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YMMV / Housepets!

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  • Accidental Innuendo: In this comic Grape is captured by ancient cats, Bound and Gagged, and led through an underground tunnel ... and she thinks to herself that she better hide the fact that the scenario is pushing all her buttons. Really, Grape? All of your buttons? The alt-text though, makes it seem a little less accidental.
    "Just don't think about what will obviously be his angelic pecs."
  • Alternative Character Interpretation: Pete, the Spirit Dragon, and Kitsune are supposed to represent Evil, Good, and Neutral, respectfully. However as the Comsic Game came to a close, Dragon seemed a lot more neutral (she didn't really care about mortals really, she was just playing the game) and Kitsune seems to more closely follow the idea of the Big Good (he goes out of his way to help the mortals and their Loophole Abuse of the game). Of course, some readers also see the end of the game as a subversion of these labels, and show all three of them are really Above Good and Evil (Dragon can be kind of a jerk, Pete can be sympathetic, and Kitsune is just a trickster). And then there are the readers who consider them as all being jerks who toy with the lives of "lesser beings" for their own amusement, and that Kitsune only looks good because his goals happened to align with those of the mortals.
    • Bino is a either a huge jerk who deserves everything he receives or he's a sad sack who subconsciously views himself as a failure or at least inadequate.
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  • Arc Fatigue: The Temple Crashers II arc for some which began in spring of 2017 and took a little over a year to conclude in 2018.
  • Author's Saving Throw: Sasha gets a lot of loose ends tied up nicely in the Hot Spring arc; specifically the complaints of her putting up with her drunken 'daddy's' abuse and neglect for years, and her and Fox's unresolved tension. The latter firmly shows Kevin is treating her right, and while neither of them mind Sasha kissing with other dogs (such as Fox), that they work well as a couple and both politely turn Fox down, to which he accepts. To the former, one of the things Kevin is doing is using his police contacts to have Sasha's father investigated for said abuse and neglect, and hopes to have her eventually emancipated, something fans thought was long, long overdue.
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  • Broken Base: The supernatural and magical elements that become central to the story through King's arc were either the comic Growing the Beard and becoming more dynamic than the Slice of Life silly fun it started as, or when the comic declined in quality. There also those who were the latter but have slowly started coming around, since its obvious the supernatural shenanigans are not going anywhere and are now a reoccurring element of the comic.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse:
    • Joel was a fairly undeveloped character who seemed to just play the role of a PETA lackey. King, on the other hand, quickly gained a disproportionate number of fans. Part of that might come from his being absolutely adorable. The author has taken note of this; when he allowed members of the comic's forum to vote on the plot for the next major story arc following "Imaginate, Too!", he specifically excluded King from the running because he knew everyone would vote for him, and a future King arc was already forthcoming.
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    • Despite only appearing in a few strips early on, Rufus was considered such a fan favorite that he was brought back as in angel in the Temple Crashers 2 arc.
    • Daisy is a big hit on the forums, especially after she opened her mouth and said something besides "Hi, I'm Daisy".
    • Tiger Arbelt became rather well-liked after he got his own arc as a mentally unstable kids' show host.
    • Breel quickly became a fan favorite due to his adorable design, sweet personality, shipping with Keene and the fact that he turned into quite The Woobie after revealing that he died by getting hit by a train and Keene making him cry.
  • Epileptic Trees:
    • Alvin and the Chipmunks somehow escaped from the Housepets world. Ironically, we now have expies of them. Alan and the Ground Squirrels.
    • Lifespans are a confusing detail in the comic. It's insinuated that animals don't actually have that different of lifespans than they do in the real world, but this isn't actually said outright. Not only that, but when Pete and Dragon are sentenced to no less than 70 years of mortality for both losing the Cosmic Game, Kitsune considered reincarnating them as King and Bailey's puppies, who should realistically have lifespans much shorter than 70 years. Then again, no one ever said the 70 mortal years had to be served consecutively in a single lifetime. Later though, when Breel is allowed to come back to life as a boon from heaven, he states his expected lifespan will be around 40-50 years in spite of the fact he's a pine marten, a species that typically has a lifespan of around 15 years (domesticated). Then again, there's no way to know if Breel was a pine marten before he died, as Keene's adopted human father Mr. Milton elected to become a ferret in the afterlife, and even if he was it's been established Breel is rather ignorant of how mortals live since he's been dead for around 200 years.
  • Fanfic Fuel: Tiger's backstory. All we know in the canon is that he's a mood-swinging, socially awkward, food-obsessed Ax-Crazy Jerkass Woobie. What sort of traumatic incident or treatment caused him to be the way he is? Just how bad was the bullying that he endured on both a physical and emotional level? Being a PG comic, we'll likely never get the answer. That being said, Tiger Arbelt is pretty much fertile soil for a Hurt/Comfort Fic or two.
  • Fan-Preferred Couple: Grape and Peanut, and to a lesser extent, Sasha/Fox and King.
  • Foe Yay: Satau and Ptah's rivalry seems almost playful at times, and in their final appearance Satau has his arm around Ptah's shoulders as they watch the sunrise together (granted they were also still arguing).
  • Fridge Horror: It's said Babylon Gardens is very much both a novelty and a rarity as far as places that are so open towards giving pets a lot of freedom. It's been heavily insinuated pets in other places of the world are not always treated as nicely, and animal abuse does happen, despite the fact animals in the Housepets! universe are fully sentient. It's also been insinuated animals have very few personal rights over humans, although the ferrets seem to be working to try and introduce more rights to animals over time.
  • Harsher in Hindsight:
    • All the well-meaning things Pete says to King here seem somewhat harsher once it becomes apparent that teaching King a lesson was more of a side effect than the actual plan.
    • Pete's first appearance in the comic, as he appears to be a big friendly griffin who lets Grape and Peanut ride on him. Later, he admits that he was trying to make Grape or Peanut into his host.
  • Ho Yay:
    • The many Mr. Bigglesworth cats all look identical, even the boys from the girls. One comic had two Mr. Bigglesworth out on a date, only to realize well into the night that neither of them were actually female.
    • The first time King met Foxnote had Fox presenting his rearend to King to 'give him the first sniff'. While scent sniffing isn't unusual for dogs, shippers quickly latched onto the pair because of this initial interaction.
    • When Keene Milton briefly gets sent to heaven, he immediately befriends a male pine marten masseur named Breel. In the next page, though Breel is merely suggesting he get a massage, it definitely sounds more like he's hitting on Keene. It only gets more suggestive from there, with Breel holding Keene in his lap as they eat and being the only one besides Keene's mother and (adoptive) father to see him off when he heads back to earth. After the final temple arc, however, Keene and Breel are now an Official Couple.
    • As it turns out, Rufus and Maxwell had some sort of history together, the initial reveal of this connection punctuated with Rufus giving Max a smooch on the cheek before heading back to heaven. We do eventually learn their history, Max was a lost kitten who was taken in by Rufus, and through a harrowing course of events, Max was introduced to his current owner through Rufus. As if a wink to the fandom shipping the two, the other characters after hearing this story actually accuse Max of having a crush on Rufus, and that that's where Maxwell gets his attraction to older animals from.
    • And a growing ship now is Fungo—Fox and Mungo.
  • Ho Yay Shipping: Although King's hitting on the women when he was drunk, in the "Universes and Unrealities" arc, can be used throw some doubt on his romantic interests, earlier in the comic King and Fox were shipped by some of the audience. King falling in love with—and ultimately marrying—Fox's cousin Bailey pretty much killed any canon basis for this (and it's worth pointing out that Fox was completely in favor of their relationship). Probably won't stop the fanfic writers, though.
  • Idiosyncratic Ship Naming
    • "King of Hearts" for the earlier King/Sasha ship
    • "Jessica Rabbit" for the Zach/Jessica ship (which is now an official couple)
  • Iron Woobie: Sasha manages to stay uppity and cheerful despite the fact that her owner is an absolute Jerkass. Look at her boyfriend. She has experience.
  • Jerkass Woobie:
    • Tiger Arbelt. Despite being mainly portrayed as a secondary comic relief character, he has some serious psychological issues to work though. He's been a victim of bullying and is basically a social outcast among the dogs simply because he has a catlike name. This in turn has made him irritable, aggressive and temperamental to the point of being borderline Ax-Crazy at times while at the same time, struggling with binge eating and depression. Tiger may have a short fuse and a big mouth but he could also really use a big hug and a shoulder to cry on. As one forum member put it: "Tiger is an emotional wreck and responds to his problems by being a jerk."
    • Bino. Sure, he's a temperamental, speciest jerk who loves bullying others and playing cruel pranks but he's also had to deal with a concussion, getting punched in the face by Bailey and a shock collar to name a few things. It's rather difficult to tell if Bino is either this or Love to Hate. His new girlfriend Duchess most likely views him as disposable and somewhere down the line, will likely break his heart.
    • King, considering he's an ex member of PETA and as Bino put it has a Napoleon Complex but the poor corgi just can't catch a break.
    • Joel's pets. Sure, they turned their backs on Joel after kidnapping him but they were also abused by their owner.
    • Pete at the end of the Cosmic Game. He may be a jerk and some fans even feel he already crossed the Moral Event Horizon long ago, but seeing him driven to Broken Tears from losing the game and his comment about how mortals always get happy endings and gods don't can be a bit heartbreaking.
  • Moe: Most of the cast is this due to the art style but Peanut, Zach, Res, Joey, King, Tiger, Dallas and Sasha in particular stand out.
  • Moral Event Horizon:
    • Adorable though King's new form is, when Pete informed him that Pete has no intention of changing him back into a human, there were plenty of horrified fans.note 
    • The three players (Pete, Spirit Dragon and the Kitsune) are pretty much good, neutral, and bad. Guess who the bad one is.
    • The fat PETA guy (Joel's partner) crosses this when he attempts to smother Fox to death.
    • Bino came close to crossing it when he tried to break King's watch but had he'd actually succeeded and King died in front of everyone, he'd probably be more shocked and horrified then anything.
    • Jack "Four Finger Discount" crosses this in the Wolf's Clothing arc where he eggs Bino on to steal from humans only to abandon him and try to sell his collar off to a well known con artist. Say what you will about Bino but what Jack did to him was just plain cold.
  • MST3K Mantra: You really don't need to bog yourself down with overanalysis on things such as biology and natural laws here.
  • Nightmare Fuel: Keene, you really did it this time. In short, he, through his selfishness, unlocked a gateway to Hell.
  • Older Than They Think:
    • A number of commenters on this strip think that a many-tailed kitsune showing up means Rick has watched too much Naruto. Never mind, of course, that kitsunes show up in a lot of old Japanese folklore, and that said folklore is the origin of stories of foxes with nine tails, such as Naruto...
    • Or, to be very blunt, that the one in Naruto isn't nearly as powerful as the original source material. The more you know!
    • "Hi! I'm Daisy!" was not originally from Housepets!, as some seem to believe.
  • Portmanteau Couple Name:
    • Grapenut for the Grape/Peanut ship.
    • Kingley for King/Bailey.
  • Shipping: Hoo, boy. Just one of multiple examples: The Alt Text for this comic reads: "This is what YOU wanted. You dirty, dirty people."
  • Squick:
    • King is a frequent target of shipping—usually with Sasha or Fox—and King himself gradually gets used to being a dog as the comic goes on. However, some fans still can't look away from the fact that King is not a dog, but a human trapped in a dog's body. It makes his eventual marriage with Bailey still too weird to accept for some.
    • If you actually start to think about the society that must exist around Babylon Gardens, you can't go far without realizing something disturbing.
  • Stoic Woobie: Fox is this given that he's been a victim of kidnapping not once but twice. He's usually pretty good at keeping his cool in spite of his hardships.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: Some fans are already calling foul over the revelation that Sasha's actions in Keene's attempted murder were strictly her being Brainwashed and Crazy, with some even enjoying the original idea of Sasha willingly turning against the establishment after years of being a Stepford Smiler and dealing with an emotionally abusive "daddy". There are also those who although they found the shift in her character a bit too harsh, still hoped her actions would at least be partially More Than Mind Control, instead of her just being a completely Unwitting Pawn. Some of these complaints also stem from the Broken Base over the comic having too many supernatural elements.
  • Viewer Gender Confusion: Generally, the only way to tell if a character is female is if she has eyelashes. And there are some that don't even have those, like Grape, who is more a tomboy. Even then, some readers get confused. (see: Cerberus) It's gotten to the point that, in his latest style shift, Rick Griffin has started subtlely giving females more feminine features.
  • The Woobie:
    • All pets who are mistreated in this comic count as such, but King's shaping up to be the top dog for this trope. However, Sasha at Christmas is definitely a close second. Made worse when seen against the other Christmases.
    • Res is starting to seem this way, though owner mistreatment was quickly quashed as a possible reason.
    • Zach can get it bad some times... but as Jessica points out, some of it is his own fault and lack of awareness.
    • Marion's story has been one long Trauma Conga Line.


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