Who is a better cartoon pet - Snoopy or Garfield?
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.
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…
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.
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.
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:
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.
Finally, I have a worthy opponent who provides a well-constructed and admirable argument.
“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.
http://peanuts.wikia.com...'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.
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.