I can talk, read, and write...
And surf the net all of the day and all of the night!"
Bernie: Corneil, you can talk!
Corneil: And much more, Bernie. But keep it to yourself.
Bernie: "If you let the cat out of the bag, you'd be a celebrity!
If you wanna lead a dog's life...
The secret's gotta stay with you and me!"
Corneil: Watch. My. Chops! SHUSH!
("It's no joke! The dog, he spoke
He said 'Watch My Chops!'")
Together: "They must never hear a word!
A talking dog...!"
Watch My Chops (also known as Corneil et Bernie and Corneil & Bernie in France and the USA and Canada respectively) is an animated television series about Corneil, a knowledgeable dog who can talk, and Bernie, his dimwitted pet-sitter.
Corneil is a hyper-intelligent dog but has long concluded 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 chauffeur/proxy.
Watch My Chops was produced, written, and animated by French animation and production studio Millimages. The English dub was done at The Sound Company Studios in London. It aired on France 3 in France, on CBBC in the UK, on TVO Kids in Canada, 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, these episodes have only aired in France and Australia.
Watch My Tropes:
- Amnesiac Hero: Bernie seems to think that Corneil has become this in "Peas in a Pod" though in reality, it's a case of Corneil taking full advantage of the Identical Stranger trope by tricking Bernie into taking Humbert while he gets some downtime.
- Animesque: Sweat drops, face faults and limited animation are utilized, though the art style is still unquestionably western.
- Believer Fakes Evidence: In "Close Encounters of the Alien Kind", Bernie gets Corneil to disguise himself as an alien to prove to his classmates he's met one. It works a little too well; Corneil gets chased by Bernie's classmates and by episode's end, Bernie gets carted off by Mulder and Scully-esque FBI agents because he was able to "translate" the alien.
- Beware the Nice Ones: Corneil can be downright devious when he wants to be. The best example of this is in the episode Double Jeopardy, where Bernie tricks Corneil into helping him get Romeo's confiscated karate video back from Ms Martin, lying/scaring him that it was of him talking. When Corneil finds out, he gets revenge by calling him, using a device to sound like Ms Martin, and tricks him into ruining an important meeting of Ms Martin's and it ends with Bernie getting a month's detention.
- 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 its own misdeed. Some alleycats then attack Corneil and Bernie, while the cat escapes.
- Another episode has a cat harassing Corneil, and the two of them start fighting.
- The Cameo: In "Who Said That?", when Corneil and Bernie go to the animal shelter, Nelson the elephant from 64 Zoo Lane and Pablo the Little Red Fox can be seen behind them. Both shows were produced by Milimages.
- Disney Death: Happens to Corneil near the end of "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 when Corneil is revealed to be alive, Bernie couldn't be happier.
- Dogs Are Dumb: Completely averted with Corneil, who is highly intelligent. Although there is one episode titled "Dogs Are Dumb".
- Easy Amnesia: "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.
- Face–Heel Turn: In the episode "Don Cornelius", due to Bernie screwing things up and referring to Inspector Cornelius as Don Cornelius, Corneil has no choice but to play along due to Joe trying to get him arrested under the erroneous belief that Don Cornelius is a mafia boss.
- Gentleman and a Scholar: Corneil.
- Heel–Face Turn: During "Art Attack", Corniel manages to trick Joe the Scoundrel into giving up by disguising himself as Inspector Cornelius. Joe is later seen working in a burger joint during "Don Cornelius", having genuinely changed his ways and then trying to bring Don Cornelius to justice, believing him to be a mafia boss on the run.
- 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 Has a Point: There are times where Bernie does rightfully call out Corneil on some of his actions such as his fear of swimming and panicking in a bathtub during training when he was obviously not going to drown, faked getting seriously hurt to trick Bernie to giving him back a lost watch, driving him along with John and Beth crazy after getting scared from a burglery causing the former to get detention and having to spend time in a bathtub.
- 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.
- Lack of Empathy: In "Dogs are Dumb", an amnesiac Bernie only cares about being famous for discovering a talking dog in Corneil not caring how this could affect the latter.
- Laser-Guided Karma: Bernie often receives misfortune, but oftentimes he deserves it, such as in "By the Whisker".
- Naked People Are Funny: In one ep Bernie is told by Corneil to take off his clothes due to being chased by Police dogs and throws them up a tree, meaning he spends most of the rest of the ep in just his underpants.
- Name and Name: The original French version is called Corneil et Bernie and the USA version is called Corneil & Bernie.
- Palette Swap: "Peas In A Pod" introduces Humbert who resembles Corniel aside from his nose being green and lacking Corniel's ability to speak in human tongue.
- Parental Abandonment: Bernie is raised by his uncle Rico. The whereabouts of his parents are never mentioned.
- Picky Eater: Corneil is this as it is shown in "Dog's Dinner", where he refuses to eat canned dog food that Bernie is forcing him to eat after Corneil proves to be a very finicky eater at the supermarket.
- 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 that earns him a permanent spot on the team.