Garfield is a newspaper comic strip created by Jim Davis that began running on June 19, 1978. The strip centers on the eponymous fat, cynical orange house cat, who enjoys sleeping, eating, and watching television. Garfield lives with his nerdy owner, Jon Arbuckle, and his lovable but dim-witted dog Odie. The strip has spawned countless merchandise, as well as twelve prime-time television specials, two animated television shows, two live-action theatrical movies, three direct-to-video films, and a monthly comic book series published by Boom! Studios. Boom! also published an ongoing Peanuts series and several specials in the 2010s.
Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, the Garfield TV specials were often aired back-to-back with the Peanuts specials on CBS (for instance, A Garfield Christmas would often follow up CBS' annual telecast of A Charlie Brown Christmas). In fact, Bill Melendez, who produced and directed many of the Peanuts specials, also served as the producer for the first two Garfield specials, Here Comes Garfield and Garfield on the Town.
Peanuts references in Garfield
- June 8, 1983 – In preparation for a plane trip, Garfield remarks, "If a dog can be a World War I Flying Ace, I can surely fly commercial."
- November 14, 1988 – Garfield finds Snoopy's reflection in place of his own (pictured above).
- January 25, 1996 – Garfield is stuck in a tree and says, "It couldn't possibly get any worse." Then a kite gets wrapped around him and someone says, "Good grief!"
- September 24, 1999 – When Jon mockingly points out Garfield sitting in a different position from earlier, Garfield asks "I wonder if Charlie Brown could use a cat?"
- May 27, 2000 – In this strip done for Charles Schulz Day, Garfield comes upon Snoopy's doghouse and solemnly takes a nap on top of it.
- February 12, 2010 – Garfield's owner Jon appears wearing a t-shirt with a picture of Snoopy on it, much to Garfield's disgust.
- December 9, 2011 – Liz is wearing Charlie Brown's sweater.
- February 5, 2017 – The first panel of the comic strip shows Garfield doing the infamous football gag that Lucy always plays Charlie Brown.
- In the anniversary book Garfield: 20 Years and Still Kicking, Jim Davis states that the color of Odie's ears were changed from black to brown to avoid confusion with another cartoon dog who has black ears, adding that "this dog works for 'peanuts'."
Garfield references in Peanuts
- April 29, 1988 – Snoopy goes to get a birthday card for the Red Baron and ponders "I wonder if he likes Garfield."
- Schulz was actually the cause of Garfield transitioning to walking on two larger feet instead of four small feet. During the production of the special Here Comes Garfield, Jim Davis was having difficulty in animating Garfield dancing on four tiny cat feet. Schulz, who happened to be working in the same studio, suggested that Garfield move around on two larger feet instead. Davis used Schulz' advice, and Garfield began taking the appearance he is now known for.