I can talk, read, and write...
And surf the net all of the day and all of the night!"
Watch My Chops (also known as Corneil et Bernie and Corneil & Bernie in France and the USA respectively) is an animated television series about Corneil, a highly intelligent dog who can talk, and Bernie, his dimwitted pet-sitter.
Corneil is a hyper-intelligent dog, but has long come to the conclusion that his intelligence is best kept as a secret since he's already living a very comfortable life as a pampered pet. His plans go awry when his owners hire Bernie as a pet sitter and Corneil ends up talking in front of him. Bernie agrees to keep Corneil's secret since it lands him a comfortable and secure job, and the show chronicles their misadventures, such as with Bernie's personal life or Corneil having Bernie act as a chaffeur/proxy.
Watch My Chops was produced, written and animated by Millimages, a French animation and production studio. The English dub was done at The Sound Company Studios in London. It aired on France 3 in France, on CBBC in the UK, and on Nicktoons in the USA. Only two seasons were initially produced (they were merged as one season in the UK run) with twenty-six episodes each.
The show was Uncanceled in 2014, with the new episodes being created by using Flash animation. While they were dubbed into English, the new episodes have only been shown in France and Australia.
Watch My Chops provides examples of:
- Animesque: Sweat drops, face faults and limited animation are utilized, though the art style is still unquestionably western.
- Blackmail: In "The Secret", Corneil threatens to out Bernie as the one who wrecked the generator that blacked out his block to get Bernie to see Mr. Henson again in order to confirm that Mr. Henson knows that Corneil can talk.
- Brains and Brawn: Corneil is the Brains to Bernie's Brawn.
- Butt-Monkey: Bernie gets injured a lot. Not that he doesn't deserve it sometimes, mind you.
- Catchphrase:Corneil: Watch my chops!
- Cats Are Mean:
- In one episode, Corneil's owners take in a stray cat that frames Corneil for it's own misdeed. Some alleycats then attack Corneil and Bernie, while the cat escapes.
- Another episode has a cat picking on Corneil, and the two of them start fighting.
- The Cameo: In Who Said That, when Corneil and Bernie go to the animal shelter, you'll notice the elephant from 64 Zoo Lane and Pablo the Little Red Fox behind them. Both shows were also produced by Milimages.
- Disney Death: Happens to Corneil near the end of the episode "Finders Weepers" where he falls down the stairs (after faking an injury to convince Bernie that the watch he found is cursed with bad luck). Thinking he is dead Bernie throws the watch out the window in despair. But afterwards Corneil is revealed to be alive and Bernie couldn't be happier.
- Dogs Are Dumb: Completely averted with Corneil who is highly intelligent. Although there is one episode that is titled "Dogs are Dumb".
- Easy Amnesia: One episode "Dogs are Dumb" has Bernie suffering a head injury and losing his memory, including knowing that Corneil can talk. Corneil tries to help Bernie get his memory back before the latter exposes his secret.
- Fake Ultimate Hero: Bernie in several episodes gets credited for Corneil's accomplishments, leading others to believe he's smarter and more talented than he really is. It varies from episode to episode if he's actually exposed as this though.
- Gentleman and a Scholar: Corneil.
- Idiot Hero: Bernie is not the brightest, but Corneil often has to rely on him due to Bernie being human.
- Intellectual Animal: Corneil is incredibly well-spoken and educated.
- Jerkass: Romeo and occasionally Bernie.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Bernie is pretty self-centered most of the time, but on more than one occasion, he shows that he legitimately cares about Corneil.
- Laser-Guided Karma: Bernie often receives misfortune, but he does deserves it most of the time like "By The Whisker".
- Name and Name: The original French version is called Corneil et Bernie and the USA version is called Corneil & Bernie.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: Corneil (blue), Bernie (red)
- Parental Abandonment: Bernie is being raised by his uncle Rico. The whereabouts of his parents is never mentioned.
- Picky Eater: A dog example in "Dog's Dinner" where Corneil stubbornly refuses to eat canned Dog Food while staying over at Bernie's for the week after the latter got sick of him complaining a lot at the super market.
- Secret Keeper: Bernie is the only one who knows that Corneil is highly intelligent and able to talk.
- Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: Corneil is the sensitive and Bernie is the manly.
- Smart Animal, Average Human: The intelligent talking dog Corneil and his Book Dumb but competent dog-sitter Bernie.
- They Would Cut You Up: Referenced in "Dogs are Dumb" when Corneil said to Bernie that he did not want anyone to know his secret for fear of being a laboratory specimen because he can talk.Bernie: Surprise! And I'm gonna play the cassette to John and Beth and then, hello, evening news!Corneil: Ah! And then, hello, animal research lab! Oh, Bernie! You can't! You mustn't!
- Throw the Dog a Bone: "Finders Weepers", the only episode where everything goes right for Bernie; he finds a hat that he lost, scores a movie date with a beautiful girl called Cindy and wins a hockey game for Romeo's team.
- You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Bernie, Uncle Rico, and Beth all have blue hair.