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Who is a better cartoon pet - Snoopy or Garfield?

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Voting Style: Open Point System: Select Winner
Started: 3/30/2015 Category: Funny
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 505 times Debate No: 72617
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (1)
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I will argue that Snoopy is a better cartoon pet. My opponent must argue that Garfield is a better cartoon pet.

Round 1 - Acceptance only

Round 2 - Arguments

Round 3 - Counter arguments and summary statements

Max 10,000 characters, but this is primarily to prevent time spent counting spaces - not to promote a long diatribe of points and counter points. The primary restriction is content. If factual claims are stated, sources must be cited. If experience is mentioned, time and dates and collaborating witnesses (relationships not names, e.g. college friend) must be noted. Research and science are preferred, actual examples of what the characters do is essential, but some minor presumptions can be made.

Points should not be taken off just for listing bullets rather than full sentences. However, spelling and other grammar is still necessary.


Challenge accepted.
Debate Round No. 1


Snoopy is a better pet than Garfield for several reasons:

1 – Snoopy is a dog; Garfield is a cat. Thus, Snoopy is a better pet as dogs are better pets. Research, in addition to personal stories and observation have proven this to be true…

  1. “1. Dogs make you laugh. …dog owners laughed significantly more frequently than cat owners. …2. Dogs help you make friends….3. A dog's sense of smell can be useful. …sniff out…cancer. 4. Dogs are technologically-advanced. …5. Dogs keep us fit…."Older people with dogs are covering an average daily distance of approximately 0.95 miles,"…6. Dogs are real-life heroes….sniff out bombs, find missing persons, or track down criminals. …four-legged crime fighters….7. Dogs have a sixth sense. So-called "seizure-alert dogs" have the innate ability to detect if someone is about to have a seizure. The dog will warn the victim using "attention-getting behaviors such as whining, pawing, or anxious barking" anywhere from "15 to 12 hours before the attack," according to National Geographic. The dogs can even be trained to hit a button on the phone that calls 911. Try getting your cat to use speed dial….8. Dogs help save endangered animals. 9. Dogs may prevent people from developing allergies and asthma. …10. Dogs are loyal….11. Dogs make life worth living, even when we get old.”

  2.“…The bond between a dog and its owner is remarkably similar to that between a parent and child….Pooches can follow human pointing gestures, such as an outstretched finger or a nod of the head, to find food. That may not seem impressive, but chimps struggle to do it. Dogs also hold eye contact with humans – which wolves tend not to do – and use gaze alternation to bring objects to their owner’s attention. They seem predisposed to inspect our faces for information, reassurance and guidance, according to Alexandra Horowitz who studies animal cognition at Columbia University in New York, and whose book Inside of a Dog was published in September…. if the food is hidden and impossible to retrieve, dogs are far more likely to solicit help from their owners by gaze alternation, whereas cats mostly try in vain to obtain the reward for themselves (Journal of Comparative Psychology, vol 119, p 179). Understanding that humans can get you what you want may seem like cheating, but add to this the dog’s superior vocabulary and eagerness to engage with its owner and it is only fair they win this one…….They are especially skilled at cognitive tasks that require cooperation and sharing information to achieve a goal….dogs learn in the same way as human infants. This process, called pedagogy, entails implicit teaching, with the dog attending to cues such as eye contact, gesture and vocalisation, and then directly imitating the actions of its master (New Scientist, 23 August 2008, p 33)….Dogs can hunt, herd and guard. They can sniff out drugs and bombs and even whale faeces; they guide blind and deaf people, race for sport, pull sleds, find someone buried by an avalanche, help children learn and possibly even predict earthquakes. Cats are good if you have an infestation of rodents.”

  3. There are other websites and sources – dogs win hands down.

2 – Snoopy has his own life and sometimes acts like a jerk to Charlie Brown. However, when the chips are down, Snoopy often does his part to help save the day.

  1. During a camping trip, Snoopy may have been in direct competition with Charlie Brown and was not very helpful at the beginning. However, Snoopy behaved just like any other best friend or family member – when Charlie Brown was being harassed by the bullies, Snoopy stepped in and gave the bullies bruises and beat them in the race.

  2. During Christmas, Charlie Brown was feeling alone in his feeling for something pure and special. However, just like family – Snoopy may have laughed and been unhelpful, but when Snoopy realized that Charlie Brown really needed him, Snoopy came through in the end and helped the gang spruce up Charlie’s pathetic tree and make it look very nice.

  3. Snoopy was asked to visit his old owner. Snoopy left Charlie Brown to go; however, Snoopy came home to Charlie Brown.

In short, Snoopy was more like a brother to Charlie Brown – sometimes a pest, sometimes not helpful, but when needed, Snoopy was always there. Snoopy would even laugh at Charlie, but, just like a brother, if Snoopy sensed that the laughter was coming from bullies or someone that would do Charlie Brown harm, Snoopy would step in and have Charlie Brown’s back.

Snoopy was independent and self-sufficient, but Snoopy was loyal and faithful and his heart was true. He was a friend when one was needed. Snoopy may not have always been available when Charlie Brown wanted Snoopy, but Snoopy was there when Charlie Brown needed a friend.



Garfield is indeed a cat, and as a cat he has certain limitations that handicap him as a pet. Cats tend to be solitary creatures, and can reward too much affection with 4 fine and painful scratches across your hand. That said, he is a better pet than Snoopy. My rationale is based upon a very specific set of circumstances. While cats in general are terrible pets compared to dogs, owing to them being self-involved and generally selfish animals, in the context of this debate we are looking specifically at the pet-owner relationship. It is beyond debate that dogs are superior pets in general. But in the specific case of the relationship between Garfield and his owner Jon, he is a better pet than Snoopy is to Charlie Brown. Consider the following:

1. Garfield is billed as "America's number one cat". The number one cat in America can easily be a better pet than say the bottom 10% or 20% of dogs.

2. Garfield is exactly what Jon needs at this point in his life. Jon is an adult male, single, and for the most part a bit of a loser. He needs a fat, lazy, sarcastic cat to keep him in line. In that sense, Garfield is much like a cooler adult male friend would be, especially when it comes to Jon's effort to date Liz the vet. There are numerous examples cited in the 1981 classic collection of newspaper strips "Garfield bigger than life, his 3rd book". Additionally after Jon gets a "roommate" named Lyman, it is ultimately Garfield that helps prevent Jon from becoming a "confirmed bachelor." Lyman was no more help in getting Jon closer to Liz the vet than a pet rock. What Jon needed at this point in his life was the sort of shock treatment we saw in the classic male bonding movie "The 40 Year Old Virgin" where a truly clueless guy was marshaled and heralded through the jungle of mating rituals towards the woman he would marry. And much like the cast of that movie supporting Steve Carell's character in typically male and hilarious ways, Garfield provides the same function for Jon. Lyman, on the other hand, was ultimately leading Jon into a situation that would've resulted in those 3 conversations you have when you're telling someone you are gay.

3. Expanding upon the above point, after one particularly hard failure at dating Liz the vet, Jon is consoled by Garfield in Garfield's unique way. It turned out to be exactly what Jon needed as he responded with "You know, Garfield. I like you better than people." Thus to a normal human being or any other average pet owner, Garfield may appear to be a self absorbed SOB but in this particular case he was indeed the perfect pet, providing Jon exactly what he needed.

4. While indeed an extremely lazy cat, Garfield has done chores for Jon such as fetching the newspaper. Granted, he threatened to shred the newspaper if Jon didn't get breakfast, but when was last time you saw Snoopy running out to the curb to grab the daily paper under any circumstances?

5. Interactions. Snoopy has a rich and varied fantasy life, as well as considerable art skills and other talents. One minute he can be chasing the Red Baron across the skies of World War I France, the next he could be pranking Linus and Sally over the Great Pumpkin, and the next he could be creating award-winning holiday decorations for his dog house. That doesn't leave such a busy dog a lot of time to spend with his young boy owner. And Charlie Brown is such a blockhead he truly needs a full-time dog. Conversely, Garfield and Jon are together in nearly every single panel. While their interactions may not always be fun or even nice, they are together far more often in a meaningful way.

6. Positive self-affirmation. Garfield is indeed a fat cat. But again referring to his 3rd book, there is considerable self-affirmation and an outright demand of overweight people to love themselves as they are. What a beautiful message. In an age of fat shaming across social media. Snoopy on the other hand presents a ambiguous moral message of fighting in World War I versus the Kaiser, in a situation where both sides could take equal responsibility for the situation that led to the war. Yes, Snoopy displays pluck and tenacity, both admirable character traits, but he does little to try to bring those character traits out in others.

7. Negative reinforcement. Let's face it, adult men can be dimwitted at times. They can often be consumed by the process of creation without fully comprehending the end result. Referring to the 1981 classic book "Garfield gains weight" we see again what a perfect pet Garfield is for Jon. In this case, Jon composes a poem:

"My Buddy
I have a buddy.
My buddy's a toad.
He's kind of muddy,
He's flat on the road.
But, he is my buddy,
My buddy to stay.
'Til he's peeled up
And sailed away"

Garfield provides the only reasonable response to this truly wretched piece of rhyme. It is this sort of honesty in their relationship, the relationship of 2 good friends, that is essential to understand and appreciate how and why Garfield is such a good pet and why he is exactly the best pet possible for Jon at this point in Jon's life. One would also expect in the same circumstance had Charlie Brown compose such a poem for the Little Redhaired Girl that Snoopy would simply sit there with his dinner bowl in his mouth, expecting to be fed. Not exactly the feedback a young man would need in such a difficult circumstance.
Debate Round No. 2


Finally, I have a worthy opponent who provides a well-constructed and admirable argument.

  1. The creator or paid reviewer of a book of comic strips is not an objective authority. In this regard, Garfield status as America’s #1 cat has yet to be determined. Any Google or other bolean search engine fails to pull up Garfield when search for “#1 cats in cartoons” or “comic strips”. In fact, Fritz is mentioned, but no Garfield. Garfield is discovered when searching “#1 cartoon cat memorable.” On a website,, Garfield is listed as #4 – not, #1. The list includes cats such as Tom (from Tom and Jerry), Top Cat, and Sylvester. These cats beat Garfield. A #4 cat compared to Snoopy, ranked #1 or #2 depending on the website. These websites are just a few: and . My opponent conceded that dogs are better than cats. My opponent also inferred that a #1 cat could only be better than a lower 20th percentile dog. However, a #4 cat is not better than the top two dogs of all time.

  2. Garfield does indeed act as Jon’s springboard out of loser-ville. My formidable opponent does prove how Garfield’s existence enable Jon to meet and get to know Dr. Elizabeth Wilson. My opponent also presents a reasonable argument as to how Garfield’s sarcasm and rudeness keep Jon on his toes. However, once Jon becomes serious about Liz, Garfield does not help Jon, Garfield proves to be an impediment. Garfield would tag along with Jon on many of his dates with Liz. As my opponent noted, there was rarely a panel where Garfield was not in the midst of the action. Jon’s dates “usually became diasaters (often thanks to Garfield tagging along for the ride)”, In July 2007, Garfield actually became jealous of Liz. He did not want to help Jon. Any help Garfield provided for Jon was an circumstantial.

    True, Snoopy did have a full and independent active life. True, Snoopy was not hogging the spotlight and he was not seen in nearly the same amount of panels with Charlie Brown as Jon and Garfield were seen. However, Snoopy would purposefully, rather than coincidentally, help Charlie Brown. It is because of Snoopy’s independence and active life that Snoopy helped Charlie Brown. Charlie Brown eventually received confirmation from the Red-Haired Girl, Heather, that she liked him also in 1967. "I like you, Charlie Brown. Signed, the Little Red-Haired Girl." ( Snoopy never was jealous of Heather. Charlie Brown gave her a kiss in 1977. Snoopy does not push her away but actually joyfully dances with Charlie’s lifelong love in 1998. In short, Jon dating and then marrying Liz was not due to any purposeful actions on Garfield’s part; Garfield actually caused more problems once they began dating. However, Snoopy, in no way, interfered with Charlie Brown’s lifelong love; Snoopy danced joyfully with her the first moment he met Heather.

  3. Garfield consoled Jon as much as flogging can console sickoos. In short, Garfield perpetuated Jon’s pathetic existence. Jon was a single man owning a cat, a fat cat at that! The fact that Jon looked at a fat, lazy, mean cat and found that cat more desirable than people is proof that Jon was an idiot that did not know what he needed. This cat was not a better pet for Jon. Jon could have made more friends and gone on more adventures if he had a cool pet, like a dog…like Snoopy. If Liz had overhead Jon saying that this mean, lazy cat was better than people, Liz may have realized how pathetic and immasculated Jon was. Whereas Charlie Brown was not more of a blockhead owning Snoopy. In fact, Charlie Brown’s association with Snoopy made him a bit more cool.

  4. “Snoopy has shown himself steadfastly loyal to his current owner. He joined Charlie Brown in walking out of a game of Ha-Ha Herman when Peppermint Patty crudely insulted Charlie Brown (though she was unaware that Charlie Brown was within earshot). He also helped Charlie Brown recover his autographed baseball when a bully had taken it and was challenging Charlie Brown to fight him for it."

  5. Snoopy is a generally happy dog, unlike Garfield the fat, lazy, mean and unpleasant cat. Snoopy has tried to make Charlie Brown happy too. In addition to walking out of a baseball game (a sport Snoopy loved) and recovering an autographed baseball from a bully, Snoopy would do little things to show he cared. “Once when Charlie Brown came home from camp, Snoopy made a welcome home banner and was waiting outside Charlie Brown's house with cake.” Snoopy was not fat, lazy and downright mean. Snoopy was happy and wanted Charlie Brown to be also. That makes Snoopy a better pet; Snoopy was trying to make Charlie Brown happy.

  6. Snoopy was trained by Charlie Brown to walk on his legs as seen in the 1957 comic strip – a boy training his dog is a great bonding activity; Charlie Brown and Snoopy went beyond what any dog and dog owner accomplished before or since. Charlie Brown was the sole reason that Snoopy walks now on his hindlegs. Charlie Brown took time with his pet to develop the pet; the pet, Snoopy, cared enough about his owner to make him happy.

  7. Frankly, many know the name Garfield; few know who the owner is. Out of those few that know the name, there are even fewer that could say it with certainty – Jon, is it? On the other hand, the entire world know of Snoopy and his owner Charlie Brown. Charlie Brown has been around for over 65 years because of the popularity of the pair. Although Snoopy has been used as a mascot for many companies and teams over the years, not many forget Charlie Brown. It is easy to call Charlie Brown a loser as he beats up on himself enough. However, Charlie Brown played baseball, went camping, directed Christmas musicals, and had the support of friends and a loyal dog. If Jon had a better pet, Jon perhaps could have had a better life. Snoopy was the perfect pet for Charlie Brown.

“The Charlie Brown and Snoopy Show” is not just a title; it is an illustration of the bond between owner and pet. The friendship and loyalty was not always seen in every panel but it was felt in every hardship and disaster that faced either character. They loved each other. If any one forgot, then all that was required was observation. They had each other’s backs, they had each other’s hearts, and they would not allow anyone else to take or do any harm to the other. The same cannot be said of Garfield and the pathetic man that fed him. “Garfield” was a title that did not even mention the owner – who? Lucy could never believe that Snoopy could be so happy. However, Snoopy was happy. Unless Charlie Brown failed to feed him supper, Snoopy was a dancing ball of joy. Charlie Brown thrived around this type of happy activity – friends, sports, activities, and love. Charlie Brown and Snoopy continue to live because of their deep relationship. There are no more Garfield cartoons on TV, there are no Garfield Christmas specials, …Garfield was a horrible pet. Moreover, the two-dimensional relationship between owner and pet could not withstand the big screen or any tv screen and is back to being a paper thin comic strip. Snoopy and Charlie Brown hold steadfast together in all mediums and hold true since the 50s and throughout generations. My children will never know of the cat called Garfield and will never see the pathetic Jon. However, my grandparents, my children, and their grandchildren will wince, cry, and laugh with Charlie Brown and his loyal friend Snoopy.'s_relationship “Charlie Brown does many things for Snoopy, and …Charlie Brown still loves him, and especially loves when he greets him when he comes home from school (On one occasion, Charlie Brown even convinces Snoopy to greet him on Sunday, even though there was no school). They are often shown hugging, particularly after they have been reunited after a separation.”

This is what pets are supposed to do – love you, greet you, and be happy to be near you. Snoopy gives this to Charlie Brown. Garfield does not do this for Jon.



I will keep this response relatively short in that there are only so many ways to skin this particular cat. With all due respect to my opponents opinion, the subject of this debate is who is a better cartoon pet. That can only be evaluated in the context of the pet' s owner.

It is true that Snoopy does occasionally show affection to Charlie Brown, especially after a particularly trying time. It is also true that Garfield is generally sarcastic and lazy all of the time. That said, Garfield is still the superior pet in the context of his owner Jon. Jon is a grown man. Coming from simple farm stock, he is now moved to a large city where he no longer can be the guy who just fell off the bumpkin truck. The fact that he hasn't gotten laid apparently and forever should not be lost on any of the adults evaluating this debate. Garfield is doing his level best to provide Jon with exactly the sounding board a grown yet naive and somewhat idiotic man needs to find love and success in the city. Jon does not need hugs, moreover he does not need the "when it suits him" hugs that Snoopy seems to give to Charlie Brown. My opponent has failed to address the similarities between how Garfield treats Jon, and the rough but completely necessary or 40-Year-Old Virgin references.

On the flipside, would anyone characterize Charlie Brown's childhood as happy or that he "thrived"? He had to be the most unlucky, unliked Mayor of Loserville ever. Never laid a foot on a football. Worst pitcher ever. Lost 100% of his kites to a tree. Routinely called a "blockhead" by practically everyone. Even during the famous Christmas episode, it is not Charlie Brown who saves the day-- it is Linus who reminds everyone the true meaning of Christmas. Charlie Brown just stands there like a wet sack of potatoes. This is the joyful, happy, thriving child who was so well supported by his pet!? Charlie Brown was such a hot mess all the time he didn't need a part-time dog who would come down from his World War I fighter plane, or his award-winning Christmas decoration dog house to occasionally check in on his owner. He needed the happiness that is a warm puppy all the time. Further add the issues Charlie Brown would have to grow up with dealing with parents and most adults having severely disabling speech impediments and you have a pretty dire childhood. My opponent' s contention that Snoopy was such a wonderful pet simply does not hold up in light of the prima facie evidence of his owner: Charlie Brown. At this point I don't even need to further explain Charlie Brown, as culturally speaking the name carries as much weight as Hitler or Stalin, though admittedly not quite the same category.

So we have over 50+ years of Charlie Brown's adolescence being a miserable lonely experience with occasional bright spots where Snoopy bungee's into his life for a few seconds then disappears again. We have roughly 30 years of Jon trying to somehow learn to man up with the aid of his perfectly suited cat pet. In toto how can anyone claim, as wonderful, charming and happy as a Snoopy is, he was a good pet to such a desperately in need boy? Yet here we have Garfield on the other side, who despite 30 years of never actually getting Jon to act like a real man has displayed the dedication, loyalty, determination and most of all grit to keep trying to push him into having a pair.

Charlie Brown will never be a happy boy in part because his dog is more concerned about dealing with his own desires and needs than trying to help heal this poor, shattered child. What dog does that? Garfield on the other hand, and again referencing the 40-Year-Old Virgin, still has roughly 5 to 10 years left to turn poor Jon's life around. And even if he doesn't, you know that with the strength of character loyalty to his owner and conviction that only Garfield can display he will keep doing exactly what he needs to do to try to push Jon to the next level as only a better cartoon pet can do.

Debate concluded.
Debate Round No. 3
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by Callie226 1 year ago
Garfield is way better
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