because many assumed that Dave Kellett made the dog up and sent him emails about it - that the Himalayan Squishie is so rare that no known photos of it.
- Here, Arthur tells Gramp about the moa, an extinct, twelve-foot-tall bird.
- While in the desert, Flaco meets a horned lizard.
- This strip goes over the anatomy of a tardigrade. It doesn't pull any punches in regards to how creepy-looking it is.
- Self-Deprecation: While most artists are their own worst critics, Dante raises it to a new art form.
- Shout-Out: In general, there are quite a few of these to Star Trek, Dune, Marvel and DC Comics, The Lord of the Rings, and Star Wars. In addition...
Arthur: Are you gonna help decorate the tree or not?Gramp: You mean my EIGHTY-DOLLAR TREE?
- This strip has Gramp mentioning that he doesn't like Donald Duck.
- One storyline has Sheldon, after getting beaned by a baseball, hallucinating that he's in Narnia, where he meets Aslan... and the Loch Ness Monster (apparently he doesn't remember the books all that well).
- This strip has Sheldon dubbing Gramp's complaining about how much the tree cost a retelling of How the Grinch Stole Christmas!.
Arthur: Big Bird! My liege! Command me!
- One storyline has Sheldon buying the "Willy Wonka-vator" from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. It winds up breaking, and when Sheldon calls up Mr. Wonka to complain, Oompa-Loompas arrive to fix it. Arthur winds up eating their gum, and, well...
- Previously, Oompa-Loompas appeared when Sheldon and Arthur paid a visit to Microsoft.
- This strip going over the anatomy of a bison dubs one of it's horns "the secret last button for the Willy Wonka-vator."
- This strip features Arthur watching Sesame Street. He's intrigued by Big Bird, for obvious reasons.
W: Sesame Street? It's W. Let's seal the deal.
- This strip also has Arthur and Sheldon watching Sesame Street and discussing its pretending to be sponsored by a letter. Meanwhile, across town...
- This strip features a sippy cup with Grover on it.
- Here, Sheldon (after finding out that the velociraptor had feathers), starts to wonder what a t-rex would look like with feathers. The answer? Big Bird. In the next strip, he tries to picture a fight between Big Bird and a triceratops.
- In this strip, Arthur and Flaco read The Monster at the End of This Book. Arthur actually AGREES with Grover that they shouldn't keep turning the page - and once they reach the end, he feels pretty stupid.
Arthur: The whole premise is suspect. Did a mass email go out or somethin'? "Guys: Mary Anne's Eggs done got robbed. We formin' a posse." You can't get two birds to agree on pizza toppings. Nevermind agree to wage war.Sheldon: (dryly) Best not to overthink Angry Birds.Arthur: "Oh. Hey. And Gary...? You still got that catapult?"
- This strip has Arthur watching Blue's Clues... which he thinks is a game show.
- One storyline has Sheldon discovering that TRON lives next door.
- Another TRON reference appears in this strip.
- These strips both have Arthur singing "The Circle of Life".
- This strip has Sheldon and Emily discovering that their school play is going to be The Lion King Jr.
- Yet another reference to The Lion King appears in this strip, which (naturally) goes over the anatomy of a lion - specifically, it dubs the lion "a Simba in the streets, a Scar in the sheets. It also says that the lion's ringtone is Lion-O shouting "THUNDERCATS, HO!" over and over.
- Mickey Mouse attends a party that Sheldon throws.
- When Arthur finds out that they changed the name of the Brontosaurus to "Apatosaurus", he asks how Fred Flintstone will get his "Brontosaurus Burgers" now, then claims that "Apatosaurus" sounds more like a Pokémon than a dinosaur.
- At one point in this strip, Gramp tells Arthur not to "go all Warner-Brothers-frog" on him.
- Arthur and Flaco make a gingerbread man based on Howl's Moving Castle.
- A twofer in this strip: after finding out that the Green Lantern's weakness is the color yellow, he imagines a fight between the Green Lantern and the Man in the Yellow Hat.
- Gramp quotes Avatar.
- Arthur admits here that he doesn't think Angry Birds makes much sense.
- When Lil' Butter gets stuck in a tree, Sheldon comments that it was cuter when it happened to Winnie-the-Pooh.
- This strip has Sheldon and Arthur reading Garfield and discussing it.
- This strip describes a character on Storage Wars as having the "auctioneering style of Porky Pig".
- When telling Oso that she'd like him to be part of her theater company, Emily says, "I believe The Muppets PROVED that a dog can be handy on the piano."
- In this strip, Arthur accidentally steps on a Woody doll.
- This strip has Sheldon incorporating Pac-Man into his Christmas decorating.
- This strip going over the anatomy of a crab claims that it loves doing "that trick from Alien where he opens his mouth and a 2nd mouth comes out" (with a Cheeto serving as the 2nd mouth).
- Snakes Are Sinister: Gloriously averted with the harmless square-toothed rattlesnake. He's a vegetarian.
- Spotlight-Stealing Squad: Lampshaded in this strip, where Arthur points out that the strip seems to focus more on him and Gramp than Sheldon nowadays.
- Starving Artist: Played with in that Dante is only ten, but the fact that he is a artist is a source of jokes of this nature.Dante: I want to say something that no other artist has done before.
Arthur: I can make rent?
- Static Character: As one webcomic critic pointed out, this is not a bad thing, as they're well-rounded, interesting, and funny, which is pretty much all a simple gag-a-day strip of this sort needs.
- Stealth Insult: Leveled against Arthur by Gramp here, where the latter calls the former "a piece of work" after Arthur goes on for a while about how it can integrated as a compliment.
- Suddenly Speaking:
- Subverted in this strip. It initially seems as though Flaco, after putting on a cowboy hat, is shouting "REACH FOR THE SKY!", then it turns out the sound actually came out of a Woody doll that Arthur accidentally stepped on.
- Played straight in this strip, where a result of Sheldon, Arthur and Flaco's time-traveling is Oso gaining the ability to speak.
- Synchronized Swarming: A colony of ants infesting Sheldon's house have the ability to do this. It's lampshaded by Sheldon, who points out that their penmanship is pretty good.
- Take That!:
Dante: How does your theory explain EVERY MADONNA MOVIE EVER MADE?Arthur: Ohmygosh... you're right! Nobody saw those! They're ART!Marshmallow Peep!Arthur: Champ, you're not thinking straight. You're going through sugar withdrawal.Sheldon: Whatever you say, Mister Peep.Marshmallow Peep!Arthur: I'm not a Peep! That's your mind playing tricks. You're just CRAVING a Peep.(Beat)Marshmallow Peep!Arthur: But that can't be right. No one EVER craves a Peep.Sheldon: Cause the secret ingredient is classroom chalk.Gramp: I'm on Ryan Seacrest at the moment.Arthur: I'll give you time.
- This strip has Gramp celebrating the fact that he has never seen Cats on stage.
- In this strip, Arthur gets bent out-of-shape because Flaco watches Desperate Housewives.
- One of the first strips has Sheldon tell Dante that running a computer company is like growing a Chia Pet - "You start with a strong base of talent, sprinkle on good ideas, and you step back and watch the company grow!" To which Dante responds, "Into a lame gag gift?"
- The story arc about Sheldon meeting the Living Embodiment of Wikipedia is one long Take That! at The Other Wiki.
- This strip takes a slam at McDonald's by having Arthur claim that their "beef" is actually made from apes.
- This strip pokes fun at Steven Seagal.
- After erasing 75% of Arthur's brain in order to save it, Sheldon asks what the experience felt like. According to Arthur, not unlike watching FOX TV.
- Speaking of FOX TV, one storyline in which they want to make a TV movie about Sheldon is full of 'em. First, they want his character changed into a shapely blonde who likes jogging on the beach. Then a producer from the network shows up, and... well, to say anything else would spoil it.
- Arthur explains to Dante how to tell what's art and what's not art - "art" is anything people don't want to see (such as opera, poetry or a sculpture museum). Dante then asks this:
Arthur: Am I to understand the only in-flight movie today is "Drillbit Taylor"?Stewardess: Um... I think so, yes.Arthur: 748,000 margaritas then.Arthur: You can look at that plot fifty different ways... and not a solitary thing about it makes a lick of sense, does it?Sheldon: OH HECK NO.
- "You know what movie I'm really looking forward to? Mission: Impossible 3."
- One storyline has Sheldon and Arthur going to see Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End... and hating it.
- This strip takes the Mickey out of Fergie, Linkin Park, Nick Lachey, and the High School Musical franchise.
- The "Amazon Kindle" - the answer to the question you weren't asking.
- Arthur and Flaco are on a plane, and the stewardess asks what she can get Arthur to drink.
Sheldon as the Fridge: I was the EXACT moment the franchise went off the rails. Also, the aliens.
- One of Flaco's rejected Halloween costumes is "any character design from the Where the Wild Things Are film" - apparently, you'll see it in your nightmares all week.
- And one of Sheldon's rejected Halloween costumes is the fridge in Indiana Jones.
- This strip, inspired by the Three Musketeers candy bar, introduces MORE candy bars based on literature. One of them is a "Snickers" - which is an actual candy bar, but it's there because that's also other people's reactions to you reading Twilight.
- This strip has Arthur revealing that he's figured out what's wrong with the movie Waterworld - specifically, that the characters are all living on the surface of an endless, global ocean... and yet everyone is filthy.
- This strip makes it very clear what Arthur thinks of the Michael Bay Transformers movies.
- This strip discusses the anatomy of a jellyfish, asking, "How can something be so beautiful and yet be super gross at the same time? It's like looking at Johnny Depp."
- Take That, Scrappy!: One storyline has Sheldon and Arthur attending the "Lame Character and Sidekicks Convention". Attending the convention are Short Round, the Shapeshifters, Tom Bombadil, Karr, a character from any episode of The Twilight Zone (1959) involving space, and Anakin Skywalker.
- The Unintelligible: Flaco, who used to be The Speechless in his first appearances before developing into this, speaks in a constant stream of squeaking noises. His adopted poppa, Arthur, still understands him just fine, but no one else can. Except when it's funny.
- Timmy in a Well: Played with in one strip: Oso runs up to Sheldon, barking like crazy, and Sheldon jokingly ask whether Arthur fell down a well before dismissing the idea as a joke on the trope. The last panel shows that Arthur is indeed stuck in a dry well with a bucket pinning him down and wondering what's taking Oso so long to get help.
- Trademark Favorite Food: Arthur will do just about anything for fishy goodness... or pancakes.
- Typical Cartoon Animal Colors: Although it's hard to see in the black-and-white weekly strips, the colored Sunday strips show that Arthur is a standard cartoon yellow duck.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: After a while, we stop seeing Sheldon running that company of his. In fact, he doesn't even MENTION it. It gets a Lampshade Hanging in this strip - and the next strip has Sheldon trying to Ignore It By Singing.Arthur: Come on, man. You can't just IGNORE your company.Sheldon: Why not? I'm TEN. I don't wanna company.Arthur: Well then sell it! Get a big ol' pile of cash! Then buy out every copy of Star Trek: Nemesis, and wipe it from the earth.Sheldon: Could... such a thing... 'be done?Arthur: You could be the one.
- What Would X Do?: When Sheldon's stock is down twenty-six percent...Sheldon: What would Captain Kirk do in a situation like this?Arthur: Make out with some alien babe, probably.Sheldon: OOO... You're right. What would Captain PICARD do in a situation like this?