Adaptation Displacement: Not many people know that U.S. Acres was a comic strip too. The comic strip version of Bo was very unintelligent, the comic's Sheldon had a philosophical side, and two characters, Cody the Dog and Blue the Cat, were left out of the cartoon altogether, having disappeared from the strip by that point. Granted, it's probably due to the original strip having a very short life. Before the second season of Garfield and Friends even began, U.S. Acres newspaper run had already ended.
Another one in "Once Upon a Time Warp". Roy didn't give Wade back the five bucks for fourteen years because "he doesn't like the principle of giving back money he owes". Considering they knew each other for fourteen years or so and in "Banana Nose", Roy implied he had little to no friends before he moved to the farm, was that the only reason or was that also an excuse for Wade not to stay away from him?
Also was Roy jealous of Wade and Orson's friendship in the early episodes?
Does Orson secretly hate Wade but is too polite to admit it?
Is Aloysius actually nice, but is his angered personality because of work-related stress?
Also, which theme song ranks supreme, the first season's or "We're Ready to Party"? The split lasts to this day. The only thing that most fans can mutually get behind is that the third theme song, the rap, wasn't that great (or at least will never gain the same popularity as the other two).
"It's So Nice to Have a Lobster 'Round the House..."
Edutainment: The show is surprisingly educational despite its claims of being "mindless entertainment", classic literature, scientific principles, even medical information was taught to kids in an entertaining way. This show was possibly one of the inspirations behind Animaniacs including these kinds of shorts. The "classic literature" episodes were surprisingly faithful to their source material (for the most part).
The ants reasonably popular, despite only appearing in three episodes.
Jim Davis said that Binky the Clown was the most successful minor character on the show and he attracted more audiences than ever.
"Funny Aneurysm" Moment: After Kevin Meaney's death, the end of "Kiddie Korner" became this. The last thing Kevin Meaney tweeted was "Some last minute advice for Hilary: Light your hair on fire! Be crazy and tell him he's fired! Hit him in the face with a pie!". Aloysius' last line in U.S. Acres (if you don't count him complaining about being hit by pies and crying for help) was "Are those pies"?, and he winds up getting hit by pies.
In the same episode, one of Aloysius' lines is "More death, to say nothing of high cholesterol!". Kevin Meaney wound up dying of a heart attack, which can be caused by high cholesterol.
Genius Bonus: According to research from Yale University, people who have love-hate relationships is due to their poor self-esteem. Wade has poor self-esteem and he has a love-hate relationship with Roy! There are moments when Roy shows the esteem issue as well ("Banana Nose" for example), it's just not as upfront or often as Wade.
Growing the Beard: A lot of the humor in the first season and even the beginning of the second season is very awkward, and the animation is quite a bit cruder than in later seasons. The show arguably didn't hit its stride until the Season Two episode "Robodie."
Harsher in Hindsight: Two examples in 'The Legal Eagle', when Orson was building a cage jail. Wade said, "You're going to put your friends in jail?" By the end of the episode, it was Orson's fault, everybody ended up in jail.
Another example, when Wade told Roy(who Orson made into a Deputy), "...Lock me up and throw away the key!" After Roy put everyone in jail, including himself, he literally threw away the key.
And for a more general example, the whole episode "Ode To Odie" after bullying became a newsworthy issue and Garfields aversion against bullying became part of his character, since it reminds him of some of bad things he does.
At the end of "Another Ant Episode" the singing ants promise they'll be back next season. But instead that aired in what would turn out to be Garfield's final season.
The episode "Binky Gets Cancelled, Again!" is about Binkys show getting cancelled again because it wasn't educational. Years later, it would be one of the main reasons why Saturday morning cartoons have all but disappeared on network television. Two other episodes, "Learning Lessons" and "Kiddie Korner", used the "educational things forced by the network" plot as well, making them this trope too.
Films and Felines is this twice over in its final segment: first its comments on how theatres who try to soak their customers never stay open was dead accurate and now because most theatres have become like this the industry is dying. Second it showed that the video rental business was booming... Which is now a businesses doing even WORSE than movie theaters due to the advent of online streaming.
At the beginning of "Astrocat" Garfield and Odie watch the game show "Hit The Buzzer, Win A Cookie" and Garfield comments "And this is on the educational channel". Mildly amusing comment then, very relevant today thanks to the Network Decay of TLC.
Episode 35 had a U.S. Acres short ("Hamelot") about a griffon, followed by a Garfield short ("How To Be Funny!") that had a part mentioning practical jokes. Sound familiar?
One of the first season's Quickies even featured Orson dressing up and talking like a detective.
This also wasn't the only time Howard Morris voiced a character who's friends with a Chicken.
Although both games came out around the same time, "Garfield's Defense" and Disney World's interactive card game, Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom have some amusing similarities. In "Snow Wade and the 77 Dwarves", Snow Wade's dress, red bow and black hair was similar to the Disney version. In "Garfield's Defense" the U.S. Acres characters help Garfield fight the enemies. Wade's weapon to fight off the enemies is a broom. In "Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom", Snow White has a spell card to attack the enemies, "Snow Whites Housecleaning". What weapon is she holding/using? A broom.
In "The Legal Eagle", Wade was inside a pumpkin with the stem part on top of his head. In the first "Garfield's Defense game, he ends wearing a pumpkin costume similar to this in the Halloween levels.
The plot of the fake U.S. Acres episode "Much Ado About Orson" in "The Mail Animal" was that Orson had to help Lanolin with her chores. 4 seasons later, the episode "A Little Time Off" occurs, having a similar plot to what Orson described to Wade (Helping Lanolin get her mind off chores by helping her imagine things, which would count as helping her).
Plus, three seasons before that, an episode called "Much Ado About Lanolin" aired.
And now, for a real-life Hilarious in Hindsight. The prophet Muhammad died three years after he ate lamb that was poisoned. 1,361 years later, the episode Snow Wade and the 77 Dwarfs airs, and guess who gives Snow Wade the poison apple? Lanolin Sheep/Lamb!
The ending of Wanted: Wade involves Booker and Sheldon playing a prank related to the main problem in the episode, which was Wade fearing he would be put in jail. 5 years later, the Animaniacs segment "De-Zanitized" has this exact same ending where the Warner siblings were playing the prank, and the problem was that Dr. Scratchnsniff wanted to see a de-zychatrist in order to stop his problems with the Warners.
Meta example: In "Garfield Goes Hawaiian", Frank Welker voices a parrot who does an impersonation of Garfield. Many years later, Welker would become Garfield's voice actor.
Also in "The Bo Show", Bo (who Frank Welker also voiced) played as Garfield wearing a head mask and trying to voice him.
Probably the most famous of these is a line in the opening that was swiftly (ab)used in YouTube Poop (After which, Wade then says "I'm scared!" HE KNEW!):
There was a weasel who sounds and acts like the one in the US Acres segments in the Magic Adventures of Mumfie episode "Pop Goes The Weasel". The same episode also contains a Rake Take similar to the one in "Wanted: Wade".
The episode "Cute for Loot" has Garfield ending up in Abu Dhabi instead of Nermal and he complains that there are no Italian restaurants there. While this might have been the case when the episode aired, that is not the case nowadays as there's even a listing of the best Italian restaurants in Abu Dhabi!
Reruns of the show aired on Nickelodeon in the late '90s. In 2019, Nick's parent company Viacom acquired the rights to Garfield and U.S. Acres and have announced a new Garfield series for Nick is on the way.
Ho Yay: Roy and Wade have plenty of Tsundere moments with each other. Their biggest example would have to be the Snow Wade two parter, with not only Wade as Snow White, but Roy as the prince. When Roy realizes he has to kiss Wade in order to revive him from being poisoned, he refused to do so and leaves. Orson unwillingly becomes the new prince, but his attempts to kiss Wade awake fail. Eventually Roy comes back, andhiskiss wakes Wade up. Granted, Roy only came back so he could become rich via marrying Snow Wade, but when Wade is revived, he is happy to let Roy have his hand in marriage.
Seasonal Rot: Some people believe the show went downhill after Season Five, when the show became more bizarre, oversaturated with fourth wall breaks, and didnt have the charm of the first five seasons. It doesnt help that the last two openings were badly received.
Shown Their Work: In the episode The Great Inventor, other than the obvious jokes (Garfield watching TV, Jon being a cartoonist), it gets a surprising number of things right. The ancient Romans really did have a dish called "lasagnum" which really did translate to "stew pot of mixed foods", even though it didn't contain tomatoes. Notice the sundial watch Garfield is wearing? Ancient Romans really did have a pocket watch sundial. The only thing wrong is the "Common Knowledge" idea that all Romans wore plain white togas, but it just might be a visual example of The Coconut Effect so that people didn't complain about it being unrealistic.
Some Anvils Need to Be Dropped: "Binky Gets Canceled...Again!" As the title implies, Binky's popular kids' show is canceled after parents complain that the program isn't educational. Binky points out that he does something different: "I make children laugh! I entertain!" The station manager then declares that entertaining simply isn't enough for children's shows anymore — they need to have "social content" to get airtime. This seems to be a reaction against Anvilicious programs that treat kids like idiots while hammering home countless Aesops. It's not subtle (since thats not part of the shows charm), but it does make the legitimate claim that it's OK for children to simply have fun and enjoy themselves while watching television, rather than constantly having to learn something from it. This is more obvious in a later episode, Learning Lessons, where the Buddy Bears constantly ruin Garfields fun by explaining the jokes and giving boring unnecessary lectures on everything he does (including his name).
The Buddy Bears episodes drop the anvil against groupthink, conformity, and The Complainer Is Always Wrong, teaching that blindly following the group and being unable to form your own opinions is not the way to be.
The above Anvil reaches (falls on?) its apex in "Big Bad Buddy Bird," a U.S. Acres segment. Roy quits the cartoon because he's sick of being treated badly, and his agent books him on the Buddy Bears, who promise that they only do things that are "educational and uplifting." Roy is cast as the title character, who disagrees with the group and ends up getting pummeled with sixteen-ton safes as punishment, which is even worse than before. Toward the end of the episode, he presses himself against the camera and makes an impassioned speech about resisting groupthink; it's especially effective because the Buddy Bears are a Show Within a Show, so it's as though Roy is actually talking to the real viewing audience.
Roy: Kids, don't listen to any of this, these bears are dangerous. You should have opinions of your own! You should think and decide and not do what everyone else does! Use your own mind—don't do what your friends do just because they're doing it, HAVE A BRAIN OF YOUR OWN! LET GO OF ME! THE GROUP ISN'T ALWAYS RIGHT!
Fridge Brilliance kicks in when you listen closely to the episode; the Buddy Bears and Roy use the phrase "what happens if you don't go along with the gang" twice. It's a thinly-veiled Take That! against Mark Evainer having to write scripts for The Get Along Gang, which epitomizedThe Complainer Is Always Wrong and endlessly preached that agreeing with everyone was the only way to have friends.
Quite a few episodes warn about various businesses who try to con their customers in subtle ways, but "Supermarket Mania" in particular went the extra mile and showed that the customers getting soaked was their own fault due to falling for the flowery promotions and (fake) sales the supermarket constantly provided.
They Changed It, Now It Sucks!: October 31st 2018, an HD remaster version of the show was issued on Boomerang, and fans weren't happy with the final results.
Instead of scanning the original film for an HD master, the intro was instead re-animated in Flash. Not surprisingly, fans of the show quickly noticed that the animations of the characters looked cheap and stiff, missing reactions of the animated characters and some special effects completely ruined. A comparison with the two intros can be found here.
Meanwhile, the title cards are cropped to 4:3 with a random-colored border filling the rest of the screen, while the episodes themselves are cropped and zoomed in to fit a 16:9 picture. Some of them even had their colors changed around, with the most notable example being "Banana Nose".
Viewer Gender Confusion: Most fans thought Nermal was a girl because of his feminine voice and there is absolutely nothing boyish about him...and he has eye-lashes. Most of the people who knew he was a guy only knew because he was frequently referred to as a guy in the comics.
The Woobie: Wade Duck, although his Woobie status has been toned down from the comics where he was a Chew Toy. He especially becomes this in the Quack To The Future episode where Orson almost makes him cry.
Woolseyism: In the Spanish dub, this happens. Here are a few examples:
Any logobox quip mentioning something Spanish viewers couldn't get (such as "Hey, Heathcliff! Eat your heart out!" and "Don't bother checking what's on NBC, they've stopped airing cartoons!") would be cut out.
The US Acres segment "Kiddie Korner" had this happen to the nursery rhymes. One example was "La pequeña Lou, se sentó en su poo" replacing "Little Miss Muffet".
Roy's "It's Saturday morning. Do you know where your children are?" line in "Temp Trouble" was replaced with a different one.
In the US Acres quickie after "Attack Of The Mutant Guppies", the guppies want to go on Sabado Gigante, a Spanish variety show, instead of Muppet Babies.
Aloysius will sometimes make a terrified screaming noise in scenes where he didn't say anything in the original (for example, the scene in "The Discount of Monte Cristo" where Orson yells at him for making the scene black and white and refusing to bring soldiers for a scene.)