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Western Animation / Pound Puppies (2010)

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In 2010, The Hub relaunched the Pound Puppies franchise with Paul Germain and Joe Ansolabehere, the creators of Recess, along with Wendy Moss Klein and Nancy Steingard at the helm.

Like the original series, a team of canines finds homes for puppies (and occasionally adult dogs), often by escaping the pound in the style of The Great Escape and Hogan's Heroes. This time around, the pound is run by Leonard McLeish, a dog catcher who is ambitious, but mostly ineffectual and ultimately harmless.

The new squad consists of team leader Lucky; right-hand dog and no-nonsense second-in-command Cookie; Squirt, the streetwise chihuahua with connections across the city; resident genius and inventor Strudel; and Niblet, the big, strong sheepdog with an even bigger heart.

Along with Mr. Nut-Nut, Sparky and the other helper squirrels, the team from Shelter 17 is responsible for matching the right pup with the right person. The shelter's success is even occasionally recognized by humans somehow... which McLeish gladly takes credit for whenever he can, much to the chagrin of the ones really responsible.

The series ran from October 2010 to November 2013 airing a total of 65 episodes in 3 seasons, and as of today, no plans for a fourth season have been confirmed.

A number of episodes can now be found on DVD:

  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic: The Friendship Express — "The Yipper Caper"
  • Pound Puppies: Homeward Pound — "My Fair Rebound", "Quintuplets", "Homeward Pound", "Zoltron", and "The K9 Kid"
  • Pound Puppies: Super Secret Pup Club — "Bone Voyage", "Mutternal Instincts", "The Fraud Princess", "The Super Secret Pup Club", and "The Ruff Ruff Bunch"
  • Pound Puppies: Mission: Adoption — "King of the Heap", "Taboo", "Snow Problem", "Zipper the Zoom-It Dog", and "There's Something About Camellia"
  • Pound Puppies: Holiday Hijinks — "I Hear the Barks on Christmas Eve", "I Never Barked for my Father", "Barlow", "Good Dog McLeish", and "The Prince and the Pupper"
  • Pound Puppies: A Perfect Match — "The Yipper Caper", "Working K-9 to 5", "Hello Kitten", "Beauty is Only Fur Deep", and "No More S'mores"

If you're looking for Cooler and his gang, go here.


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  • 65-Episode Cartoon: The series lasted 65 episodes.
  • Actor Allusion: John DiMaggio is certainly no stranger to when it comes to talking dogs.
    • The episode "No Dogs Allowed" involves a girl named Julie being told by her father to join the Pony Sisters Club, and it's later revealed he was in the Pony Boys Club. Julie is voiced by Tara Strong, who voices Twilight Sparkle in My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic.
    • Who better to voice smooth-talking ladies dog chihuahua Antonio than the Taco Bell Dog?
    • McLeish is essentially a comical take on Odo
  • Aesop Amnesia: Several episodes have the Pound Puppies and Kennel Kittens learning that the other species isn't so bad after all, which never sticks because they inevitably get back to hating each other's guts by the next episode they meet again.
  • All Girls Want Bad Boys: In the episode "Rebel Without A Collar", the tough Cookie decides to leave the team to roam the desert with Fang, a wily coyote who was captured in the desert and brought back to Shelter 17.
  • Alpha Bitch:
    • Ping. She is especially so in the episode "Hail to the Chief". (Also a pun considering the fact she's a female dog.)
    • Missy, Molly and Muff-Muff, the three showdogs who bully Lucky in the episode "Lucky Gets Adopted" also count.
  • Alternate Species Counterpart: The episode "Catcalls" introduce the "Kennel Kittens", a Similar Squad of cats who not only look like their dog counterparts and have similar names, but also share the same voice actors.
  • Ambiguous Situation: What was Ralph's role in "Once a Ralph, Always A Ralph"? Was he a dog who wanted to uncover the Pound Puppies operation for the first human who showed him love? Did he work with the Kennel Kittens and have a change of heart, was his true goal to help the Pound Puppies all along, or was he indifferent to the whole thing? For that matter, was he an apathetic, lazy dog that just wanted to chew on shoes, or was he a Brilliant, but Lazy mastermind... that just wanted to chew on shoes? Maybe... **wink**
    Lucky: Did he just wink at me? What does that even mean?
  • Animation Bump: The later DHX Media episodes are much more smoothly animated and than the earlier 9 Story episodes. The second season looked better still, and the third season has another subtle bump.
  • Annoying Younger Sibling: Niblet saw his sister Rebound as one in the episode "Rebound". At first.
  • Anti-Hero/Anti-Villain: The Kennel Kittens have a noble goal and operation similar to the Pound Puppies in finding kittens their perfect people. However, they (especially Ace) are willing to use underhanded methods to achieve such means. They are especially keen about sabotaging the Pound Puppies' own operations (when the Pound Puppies, despite their equal contempt for their feline counterparts, generally leave them alone unless provoked).
  • Artistic License – Paleontology: In the episode "Lucky Gets Adopted", a flashback revealing how humans and dogs came together shows a primitive canine called Woof Barktooth defending a family of prehistoric humans from a Smilodon. There are two problems with this: First of all, Smilodon and prehistoric man never met in real life due to living on different continents (Smilodon lived in the Americas while humans were confined to Europe and Africa at the time) and former dying out by the time the latter came to its territory. The only big cat that humans would have interacted with at the time was the Eurasian Cave Lion. Second, the Smilodon is depicted with a long tail like that of a lion. In reality, Smilodon had a short, stubby tail. On the other hand, it is referred to correctly as a Saber tooth cat instead of the usual, inaccurate moniker of "Saber tooth tiger".
  • The Atoner: Chucky from "It's Elementary My Dear Pup Club". He used to be a bully who also drew unflattering pictures of teachers on his school's whiteboards, but he's reformed and is trying to make up for what he's done.
    • Frame-Up: When the pictures start appearing again, Chucky insists he's innocent. He's telling the truth; Pepper and the Super Secret Pup Club clear his name by proving that Chucky was framed by three nerdy kids he'd bullied who hadn't forgiven him and were now attempting to get even with him.
  • Baby's First Words: In the episode "Little Monster", J.D.'s first word is "Noodles", the name of his parents' puppy.
  • Bait-and-Switch:
    • In "The Ruff Ruff Bunch", when Cuddlesworth talks about marking territory with scent, he looks like he's about to pee on a fire hydrant, but it then turns out that he meant they were going to mark their territory by leaving scented candles.
    • In “Beauty is Only Fur Deep”, Champ tells the Pound Puppies the story of how he lost is fur in flashback. He keeps coming to possible moments to where he lost his fur (which Niblet keeps interrupting the story thinking that’s how it happened), but it didn’t. He actually lost his fur from eating a slice of boysenberry pie. Turns out he’s allergic to boysenberries.
  • Balloon Belly: All five of the main dogs get these in "Kennel Kittens Return" after they have their big bacon feast provided by the Kennel Kittens (although Strudel called it "Bacon Belly").
  • Battle Discretion Shot: In "A Nightmare on Pound Street", the scene cuts from McLeish about to get punched out by a fat guy in a skeleton costume to the dogs trying to get Freddy adopted.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: Squirt and his Identical Stranger Cuddlesworth P. Wigglebottom after switching places with each other in "The Prince and the Pupper". (Also see Prince and Pauper below.)
  • Be Yourself:
    • "The General" has Cookie try to copy Dolly's tactic of using her feminine charms to motivate the male dogs, but learns in the end that she does her job just fine by being herself.
    • The Aesop of the episode "There's Something About Camellia", where Camellia is a puppy who likes to pretend she is a cat and ends up matched with a girl who likes to pretend she is a fire engine.
  • Bears Are Bad News: Played with and ultimately subverted in "Homeward Pound". While Niblet initially heeds Squirt's advice toward the bears he encountered after their split, he realizes those bears are cubs, and they offer him some of the honey they were eating. Things seem to take a turn for the worse when the Mama Bear comes back, but it turns out she's friendly, as she saves Squirt at Niblet's (off-screen) request. When Lucky and the Royal Canadian Pound Puppies find Niblet and Squirt, they were stuffed after eating fish the bears caught for them. The bears were also kind enough to catch fish for the rescue party as well.
    • Played for Laughs in Patches' takes on three previous episodes (including the one mentioned above) in "The Super Secret Pup Club" where the little Dalmatian heroically appears out of nowhere and barks at the bears until they retreat. It gets pretty ridiculous when the second scenario features a bear appearing in a construction yard and the last has five of them appear out of nowhere in a suburb.
  • Big Ball of Violence: The fight that the Pound Puppies and Kennel Kittens get into after Ace, the Kennel Kittens leader, spit in Lucky's face for a reason he couldn't even give at the end of "Catcalls".
  • Big Eater: Niblet has a big appetite and is easily distracted by food.
  • Big Friendly Dog: Niblet is the largest of the main group. Given how outgoing and chummy he is, "friendly" would be a bit of an understatement.
  • Big Guy, Little Guy: Niblet and Squirt often hand around and are respectively large and small.
  • Big "NO!": Yipper, once the boy he connected with left without adopting him in "The Yipper Caper." Come on. You do know the kid adopted him in the end, right?
  • Bland-Name Product: The Northminster Dog Show that Mrs. McLeish's pride entered Rebound into in "My Fair Rebound", as well as the Oditaride race the team entered for the sake of Husky puppy Tundra in "Snow Problem".
  • Bluff the Impostor/Impostor-Exposing Test: In "The Prince and the Pupper", Madame Pickypuss offers Squirt a treat she knows Mr. Cuddlesworth hates in order to out him as a phony.
  • Bowdlerise: The Hub caught on to the unwanted popularity of Niblet's line "Secret, BUT fun!" in the series premiere sounding like "Secret BUTT fun!" and redubbed later airings so that the emphasis was on "fun" rather than "but".
  • Brand X: Not quite the same as the Bland Name Products above, the Zoomit from "Zipper the Zoomit Dog" is a plastic flying disc. You know the one.
  • Break the Cutie: In "Rebound", Niblet yells at Rebound to leave him alone. She walks away crying and quiet.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall:
    • At the end of "The Accidental Pup Star", there's a reprise of Rebound's "Happy, Happy To See You" featuring the main gang, the Super Secret Pup Club, and the adoptee, Roxie. While they look at each other during the song, just after the song is done and just before the credits, all the dogs look straight at the viewer and smile.
  • Broken Aesop: In "The Really Weird Dog", Squirt gets a lesson about racism after encountering a friendly alligator. Given the way cats and coyotes are treated on the show, this kind of rings hollow. Not to mention, it really is incredibly dangerous to keep an alligator as a pet.
  • Butt-Monkey: One Running Gag of the series features a hapless Italian man who always gets his stuff stolen by the Pound Puppies, for a mission or otherwise.
  • Cannot Spit It Out: Lucky has a pretty hard time telling Cookie the team needs her in "Rebel Without a Collar". He finds it impossible to admit to her that he does as well. He manages do to the former by the end of the episode. Not so much the latter.
    Lucky: But... Doesn't she realize how much I... (grimaces) we need her?
    Strudel: Did you ever tell her?
    Lucky: (frowning) Yeah! (beat) No. ... I think so.
    Strudel: But how can you expect someone to know something if you never tell them?
  • Canada, Eh?:
    • The Royal Canadian Pound Puppies in "Homeward Pound".
    Agent Todd: Oh, geez. We're zero-for-two. Or oh-for-two as you'd say, eh?
    • The musher Jean-Luc Glaciaire in "Snow Problem" is the French Canadian version.
    Jean-Luc: Sorry about that, there.
    • Rover the Sewer Gator in "The Really Weird Dog". He even says "aboot".
    • Lucky also sometimes has shades of this, due to his voice actor, Eric McCormack, being Canadian. He will spout out an "abote" from time to time.
  • Canon Welding: In the Hasbro Comic Universe title Revolutionaries, in flashbacks of Mike Power's childhood (who later joined the Adventure Team, predecessor to the G.I. Joe task force), he's shown to have a puppy named Smarts, who is obviously based off Lucky from Pound Puppies. The Easter egg list in the final issue explicitly states that Smarts is not an alternate reality counterpart of Lucky, but his ancestor, and also says that Lucky got his full name, "Lucky Smarts", after Mike Power's dog. So, yes, the 2010 incarnation of Pound Puppies officially exists in the same world as Transformers, G.I. Joe, Jem and the Holograms, ROM, Micronauts, Action Man, M.A.S.K., Clue and Visionaries, being the only non-comic entry within this shared universe.
  • Chain of Dogs: Lucky, Cookie, Niblet and Squirt form one to save Strudel's life in the episode, "Toyoshiko! Bark Friend Machine".
  • Christmas Episode/Musical Episode: "I Heard the Barks on Christmas Eve".
  • Catchphrase:
    • "Once a Pound Puppy, always a Pound Puppy!"
    • "A pup for every person, and a person for every pup."
    • Lucky's "Go, dogs, go!"
    • Cookie's "Get off my belly!" (though this one isn't said very often)
  • Cats Are Mean: Not always.
    • Mr. Cuddlesworth's feline friend Madame Pickypuss seemed to be initially in "The Prince and the Pupper", but she was angry with Squirt for attempting to imitate her companion, Cuddlesworth. They were on much better terms in "The Ruff-Ruff Bunch".
    • The Cats of the Alley from the episode "Taboo" definitely were.
    • The Happy Valley Shelter cats ("Catcalls", "McLeish Unleashed", "Kennel Kittens Return", "Once A Ralph, Always A Ralph", "Hello Kitten") have both their mean and nice moments.
    • Mittens and Lily, the kittens the Kennel Kittens wanted to place in "Catcalls" and "Kennel Kittens Return" respectively, didn't have a mean bone in their collective bodies.
    • Puss Puss Galore and her minions from "The Pups Who Loved Me" return to playing the trope straight.
    • Averted with the cat who was mistaken to be a mummy cat brought to life in "Fright at the Museum".
    • Also averted with Spoons and Teensy in "Hello Kitten". Spoons was best friends with a pup named Bumper until they were separated. She learns that Bumper has found his perfect person who's also her perfect person. However, the Kennel Kittens (mostly Ace) don't want her socializing with dogs, so they try placing her with other candidates that aren't so perfect, forcing her to run away. The Super Secret Pup Club do everything they can to get her to her perfect person with help from Teensy.
  • Chew-Out Fake-Out: In "Hail to the Chief", the President of the United States reprimands the Pound Puppies for intruding on the White House and disrupting his speech...then he congratulates them for matching Chief with his daughters and gives them his approval of helping dogs find loving owners.
  • Civilized Animals: Lucky's planning, Cookie's organization skills, Strudel's gadgets, Squirt's ability to find outside equipment (and both Strudel and Squirt's skill at utilizing networks of varying Speech Impaired Animals), and Niblet's ability to make a passable imitation of a human when necessary are but a few examples of why Lucky and the gang land here instead of Talking Animal territory. Watch closely, and you'll notice that the dogs will make slightly humanlike gestures, such as placing a paw or leg on or around a puppy in comfort or encouragement, or holding each other back with a leg.
    • Naturally, as cats are the equals to dogs in this show (even if both species thinks they are superior to their counterparts), they fit here as well.
    • Coyotes also belong here, though Lucky may beg to differ.
    • Wolves do as well, though Lucky's probably not arguing here.
  • Comic Trio: The Super Secret Pup Club
  • Comically Missing the Point:
    • "Rebound":
      • McLeish resolves to tell his mother that he's actually a CIA agent working undercover, "If I told you more, Mother, I'd have to make you disappear." Olaf, whom he was testing this out on, asks, "Disappear? So are you a spy or a magician?" Annoyed, McLeish storms out, leaving Olaf to mumble, "Being a magician's nothing to be ashamed of."
      • Later, once his ruse falls flat, so to speak, McLeish's mother threatens to cut him out of her will, remove him from the family scrapbook, and disinvite him from Thanksgiving. McLeish's comment: "But the turkey!"
    • "Barlow": After Barlow's song causes Niblet to take his advice to laze in the sunshine and take a big ol' snooze, Lucky, Cookie, and Strudel hear Niblet sing Barlow's song in his sleep. Lucky and Cookie comment on the direness of the situation, Strudel on the other hand...
    Strudel: I know! He's horribly, horribly off key!
  • The Complainer Is Always Wrong: Nicely deconstructed in "Lucky the Dunce." After Lucky is hit with Strudel's "data processing scrambler" and made into a simpleton like Niblet, Cookie, Strudel, and Squirt are upset—they need his brain to place puppies—while Niblet is thrilled, because he finally has a friend who's just like him. Rather than simply saying that Niblet is wrong for going against what the majority thinks, the episode is careful to show both sides of the story, including Dunce!Lucky's perspective (he loves his new, simpler self) and Niblet's own hurt feelings. Though Lucky is brought back to normal at the end, the episode as a whole raises interesting questions about friendship, sacrifice, and difficult decisions, instead of stating a simple Aesop about doing what the group wants.
  • Conspicuous Trenchcoat: Lucky, Cookie and Niblet usually disguise themselves as humans using this to blend in by standing upright and each wearing their own individual disguise. Cookie usually wears a dress rather than a coat. Also, Niblet usually wears a fedora on his head while Lucky and Cookie wear wigs. Fans often mistake this for a Totem Pole Trench, even though the dogs are not propping each other up on shoulders.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • In "The General", Lucky's team is charged by the eponymous leader with getting 67 puppies adopted. Then in "Quintuplets", Lucky mentions that if they could get 68note  puppies adopted in one weekend, then five in one day should be a piece of cake.
    • When Lucky, Cookie, and Niblet visit Mrs. McLeish's in "My Fair Rebound", Lucky explained to Rebound they were there for her three-month checkup (from when she was adopted in her eponymous episode).
    • In "McLeish Unleashed", Milton Feltwaddle ("Toyoshiko!") returns to take over the pound, the Happy Valley Shelter Kennel Kittens ("Catcalls") are on a scouting trip at the same home the Pound Puppies have scouted once more, and Cookie mentions her family which was seen at the beginning of "Rebel Without A Collar".
    • Squirt didn't make explicit mention of his being disguised as a cat in "Kennel Kittens Return", but he did wonder if being dressed as an opossum was more than a coincidence in "Barlow". (For more, see Leaning on the Fourth Wall, below.)
    • In "Olaf In Love", Olaf starts dating Gertrude Washburn. When Olaf goes off to the hypnosis convention in "Good Dog, McLeish!", he leads Gertrude off with fake trances.
    • "The Ruff Ruff Club" provides two: Cuddlesworth (from "Prince and the Pupper") has run away again to the despair of Madame Pickypuss and the butler, and Mister Julius... um, Monsieur Mitch from "My Fair Rebound" is a stylist in a dog salon that Agatha took Rebound to. In the case of the latter, not only do they recognize each other upon sight, but another customer recognizes him as the one that caused chaos at a dog shownote .
    • "Squawk": When hopeful adopter Katie mentions that a woman contacted her about a puppy, Mr. McLeish told her no women work at the pound, except for Olaf who dressed as a geisha girl one time (in "Toyoshiko!"). (Funny that he remembers that, but not that he's already given his brother-in-law, the Mayor, a puppy [in "Nightmare on Pound Street" — see Series Continuity Error below].)
    • Many of the previously adopted puppies and dogs, including Tyson/Elvis ("King of the Heap"), Taboo/Lucky ("Taboo"), Freddy ("Nightmare on Pound Street")note , Pepper ("The K9 Kid"), Suds ("Salty") and the quintuplets from their eponymous episode appeared thanks to Rebound's persistent belief in the magic of Christmas in "I Heard the Barks on Christmas Eve". Lucky's belief that McLeish secretly does like dogs (from "McLeish Unleashed") is also proven to be true in this episode.
    • In "Pound Preemies", Lucky, Cookie, Rebound, and Strudel need to get into a house. To do so, Strudel makes a plan using a skateboard ramp, a grill, a seesaw, and some rope to get herself access to an open second-story window. When Lucky asks Strudel if she's sure she can do it, she mentions quite confidently that she was once a circus dog. Indeed, Strudel did achieve quite impressive stunts (both accidentally and skillfully) in "Dogs On A Wire".
    • "When Niblet Met Giblet":
      • The two title sheepdogs (unintentionally?) kept tormenting the fisherman from "Bone Voyage" by stealing his kite, then his miniature golf ball, and finally eating his spaghetti, with Niblet stealing his meatball. That calls back to "Salty", where Niblet stole one of his fish filets.
      • Cookie and Lucky's interactions with each other recalled events from "Rebel Without A Collar". They also resolve the Can Not Spit It Out moment from "Olaf In Love" as well. However, the end of the episode hinted Status Quo will hold here...
    • Despite his dislike for dogs, in "Once A Ralph, Always A Ralph" McLeish is shown to still have Ralph from "I Heard The Dogs Bark On Christmas Eve".
  • Cool Old Lady: Agatha, hands down.
  • "Could Have Avoided This!" Plot: After the antagonism Agatha and Mrs. Wattana go through in "Rebound's First Symphony", the two both admit that they could've avoided their strife if Mrs. Wattana had explained that Rebound's barking was bothering her and asked Agatha to keep her indoors while Sumalee was practicing violin.
  • Courtroom Episode: "The Pupple's Court", where Miss Stiffwhiskers has Lucky put on trial for violating the rules of the Pound Puppies. Of course, she is mainly using this as a means to get even with Lucky for a mistake that happened years earlier.
  • Cosmopolitan Council: The international leaders of the Pound Puppies. They're usually bickering with each other.
  • Crazy Cat Lady: A rare male example in "Hello Kitten". The Kennel Kittens places Spoons in one, even though he's not really her special person. The reason is obvious, due to never letting his cats go outside and collects hairballs. Since he has so many cats already, he likely didn't even notice Spoons is gone after the Super Secret Pup Club rescue her.
  • Crazy Enough to Work: The adoption fair in "The General". The plan involved getting 60+ puppies adopted by making them look identical so that it seemed like the same puppy was being adopted over and over again, for a start.
  • Cute Kitten:
    • Generally, the adoptees of the Pound Puppies' rival organization, the Kennel Kittens, to potential human companions.
    • In "Catcalls", the mother and son were cat lovers and preferred the adoptee offered by the Happy Valley Shelter team. The father comes around, as does the mother with puppies.
    • Lily in "Kennel Kittens Return" is so much so she manages to completely win over Squirt, who was pretending to be a cat to steal back Strudel's latest invention that the Kennel Kittens had swiped earlier in the episode.
    • Spoons and Teensy in "Hello Kitten".
  • Cute Little Fangs: Rebound, Niblet's little sister and Agatha's pet dog.
  • Daddy Had a Good Reason for Abandoning You: As Lucky's father Slick explained in "I Never Barked For My Father", Lucky had to stop thinking about it as a puppy and think about it from his father's perspective, or for you as the viewer, as Slick's role as a pet. (Slick was actually the dog of Lucky's mother's neighbors, not of his mother's humans as Lucky thought. When the neighbors moved across town, they naturally took Slick with them.)
  • A Day in the Limelight: While the Super Secret Pup Club have had episodes that focused heavily on them, their first true episode was "Elementary, My Dear Pup Club".
  • Deadpan Snarker: Cookie. And she does not care who you are. Squirt will get in his fair share of cracks as well.
  • Delusions of Doghood: Happens to McLeish in "Good Dog, McLeish!" due to Niblet's interference while Strudel attempted to use her Mind Control Device [see below].
  • Delusions of Eloquence: Niblet slips into this when his role as King of the Junkyard goes to his head in "King of the Heap".
  • The Determinators: The five puppy siblings in "Quintuplets" refuse to split up. Lucky understands as he grown up with many siblings as well, which is why he's determined to find them a person who can take all five, and found a home of quintuplet kids.
  • Didn't Think This Through: In "The Pupple's Court", Niblet brings in Lucky's owner Dot as a witness for Lucky's trial, not realizing that revealing that Lucky had spoken to a human and let her know that dogs could talk would land Lucky into more trouble than he's already in.
  • Disappeared Dad: Slick, in the mind of Lucky, for "five years, six months and three weeks" until meeting him again in "I Never Barked For My Father". (Also see When You Coming Home, Dad? and Daddy Had A Good Reason For Abandoning You [includes a spoiler].)
  • Disguised in Drag: You see that adorable dog with bows in its ears in "The Fraud Princess"? It's a boy. Same with two of the members of The Ruff Ruff Bunch in their eponymous episode.
  • The Ditz: Niblet has his moments of being smart occasionally, but no matter how one might rank the five dogs of the team by intelligence, poor Nibbles is coming in a distant fifth.
  • Dogs Are Dumb: Averted by four-fifths of the main team. Niblet, of course, is a straight example because of being the Kindhearted Simpleton, at least most of the time.
  • Don't Split Us Up: The reason the adoption in the episode "Quintuplets" was so hard for Lucky and his crew to accomplish at first was because the titular quintuplets didn't want to be adopted separately.
  • Easily Forgiven: Walter in "The Fraud Princess". He planned on robbing Agatha, using his dog as an accomplice. Rebound and the gang manage to get Agatha back home in time to see Walter (in a typical black outfit and mask) playing with Princess. Walter tells his story about him losing his money in the market, gives him a pair of diamond earrings to help him get back on his feet, and offers to makes him tea. True story or not, that's quite generous.
  • Embarrassing Nickname: In "The K9 Kid", Police dog Sarge teased Squirt with "Pizza Breath", which Squirt got in his days living on the street prior to being a Pound Puppy. It angers Squirt, but as he's a chihuahua and Sarge is a German shepherd, the latter easily got away with it.
  • "Eureka!" Moment: In "Quintuplets":
    Lucky: One boy can't take five puppies, unless— wait a minute... ?
  • Expecting Someone Taller: In "The General", the fact that the eponymous dog was a pink poodle, and a female at that, named Dolly initially came as a surprise to the team.
  • Expy: Lucky in a way resembles Charlie B. Barkin. He even has a red collar that is similar to the one that Charlie wears in the sequel. Character-wise however, it's subverted. Lucky would never be as selfish as Charlie. Although both do demonstrate a calm, cool, and collected personality. Not to mention that Lucky isn't completely free from having Charlie-like moments (such as "Snow Problem" when he becomes so obsessed with winning the sled dog race that he's initially willing to let a rival team-headed by Tundra's perfect person-get lost and possibly killed going the wrong way).
    • Dolores's editor-in-chief dad in "Working K-9 to 5" greatly resembles J. Jonah Jameson, even sharing his speech pattern. They even share the same voice actor J. K. Simmons.
    • Lucky's father Slick strongly resembles Tramp in his physical appearance and his suave character.
  • Fantastic Racism:
    • Dogs and cats in "Catcalls".
    • Dogs and coyotes in "Rebel Without A Collar".
    • Squirt had a problem with alligators in "The Really Weird Dog". (Also see Broken Aesop)
  • Fantastic Slurs: A guarantee where there's Fantastic Racism, isn't it?
    • A noteworthy occurrence happens in "The Ruff Ruff Bunch" where Madame Pickypuss admits to calling Cuddlesworth a "pussycat", which to her as a cat is endearing, but, as explained by Lucky, is the equivalent of calling her a "mouse", a fact that drove the point home for her.
    • From "Mutternal Instincts": Just before the shelter was to host a conference of Pound Puppies agents from around the world, eight puppies were brought to the pound by dog catcher Ketchum. When some of the team expressed doubt in their ability to get the puppies adopted and prepare for the meeting, Cookie challenged them:
    Cookie: What are you guys, a bunch of pussycats?
  • Favors for the Sexy: Dolly used her feminine charm to get male dogs to do as she asked, which is much of the way she earned the reputation she was reported to have in the episode "The General". Cookie attempted the same thing with her team, and was, well, less successful.
  • Fat Idiot: Niblet is a big dog and is often the dumbest of the group.
  • Female Feline, Male Mutt: Madame Pickypuss and Mr. Cuddlesworth.
  • For Halloween, I Am Going as Myself: As compared to the Paper-Thin Disguises mentioned below, twice Lucky's team used the situation to their advantage to blend in with humans by dressing up in human clothes despite looking like, well, dogs dressed in human clothes. Once was in the actual Halloween Episode, "Nightmare On Pound Street", and the other was to get into the Poughkeepsie Pups basketball game in "Quintuplets" (also see Conspicuous Trenchcoat).
  • Freudian Excuse: In "The Pupple's Court", it is revealed that Miss Stiffwhiskers is trying to get Lucky in trouble because she's upset about him failing to match her with her perfect person when she was a puppy.
  • Gender-Blender Name: Princess in "The Fraud Princess" is actually a boy dog in spite of his feminine name.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar:
    • In "Good Dog, McLeish," when discussing how McLeish has been hypnotised into thinking he's a dog:
      Lucky: Look, I don't care whose fault it is. I just wanna know how we fix him!
      <the other Pound Puppies snigger>
      Lucky: Oh, brother… I mean how do we get him back to normal?
    • In "The Ruff Ruff Bunch," the titular gang approaches a fire hydrant.
      Cuddlesworth: Next, we will mark our territory with our scent!
      Cupcake: You don't mean…!
      Cuddlesworth (grinning evilly as he raises his hind leg next to the hydrant): Ohhh, yes…!
      <Cuddlesworth goes off-screen and returns with a candle>
      Cuddlesworth: Scented candles! Mine is lavender spice!
  • Gilligan Cut: In "Snow Problem", after Tundra announces his plan to enter the Oditaride sled race with the Pound Puppies in order to meet his human:
    Squirt: I know it's our job to help puppies, but there's only so far we can go!
    (Cut to Squirt being harnessed into a dog sled)
    Squirt: And apparently, just how far we can go is pretty darn far.
  • Green Gators: Rover from "The Really Weird Dog" is a dark-green alligator.
  • Halloween Episode: "Nightmare On Pound Street". It doesn't involve spooky stories and the team only dresses up to help a puppy find a home, but it is set on Halloween. Oh, and the puppy is named Freddy.
  • Hammerspace: The new adoptees are always given a Pound Puppy collar. Oftentimes, the collar is produced by one of the team members reaching to their side and turning back around with one in his or her mouth.
  • Happily Adopted: Cupcake in her debut episode, "Mutternal Instincts," actually manages to invoke this twice; first to Cookie and again to her family at the end.
  • Here We Go Again!: Said word-for-word by Lucky at the end of "King of the Heap", when Niblet once again gets adopted in place of another dog thanks to a bee flying up Niblet's nose at the wrong time.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: When Toyoshiko realizes she has been recording images that could, in Lucky and Squirt's opinion, "ruin the whole operation", she does herself what Lucky insisted should have been done in the first place. She erases her own memory, via a giant magnet. Strudel sheds some tears, and there is a chance you might as well. Strudel brought Toyo back after removing her capture card.
  • Hey, That's My Line!: Said word-for-word by Lucky after Kennel Kitten leader Ace said "Go, cats, go!" when it came time to repair some damage both teams caused in "Catcalls".
    Lucky: ...except for the 'cat' part.
    • Lucky also had his Catchphrase stolen three times in "Snow Problem": once by Niblet and twice by the puppy Tundra, the second of which he didn't mind at all.
  • Hidden Depths: Niblet can walk and dance quite well on his hind legs because he used to perform in the circus as a dancing dog. Strudel is quite knowledgeable about dog shows because she used to be a show dog herself (though she's quick to add she has never actually won). Squirt (aka Wings) was once a championship Frisb— um, that is, Zoomit champion dog, thanks to his ears.
  • Hypno Pendulum: The acorn on a string Strudel uses to hypnotize Mr. Nut-Nut into acting more like a squirrel (rather than a dog) in "The Call of the Squirrel Dog". It doesn't work on him. (It does work on Niblet.)
  • Idiot Savant: Niblet sure is in tune with others' (and his own) emotions, the big lug.
  • Interspecies Romance: Madame Pickypuss described Mr. Cuddlesworth as her "best friend" in the middle of "The Prince and the Pupper". However, toward the end of the episode, when Squirt told Cuddlesworth there was a fat cat at home waiting to get her claws on him, his tail wagged vigorously. The episode "The Ruff Ruff Club" very much confirmed theirs is a more intimate relationship.
  • Invincible Hero: Lucky. The puppies and dogs he takes as charges will be adopted and the lost dogs he and his team encounter will find their way back home, the question is how.
  • I Remember It Like It Was Yesterday:
    • In his eponymous episode, Taboo begins his story of becoming an unlucky dog with his birth.
    Taboo: I remember it like it was months ago.
    Squirt: It was months ago.
    Strudel: Shh.
    • During their attempts at housebreaking Puddles, Strudel and Niblet say the trope verbatim as they reminisce about their own housebreaking experiences. Except in Niblet's case, he really did just become housebroken yesterday. And still needs to work on it.
    • Once Giblet is taken to the sheep farm in "When Niblet Met Giblet", she reminisces about the flower Niblet gave her like it was yesterday. If you pay attention to the elapsed time during the episode, you see it was the day before.
  • I Was Named "My Name": Sometimes, the new adopters change the name of their dog, such as Yipper!Bob ("The Yipper Caper"), Tyson!Elvis ("King of the Heap"), or Taboo!Lucky ("Taboo"). However, as with Rebound, the adopting human is quite likely to keep the name the dog is called by the other dogs. An interesting instance came in "Catcalls" where the adoptive puppy and kitten, Wagster and Mittens, were initially called Patches and Stripes by the adoptive siblings (to the bemusement of both the Pound Puppies and the Kennel Kittens, as the original names were taken from patterns and the new names... weren't) before the children renamed them their original names the second time around.
    Squirt: What? Are these kids blind?
  • I Would Say If I Could Say: Strudel seems to like this.
    • From "The Yipper Caper":
    Strudel: (to Lucky) This is as easy as rolling over. (looks down at body and back at Lucky) If I could roll over.
    • From "Dogs On A Wire":
    Strudel: I'm so nervous I could sweat! If dogs sweated, which we don't. So I guess I'll just pant. (pants)
  • Impact Silhouette: Niblet leaves one after falling through the roof of a cargo container in "Homeward Pound".
  • Incorrect Animal Sound: When Niblet harasses a seagull, the seagull makes its displeasure known… with a crow's caw.
  • The Infiltration: Squirt's deliberate capture and eventual acceptance into the Kennel Kittens (at least, from the perspective of the Pound Puppies) in order to retrieve Strudel's invention in "Kennel Kittens Return", despite the terrible disguise and (initially) laughable pretense of cat behavior. He even gets a shot in at cats "being indifferent to [their] human" without a reaction by the Kennel Kittens.
  • Interspecies Friendship: Between Spoons the kitten and Bumper the pup in "Hello Kitten", since each of them were alone before they met. Both the Pound Puppies and Kennel Kittens are against any friendships between them since they can never work out. But the Super Secret Pup Club and another cat named Teensy disagree.
  • Interspecies Romance: Besides Cuddlesworth and Pickypuss, there is another hinted at in "Kennel Kittens Return" between Squirt and Fluffy.
  • I've Heard of That — What Is It?: When McLeish scheduled an adoption fair in "The General", Olaf thought it was a good idea.
    Olaf: I just love adoption fairs. Even though I've never been to one before. In fact, I don't even know what one is.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: McLeish. He may say he hates dogs and constantly attempt to find ways to be promoted from dog catcher, but his actions in "McLeish Unleashed" (and, if they are to be taken at face value, his memories in "Good Dog, McLeish!" and his scenes in "I Heard the Barks on Christmas Eve") prove that he is a nice guy deep down.
    • Cookie.
    • Squirt has his moments as well.
  • The Jinx: The eponymous puppy of "Taboo" thinks he is. Bad things just seemed to follow him around....
    Taboo: Name's Taboo. And I'm 100% bad luck. (air conditioning unit falls behind him)
  • Joisey: If the voice weren't enough, Squirt mentions he's from Hoboken in "I Never Barked For My Father".
  • Karma Houdini:Missy, Molly and Muff-Muff: we never see their reactions to Lucky and Dot beating them in the school talent show. We see their owners reactions, but not their's personally. In fact, they are never seen again for the rest of the episode after their performance.
  • Kindhearted Simpleton: Niblet. As mentioned above, he can show flashes of intelligence, and he can be provoked into acts of anger and even mild aggressiveness, but he is at heart a simple, lovable goofball.
  • Lame Rhyme Dodge: In "Nightmare on Pound Street," Niblet commits one:
    Niblet: It's so sad. I mean, just because he's creepy-looking—
    Freddy: (overhearing) What do you mean 'creepy-looking?'
    Niblet: Um...did I say 'creepy?' 'Cause I meant *thinks for a minute* 'sleepy!' Yeah, I meant sleepy-looking.
  • Lampshaded Double Entendre: From "Rebound":
    Squirt: It's like they say, "You scratch my belly, I scratch yours." Now excuse me while I take a nap. I've been, uh, scratching a lot of bellies, if you know what I mean.
    Strudel: Actually, I don't know what he means.
    Cookie: And I don't wanna know.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall:
    • Strudel and Cookie have this exchange in "Quintuplets":
    (After a [figurative] light bulb goes off in Lucky's head)
    Strudel: All I know is when Lucky gets excited about an idea, it's usually a good one.
    Cookie: Like Charlie Five?
    Strudel: I said usually.
    • After placing Twiggy (see Parental Bonus below) with her person in "Taboo", the team talks about how good they are at their jobs, which they agree they couldn't do without Lucky, which in turn leads to this question:
    Cookie: Seriously, Luck, how do you do it? How do you always find the right dog for the right person right at the last minute when it looks like everything is going to fall apart?
    • In "Barlow", Squirt was "disguised" as an opossum to try to trick the titular dog into not being so lazy, using the same technique they used before (which, incidentally, didn't work on Barlow). As the shot changed to him in the disguise, he said:
    Squirt: What am I? The master of interspecies disguise around here?
  • Left Hanging:
    • The episode, "Homeward Pound" has kind of an anticlimactic ending. When Lucky finds Niblet and Squirt in Canada, they just have a cooked fish dinner, and that's the end. We never see them return home and never learn if they even do. Though they do seem to be back at Shelter 17 perfectly fine in the next episode.
    • The series finale episode, "Lucky Has to Move" left a lot of unanswered questions, plus the ending kind of opened the door for another season in some ways.
  • Lighter and Softer: In contrast to the 1980's Hanna-Barbera cartoon, this series has more of a Slice of Life feel and the occasional adventure instead of an overarching story with over-the-top villains.
  • Little Girls Kick Shins: McLeish knows that firsthand about his niece, Tabitha (from "A Nightmare On Pound Street").
  • Lotus Position: The position Lucky was in at the beginning of the very first episode, "The Yipper Caper". He has yet to be seen in it since.
  • Loves Me Not: After Olaf's date with Gertrude in "Olaf In Love" goes badly after listening to some bad advice, he picks the petals of a flower.
    Olaf: She hates me, she loves me not...
  • The Masquerade: Like their predecessors, these Pound Puppies also avoid directly talking to humans. Usually, the only time they will speak to a person is indirectly (i.e., when Strudel makes a call) or when their face is hidden (as Niblet did in "Snow Problem").
    • Broken Masquerade: In "Lucky Gets Adopted", Lucky resorts to talking to explain to his new human Dot why he (in part) ran away the first time, after she leashes him to her dresser to keep him from leaving again. Unlike Holly from the original version, Dot doesn't know all dogs can talk, just Mr. Chewy McFluffster... um, Lucky. As of "The Pupple's Court", Dot now knows all dogs can talk.
    • It seemed to be under threat in "The Accidental Pup Star" when a little girl filmed Rebound singing, and said video was downloaded by her brother onto the Internet. Lucky's team managed to convince the crowd gathered for the premiere of McLeish's movie with Rebound that it and by association the original video were fake by sneaking in a "making of" film of their own. (The little girl who filmed Rebound didn't believe dogs could talk, so it's questionable how many others actually expected to see a dog talking of its own will and how much of a threat Rebound's film actually was. Better to be safe than sorry, perhaps.)
  • Mean Character, Nice Actor: An in-universe example — In "I'm Ready for my Close Pup", a child actress named Amy plays a mean little girl named Pippy in Pippy vs. Pooches, where she and her co-star fight for her parents' affection. Amy wants Pooches as her pet, but Pooches thinks Amy really is mean, until she learn that she likes her.
  • Meaningful Name: Nearly every dog/puppy as well as some humans (Mr. McLeish being the most prominent example). This holds for the main team as well. Lucky's plans tend to work out at the end, Strudel is a dachshund and speaks with a German accent, Squirt is a tiny chihuahua, and Niblet seemingly eats everything in sight. Cookie's name may be a little harder to see, but consider how tough she is in this exchange from "Rebel Without A Collar":
    Fang: SHUT UP about the dog I love!
    Lucky: Dog you LOVE?! The only thing coyotes love is themselves!
    Fang: Watch it, pal!
    (Lucky growls harshly at him and soon everyone in the room except Cookie is growling at each other. The hamster prays for dear life.)
    Cookie: KNOCK IT OFF! ALL OF YOU!!
  • Memetic Mutation: An In-Universe example occurs in "The Accidental Pup Star", when a girl films Rebound singing and the video goes viral. It becomes so popular that McLeish decides to make a movie of it. It almost works.
  • "Metaphor" Is My Middle Name:
    • In "Zoltron", Captain Randy claims that Believing is his middle name when Olaf expressed doubt that he'd believe he saw an alien.
    • "The Pups Who Loved Me" has Bondo and Patches both claim that Danger is their middle name. On both occasions, Cupcake doesn't get that they're speaking metaphorically and aren't really saying that their middle names are Danger.
  • Mind-Control Device: Strudel uses glasses with swirls in the lenses to trick McLeish into signing for a package to be shipped in "Good Dog, McLeish!"
  • Miniature Senior Citizen: Leonard McLeish's mother is much shorter than her son.
  • Motor Mouth: Rebound. Surprised?
  • Mouse World: There is a worldwide network of Pound Puppies that has escaped notice by humans. The Kennel Kittens are the feline counterpart.
  • Mythology Gag: Niblet's design is similar to that of Big Paw from Pound Puppies and the Legend of Big Paw.

  • Named After the Injury: Axle the puppy from "The Road to Empawerment" has nonfunctional hind legs, so he has two wheels to get around. An axle is a part that connects wheels to the springs of a car.
  • The Name Is Bond, James Bond: "The Pups Who Loved Me" is already an homage to the James Bond franchise, so of course there would be a play on the way James Bond introduces himself.
    Bondo: The name's Bondo. Just Bondo.
  • Nearly Normal Animals: The pigeons are Largely Normal. The dogs can communicate with the pigeons and they will understand and carry out the canine's request. Indeed, the pigeons' response can also be understood. The reason they are here instead of with the Speech Impaired Animals is because they only coo and peck.
  • Nepotism: McLeish is a dogcatcher because he is the Mayor's brother-in-law.
  • Never Say "Die": Perhaps pushed ever so much closer to being discredited. In "Homeward Pound", Squirt was struggling to keep from hitting the bottom of a waterfall.
    Squirt: (after realizing he didn't fall all the way down the cascade) I'm alive? (sees bear that saves him) AAH! I'm gonna die!
    • On the other hand, when Toyoshiko decided to delete her own memory in her eponymous episode, Strudel says that Toyo "erased herself". Of course, as Toyo was a robot dog, it was an appropriate description.
  • Oblivious to Love: Lucky, in "Olaf In Love". Though both he and Cookie nervously denied their feelings when Kiki, the featured puppy, made mention of them being "more than friends", Cookie pointedly brought up of Lucky's blindness to her feelings (and his own?) in relation to Olaf dating city librarian Gertrude Washburn.
  • Odd Name Out: The five puppies in "Quintuplets" are named Whip, Chip, Blip, Flip, and Chubbers.
    Chubbers: I'm the runt! [loud belch]
  • Once an Episode: A dog finds a loving home, either through adoption or by being returned there. (However, the adoption is sometimes secondary or incidental to the main plot.)
    • There have technically been three exceptions where no dog was adopted: "Toyoshiko!", "Kennel Kittens Return", and "The Fraud Princess". In "Kennel Kittens Return" and "Hello Kitten", it is a kitten, Lily, that's adopted. In the other two, someone (Strudel and Agatha, respectively) did in fact bond with the titular dog.
  • One-Steve Limit: Broken in "Taboo". After declaring newly adopted Taboo the best thing that's happened to him in a long time, Mr. Geekman gave Taboo the new name of... Lucky. (After team leader Lucky's dismissal of the idea his name having any bearing on his ability to find puppies homes earlier in the episode, this coincidence was not lost on the rest of the team.)
  • One True Love: A pet-owner variation; everyone has one "perfect" pet.
  • Origins Episode: The episode "The Call Of The Squirrel Dog" explains how Mr. Nut-Nut met Strudel and, in a more general sense, how the team of Shelter 17 came to have squirrel teammates.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: Blatantly poor disguises are a staple of the series. The ones used to trick animals are mind-bogglingly thin, but work almost every time. (Also see For Halloween, I Am Going As Myself above.)
  • Parental Bonus:
    • From "Quintuplets":
    (After Chubbers wriggles free to avoid being adopted by a couple)
    Girl: We need something cute and cuddly and doesn't do much of anything.
    Guy: Just like you, babycakes.
    (After Cookie confronted their visitor about his poor manners)
    Niblet: Cookie? Next time I'm a bad dog, would you talk mean to me, too?
    (Niblet starts to run away. Cookie growls at him. Niblet laughs.)
    • In "Taboo", the dog the team matches with a person before encountering the episode's namesake puppy is an Afghan with long, light brown fur named Twiggy. While her real-life namesake is a beautiful and well-known model and singer, she isn't someone the average ten-year-old will be terribly familiar with.
    • The car Captain Randy drives in "Zoltron" is a near spot-on model of an AMC Gremlin.
    • Similarly, the vehicle Mr. Julius (voiced by George Takei) drives in "My Fair Rebound" is easy to make out as a stand-in for a Hummer. While that is something kids might recognize, the implications of the Hummer being pink and Hummer owners supposedly compensating for something just might get by the young ones.
    • In "Olaf In Love", the team based their attempts to help Olaf and his date connect on the dating shows Niblet likes to watch. Niblet knows what happens throughout the shows, which, according to him, ends with them saying "I love you", but is unsure of what happens after the credits. At the end of the episode when Olaf and Gertrude, the town librarian get together, both he and Strudel express interest in finding out what happens after the credits.
    Strudel: Simply for scientific research.
  • The Password Is Always "Swordfish": In "Kennel Kittens Return", this was the password to the gated community that the Kennel Kittens wanted to place their adoptee into. It's probably worth noting that the code was entered on a numerical keypad.
  • Personal Raincloud: In "Taboo", the puppy Taboo thinks he has one of these following him around. It turns out to be a bunch of cats using a garden hose to convince Taboo he's unlucky.
  • Pet the Dog:
    • In "Bone Voyage", McLeish apologizes to Olaf for constantly giving him a hard time and tells him that he's an okay guy.
    • In "I Heard the Barks on Christmas Eve", McLeish and a hard-luck dog named Ralph meet, giving the dog catcher the dog Lucky knew he needed.
  • Ping Pong Naïveté: Niblet is clearly not the smartest dog in the group, and there are times you might wonder if he ate paint chips as a puppy. Yet, there are other moments, like his analysis of his situation in "King of the Heap", or the pep talk to the eponymous dog in "Zoltron", or even jokes he makes (see "Parental Bonus" above for an example), that are far above his normal advertised intelligence.
  • Plot-Mandated Friendship Failure: What happened to Niblet and Squirt in "Homeward Pound" after Squirt had a bit too much of Niblet's complaining, and Squirt got a little too pointed with his insults. (It should be noted that the peril Squirt faced after the split likely would not have happened had Niblet not decided to leave; rather they would have probably continued in the wrong direction.)
  • Polly Wants a Microphone: At the end of the episode "Squawk", the Mayor's pet parrot Napoleon turns out to be able to speak on his own and not just copy what other people say when he reveals that he prefers to be called Mr. Squawkers (the name Niblet gave him) and that he plans to fly to Costa Rica.
  • Pounds Are Animal Prisons:
    • Captured worrywart Buddy initially thinks Shelter 17 is one in "Rebel Without A Collar". Strudel helps to convince him otherwise.
    • The Canine Capture and Removal Center in "I Never Barked For My Father" very much is. Dog catcher Ketchum of the Canine Capture and Removal Team looks like a stereotypical Hollywood sheriff.
    Olaf: (after seeing a picture of the facility) It looks like a doggy prison.
    • When Milton Feltwaddle returns to take over Shelter 17 in "McLeish Unleashed" when McLeish is promoted, he does turn the pound into a prison.
  • Potty Failure: When one of the captures growls menacingly at Olaf, the assistant dog catcher, in "Rebel Without A Collar", he tells them to play nice while he goes to change his pants. Complete with uncomfortable walk.
    • Puddles of "Puddles the Problem Pup" is all about this trope. Half of the plot comes from the Pound Puppies' attempts at housebreaking him.
  • Precious Puppies: An in-universe example: The puppies Lucky and his crew match with their designated persons improves the lives of both.
  • Premature Birth Drama: In "Pound Preemies", a pregnant dog gives birth early early. The pound puppies attempt to bring her newborn pups to the vet, but lose them along the way, and scramble to recover them.
  • Prince and Pauper: In "The Prince and the Pupper", street-tough Squirt pines for some of the pampered life look-alike Mr. Cuddlesworth enjoys, while Mr. Cuddlesworth wants to escape the confines of his rich owners and get in on the exciting life of the Pound Puppies.
  • Production Foreshadowing: "Lucky Gets Adopted" uses the instrumental of the song "Love Is In Bloom" from the My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic episode "A Canterlot Wedding - Part 2". Interestingly, both episodes are Season Finales.
  • Production Throwback: "Olaf in Love" uses the instrumental of the "Cutie Mark Crusaders Song" from the My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic episode "The Show Stoppers".
  • Promotion to Opening Titles: Each member of the "Super Secret Pup Club" appears in the second season opening. It is justifiable for Rebound, as she had three episodes in the first season centered around her, and appeared in two others. It is somewhat understandable for Cupcake, as she was in the penultimate episode of the first season, "Mutternal Instincts", and likely would have returned anyhow since she was adopted by Cookie's family. Patches' episode debut, however, was in the third episode of the second season. Not only did he make it onto the season two opening from the start, he was on the cover art for the "Homeward Pound" DVD, which only has first-season episodes.
  • Psycho Rangers: While they are more willing to be a bit more underhanded, the Happy Valley Shelter Kennel Kittens are not truly evil; just like Lucky's team, they only want to find their adoptees homes. Their names and Pound Puppies counterparts are as follows:
    • Ace — Lucky
    • Fluffy — Cookie
    • Squeak — Squirt
    • Kugel — Strudel
    • Tiny — Niblet
  • Public Domain Soundtrack: In the episode, "The Truth is Out Hear", Cookie puts McLeish to sleep by singing "Brahms' Lullaby" with the other dogs joining in.
  • Pun Based Titles: Plenty, but just to name a few: "Prince and the Pupper" (the Prince and Pauper episode), "Nightmare On Pound Street" (the Halloween Episode), "Catcalls" (where the Kennel Kittens made their debut), "Rebel Without A Collar" (where the bad boy free-roaming coyote shows up at the pound), and "Homeward Pound" (where Niblet and Squirt get lost in Canada and have to find their way back home). Of special note would be "The Fraud Princess", because beside the play on "frog prince", there's also the fact that the dog, named Princess, is a fraud by gender (it's a boy) and by initial impression (it's an accomplice in an attempted robbery).
  • Puppy-Dog Eyes: Well, of course, but making the eyes is also a skill that the team makes sure the adoptees master. Sometimes the puppies will use them on the adult dogs to get what they want.
  • Real After All: A common twist whenever a supernatural/out of the ordinary element is involved has the supernatural element turning out to be real, such as Zoltron and his family turning out to be aliens and Kris Jingles existing despite Patches and Cupcake's disbelief.
  • Red-Headed Stepchild: In "The Yipper Caper", Yipper could be considered one, since no one initially wanted to adopt him.
  • Repeat After Me: The adoptee Ginger in "I Never Barked For My Father" when Lucky told her to say goodbye to the team. The look on her face hinted she knew exactly what she was doing.
  • Ridiculously Cute Critter: The squirrels and just about every puppy fall under this category. Although this is deconstructed with Buttercup who greatly resents her cutesy appearance (especially in how she resembles a popular dog doll) because it doesn't let people see the real her.
  • Right Behind Me: In "Squawk", McLeish finds himself in an awkward situation when he disparages his brother-in-law the Mayor and realizes that he was standing right behind him.
  • Robot Dog: Toyoshiko, Bark Friend Machine from, well, "Toyoshiko! Bark Friend Machine". Toyoshiko is so much like a living dog that Strudel goes from thinking of her as "an endearing piece of technology" to developing a friendship with her. (However, the way Toyo initiates the friendship, and often how she talks, is quite mechanistic.) Suffice it to say that while Toyo is indeed a robot buddy, she's not simply a Robot Buddy.
  • Runaway Train: The peril the Ruff Ruff Bunch find themselves in at the end of their eponymous episode.
  • Recurring Characters: On a show with writers who love continuity, it should come as no surprise that there is no shortage on characters who have made multiple appearances on the show. In short, if you can imagine the character being of possible use in a future plot, he or she probably will.
  • Running Gag: Cookie yelling at characters to "Get off [her] belly!" in the first season.
  • Saying Sound Effects Out Loud: Toyoshiko, possibly as an effect of her being a robot, actually says "bark" and "giggle".
  • Santa's Existence Clause: A variant occurs in "I Heard the Barks on Christmas Eve" where Rebound believes in Kris Jingles, the canine equivalent of Santa Claus, despite Patches and Cupcake telling her she's silly for doing so. True to the trope, he's proven to exist when he appears before the pups.
  • Secret-Keeper: Dot and the President, as revealed in "Hail to the Chief".
  • Secret Message Wink: In "Once a Ralph, Always A Ralph", Ralph winks at Lucky and Ace on various occasions, as if imparting some unspoken meaning, though he claims that it's caused by his conjunctivitis. He also winks at the audience at the end. The true meaning behind his winks is left ambiguous, as are his motives in general.
    Lucky: Did he just wink at me? What does that even mean?
  • Security Cling: Lucky jumps onto Cookie's back for protection in the episode, "Lord of the Fleas" after Squirt startles him.
  • Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: Best friends Niblet and Squirt, so to speak.
  • Series Continuity Error:
    • In "The Call of the Squirrel Dog", Cookie had her bow in the flashback, which she didn't get until Episode 3 ("The General").
    • In "Squawk", the plot revolves around the Mayor getting a parrot to cozy up to the pet owners of the city, and later reveals that he doesn't like "dumb animals" or pets. In "Nightmare on Pound Street", not only does the Mayor adopt a puppy named Freddy for his kids, he mentioned he once had a similarly hideous yet adorable dog himself when he was a child. That might not be so bad, except for the producers' love for continuity nods (see above) and that one of McLeish's signature qualities is sidling up to bigwigs.note  (Would McLeish ever forget a favor he's done for the Mayor?)
  • Shout-Out:
    Lucky: If Timmy was stuck in the bottom of the well, would you just walk away?
    Niblet: Who's Timmy?
    Squirt: Beats me.
    • In "The K9 Kid", the featured puppy of the episode wanted to become a police dog. Upon approaching some rambunctious fellow future adoptees who have broken a garden gnome, she said:
    • When Feltwaddle uses his computer to match dogs and potential adoptees in "McLeish Unleashed", the first human is paired with a large brown dog with a blue Pound Puppies collar.
    • It could be a coincidence, but in "Mutternal Instincts", Olaf mentioned he was going to send adoption flyers to a Third Street School.
    • A special mention must be made of the episode "No Dogs Allowed", particularly the last two-thirds of it. Watch the episode for yourself, but the general message is that there can be room in your heart for both ponies and puppies.
    • There are a few to movies in "When Niblet Met Giblet", not the least of which is the title (When Harry Met Sally...). There are also scenes similar to the spaghetti scene in Lady and the Tramp and the ending of Casablanca.
    • A lot of shout outs to 101 Dalmatians: The Series were made in this show. The most notable episode being "The Quintuplets". Also, in the episode, "Taboo", the title pup is voiced by Pamela Segall Aldon, who happened to voice Lucky in the first 33 episodes of 101 Dalmatians: The Series, and at the end of the episode, the man who adopts him names him "Lucky"! (Had to be more than a coincidence.)
    • The character of Dr. Sculder (from "The Truth is in Hear") is a double header: He physically resembles Doc Brown from the Back to the Future series, and his name is a portmanteau of Agents Mulder and Scully from The X-Files.
    • The episode "Once a Ralph, Always a Ralph" features a dog named Chancey attempting to be adopted by the Gardner family. Pretty subtle nod to a movie most ten-year-olds probably haven't heard of.
  • Similar Squad: Similar to the Happy Valley Shelter cats above, each of the titular puppies in "Quintuplets" turned out to have a personality corresponding to the dogs of the main team, but not as initially obvious.
  • Singing Voice Dissonance: When Olaf sang to the pound's Japanese visitors in "Toyoshiko!", he sang alto/countertenor, as compared to his normal mid-ranged male speaking voice.
  • Similar Squad:
    • The Happy Valley Shelter Kennel Kittens are the feline equivalent to Lucky's team, with almost identical fur patterns and very similar names. (Also see Psycho Rangers above.)
    • The Super Secret Pup Club is an obvious nod to the Cutie Mark Crusaders.
  • Southern Belle: Dolly (AKA The General) is a Bonne Belle, sweetie pie.
  • Speech Impaired Animals: The squirrels. Their squeaking is perfectly intelligible to other squirrels as well as Strudel, but not as much to the other dogs. (The gist of the squeaks will be made obvious to the viewer if the joke necessitates it.) In fact, Strudel needs them, as the squirrels have manual abilities that dogs of the world don't, and hence, she wouldn't be able to construct or finish many of her gadgets, and the ones she could complete would take much longer.
    • The chipmunks seen in "The Prince and the Pupper" also belong here. However, they're not quite as nice as the squirrels.
    • This may go for all rodents, as the hamster in "Rebel Without A Collar" and the guinea pig in "Lucky Gets Adopted" also are capable of communicating with dogs.
  • Status Quo is "Dog":
    • You didn't really think the Pound Puppies and Kennel Kittens were going to call off their rivalry for good, did you?
    • It might have seemed that Lucky's adoption wouldn't stick, however his human Dot came to play an increasingly larger role not only in his personal life, but his work life as well. An example of the latter is "No More S'Mores", where Dot plays crucial roles in Lucky's attempts to bring a kid and a puppy together. A good instance of the former is the episode "Lucky Has to Move", where Lucky asks Dot to help him keep her family from moving in order not to break up his team.
  • Spit Take: Rebound and Patches' simultaneous one in "I'm Ready For My Close Pup".
  • Stupidity-Inducing Attack: Well, "attack" isn't exactly right, but in "Lucky the Dunce," Strudel develops a machine that can scramble data processors. When Lucky's inadvertently hit with it, he becomes a happily dimwitted idiot, and Strudel realizes that brains count as "data processors," too.
  • Superhero Episode: "The Watchdogs", where Niblet and Strudel had a brief stint as costumed crime-fighters Mad Dog and Electro-Noggin.
  • Sure, Let's Go with That: In "Lucky the Dunce":
    Lucky: C'mon! Let's go, dogs, go! [He heroically charges offscreen.]
    Cookie: {admiring tone} I love it when he talks that way.
    Squirt: Yeah, it's almost like you can see the gears of genius working in his brain.
    Cookie: {nervous, eyes shifting} Uh...sure, that's how I meant it, yeah.
  • Take That!:
    • Niblet, at the end of "Squawk", says "You should never misunderestimate a dumb animal." Any guesses who that's referring to?
    • "I'm Ready From My Close Pup" isn't very kind to child star parents, television producers or Network CEOs. However, despite his initial appearance and mannerisms, the CEO turns out to be a nice guy.
    Gary: If I had a heart, it would be having an attack right now!
  • Tastes Like Purple: Niblet in "Toyoshiko!". When Strudel and Toyo have a bonding moment after building a machine, they neglected to give their sheepdog helper the okay to let go of the rope. (To be fair to the big guy, it probably would be rather hard to describe the feeling of potential mouth rope burn...)
    Niblet: (muffled) That's sweet. Can I let go now? My mouth, it tastes like pain.
  • Tertiary Sexual Characteristics:
    • Strudel has a purple collar with a pink Pound Puppies medallion and long eyelashes.
    • Cookie is a bit more complicated. At first, she didn't have anything. (Her collar is black.) After seeing Dolly flirt her way into getting the male dogs to fawn over her in the episode "The General", she becomes jealous. By the end, Dolly gives Cookie the pink bow that she's seen with from that point on.
  • That Came Out Wrong: When the titular "Quintuplets" are introduced to the Pound Puppies, Cookie comments about how "if they were any cuter, [she'd] have to eat them up!" The pups take this as a literal threat and huddle in the furthest corner of the box, prompting a nervous Cookie to apologize.
  • Thinking Out Loud: In "Bone Voyage", Mrs. McLeish received a day spa treatment during a cruise courtesy of the ship's captain, who was smitten with her. While relaxing after a cucumber facial, Agatha, thinking she was speaking to the ship masseuse, said that while she could appreciate the captain's love of the ship, she couldn't really enjoy herself without her puppy. Rebound, who was afraid Mrs. McLeish was leaving her for good and followed her onto the ship, was there to hear her.
  • This Is What the Building Will Look Like: In "Toyoshiko!", Milton Feltwaddle took advantage of his bosses' inability to speak English to give McLeish a model of Shelter 17 with the office building of his employer attached to it as part of a ploy to learn how Shelter 17 was so successful at placing dogs. Unfortunately for Feltwaddle, his scheme played too heavily into the ambitions of McLeish, who wanted to impress the Japanese executives by getting a head start on the building. The building was only a congratulatory gift from the Japanese executives in recognition of the pound's placement record (Feltwaddle played it up to get McLeish excited), and robot dog Toyoshiko was the means by which Feltwaddle intended to gather intelligence.
  • Those Wily Coyotes: Appear in "Rebel Without A Collar". The coyotes that patrol the "No Dog Zone" crossed in "The Prince and the Pupper" are also crafty, but it turns out it's in a slightly different sense.
  • Timmy in a Well:
    • In the episode "Snow Problem", Tundra dug out a competing sled dog and musher Jean-Luc Glaciaire, then made his way down a cliff to attach a hook to allow Lucky and his team to pull up a second dog. While it is a fact of the Pound Puppies universe that dogs (among other animals) are smarter and more capable than humans realize, they rarely act so intelligently in front of people. Hence while Lucky was impressed, Glaciaire was even more so.
    • Also in the episode "Salty" we meet Pelican Kevin who has this exchange with Salty:
    Salty: Well if it ain't old Pelican Kevin from (our) boat.
    Kevin: Squawk!
    Salty: What's that Pelican Kevin?
    Kevin: Squawk!
    Salty: Struck a reef?
    Kevin: Squawk!
    Salty: and they're SINKING?!?
    Kevin: Squawk!
    Salty: Shiver me timbers! Captain Pete and Suds need our help!
    • The trope is Lampshaded in the aforementioned Shout-Out during Lucky's pep talk in "Snow Problem".
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: Agent Ping in "Hail to the Chief", although another level might be more accurate for her. She keeps insulting Strudel to her face and making things difficult for her in proving that she still has what it takes in helping dogs find their perfect person.
  • Totem Pole Trench: The trick of several people standing on each other to pretend to be a larger person is performed by Lucky, Niblet and Strudel in the episode, "Hail to the Chief", with Lucky on the bottom.
  • Trekkie: Captain Randy in the episode "Zoltron". Fat physique, dressed in a uniform similar to those from Enterprise, paused like Kirk, had a "Captain's Log", wanted to mind-meld with the titular dog, watched "Star Voyage: Deep Space 90", referred to his mother's garage as the Autopod, excited over seeing a phony flying saucer (even going so far as to say he was okay with the beings in the saucer experimenting on him). And this line, after the saucer disappeared and Zoltron escaped:
    Captain Randy: The biggest night of my life, and I'm left with nothing at all. Just like prom.
  • Tunnel Network: The team's center is a hub from which a series of tunnels that lead into, out of, and around the pound, placing the dogs on the grounds, just outside the shelter wall, into the sewers (and from there, into the alley among other places), and so on.
  • Two Girls to a Team: Strudel and Cookie, the Tomboy and Girly Girl.
  • Tyrant Takes the Helm: Milton Feltwaddle after McLeish is promoted in "McLeish Unleashed".
  • Ugly Cute: Used in-universe by the Mayor to describe newly-adopted Freddy in "A Nightmare on Pound Street". (The exact description was reversed: "cute ugly".)
  • Uncatty Resemblance: The way Milton Feltwaddle wanted to match dogs to humans once he took over the pound in "McLeish Unleashed".
    Daphne: That's dopey!
  • The Unfavorite/"Well Done, Son" Guy: Poor Mr. McLeish. He manages to be treated dismissively by Agatha, while she dotes on Rebound (when she was initially established as not liking dogs), and is charming toward two men who have fallen in love with her so far (see Easily Forgiven for an example [includes a spoiler]).
  • Urine Trouble: In "Hail to the Chief", one of the President's daughters can be heard from off-screen reprimanding Chief for piddling on the rug.
  • Viewers Are Goldfish: While singing about how happy she is that Agatha is back home, Rebound repeats the line from the end of the first verse.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: Squirt and Niblet. Squirt has no compunctions about leveling insults toward Niblet in regards to his intelligence, weight and hygiene. Most of the time, Niblet will either take the jabs or be oblivious to them. Yet as seen in "Homeward Pound" and noted by the featured puppy in "Olaf In Love", they're best friends. (Interestingly, in the latter case, when Squirt started fighting with Niblet, he fought back immediately.)
  • Wacky Cravings: "Pound Preemies" has the Pound Puppies assist a pregnant dog named Miss Petunia, who at one point makes demands for ice cream, lamb chops, pork chops, and chop suey.
  • Weaksauce Weakness: In James Bond send-up episode "The Pups Who Loved Me", Bondo and Lucky are temporarily stymied by Puss Puss Galore using two devices: one that produce doorbell sounds and another that simulates a vacuum cleaner.
  • Welcome Episode: The series premiered with the episode "The Yipper Caper". While the titular character wasn't part of the main cast, he does spend the episode being introduced to the Pound Puppies and brought up to speed on their goal to ensure every dog has a happy home, fulfilling the requirement of the character being given information about the series that is also beneficial for the audience.
  • What Have I Done:
    • Niblet, essentially word-for-word after he notices Rebound ran into Mrs. McLeish's limo in "Rebound".
    • Pepper says it after she causes the police lieutenant's son Charlie to get into hot water with his father in "The K9 Kid".
    • Rebound says it after getting caught singing and dancing by a little girl in "The Accidental Pup Star". She says it again after she learns said video has gone viral.
    • Madame Pickypuss, when she realized she called Cuddlesworth a "pussy cat" in "The Ruff Ruff Bunch". She meant it as an endearing compliment, but to a dog it was an insult.
  • What Measure Is a Non-Cute?: Freddy from "Nightmare on Pound Street" has difficulty being adopted on account of his appearance, despite being nothing other than a complete sweetheart.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Toyoshiko is introduced in "Bark Friend Toyoshiko" and though several aspects of her episode get continuity nods, she is never seen or heard from again.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Lucky gives Strudel an earful when she gets lost in her success as a circus dog in "Dogs On A Wire".
  • When You Coming Home, Dad?: When Lucky was a puppy, his father would be gone for hours or even days at a time, until one day he left for good. (Also see Disappeared Dad and Daddy Had A Good Reason For Abandoning You [includes a spoiler].)
  • Where the Hell Is Springfield?: The location of the city where the Shelter 17 Pound Puppies are based (or heck, even the name of the city itself) is never revealed. However there are a few hints to its location though-out the series. The Architecture of the pound is a style based off of Spanish architecture in the Americas and common in former Spanish colonies. That, coupled with the fact that its a coastal city and there is a desert nearby seem to indicate that it may be in California.
  • Won't Take "Yes" for an Answer: Strudel in "Dogs On A Wire". After expressing her frustration on not going on missions, Lucky offers her the chance to help lost dog Chuckles return to the circus.
    (After Cookie, Squirt and Niblet argue with each other about why they should be chosen for the assignment)
    Lucky: Guys! I think the one who should go... is Strudel.
    Strudel: (rolls eyes) Oh, sure. Pick Strudel like you always... (brightens) Me?! Are you sure?
  • Woobie of the Week: Every episode, there is an animal (usually dogs or puppies obviously, but on a few occasions, not) that needs the help of the team. Often it's to find a home or to find their way back to a home they already have, but, again, not always.
  • You Can Talk?:Dot's reaction to Lucky revealing he can talk.
  • You Never Did That for Me: Lucky's feelings in "I Never Barked For My Father" on how Slick treated tagalong puppy Chip as compared to him when he was younger. As you might expect, it's much more complicated than that. Chip is Slick's son and hence Lucky's brother. Slick never told Chip because he didn't want him to feel the same way about him as Lucky did.
  • You Won't Like How I Taste: Squirt when facing a bear in "Homeward Pound".
    Squirt: Please don't eat me, Mr. Bear! Honest, I'm stringy and I'm chock full of preservatives!
  • Youthful Freckles: Yipper and Billy from "The Yipper Caper".

"Go, dogs, go!"



Rebound gets distracted by a ball while trying to be focused.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (4 votes)

Example of:

Main / AttentionDeficitOohShiny

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