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Pooch Café is a comic strip by Paul Gilligan and the first newspaper comic of the new millennium, debuting on January 1, 2000. It follows the humorous antics of a self-serving, squirrel-fearing, food-obsessed, toilet-drinking mutt named Poncho, whose life is with his master, Chazz, and Chazz's cat-loving wife, Carmen (who owns a brood of six cats), and Poncho's adventures with his fellow dogs Boomer, Hudson, Droolia (a female Bullmastiff with a drooling problem), Gus (a Scottish Terrier), Beaumont (or "Bobo", the owner of the titular cafe), Poo Poo (a Bichon Frise), and a zen goldfish named "Fish". Other semi-recurring characters are Tito (the garbage man), Sheldon (a pigeon with a pork pie hat), and Margo (the dog-walker). The strip takes its name from the cafe where Poncho and his friends gather to compare notes about life among the humans.
This comic contains examples of:
- Art Evolution: In this strip's early years, the artwork looks a bit choppy, and even Chazz has a different nose. A few years later, the style becomes much cleaner.
- Big Eater: Poncho.
- Black Bead Eyes
- Blank White Eyes: Poncho.
- Blinding Bangs: Beaumont.
- Butt Monkey: Chazz.
- Cat Scare: Poncho shows a little Genre Savvy by thinking, "If this was a dumb Horror movie, something would jump out at me right now." A cat jumps out. Somewhat subverted in that Poncho believes that cats really are trouble.
- Crazy Cat Lady: Carmen.
- Deadpan Snarker: Poncho.
- Dogs Are Dumb: Poncho.
- Don't Explain the Joke: Early in its life, the strip had a bad habit of doing a joke one day, spending the following day's strip explaining the joke at length, and then repeating the same joke with some minor variation the day after that. Fortunately, Paul Gilligan soon grew out of this tendency.
- The Door Slams You: 5-26-11. Chaz warns Carmen to not stand near the door because Poncho will be coming through like a train. She doesn't believe him, and gets smashed behind the door when Poncho slams the door open and charges through with a "Choo Choo" sound effect.
- Extreme Omnivore: Poncho.
- Furry Reminder: Poncho and all the other dogs.
- Inevitable Waterfall: "We live in a flat, urban environment. Where did that waterfall come from?"
- Literal Junk Food: Poncho is often shown eating out of garbage cans.
- Look Behind You!: In this comic, Chazz uses "Look! Halley's Comet!"
- Mundane Fantastic
- Never My Fault: Poncho is often a victim of this.
- Organ Autonomy: There are occasional strips in which Poncho's various body parts (usually the brain and stomach) argue.
- Pet Heir: Orlando.
- Talking Animal: Poncho and other dog characters.
- Ugly Guy, Hot Wife: Chazz and Carmen.
- Visible Silence: Poncho has done this a couple of times.
- Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: Poncho has a phobia of squirrels.