There are a few precepts that are accepted as read within the Garfield universe: Garfield hates Mondays. Garfield loves lasagna. Neither Odie nor Nermal actually exist, but are rather psychic manifestations of Garfield’s subconscious fears of abandonment. And of course, in one classic strip, Garfield’s owner Jon chugs a hot mug of dog jizz.
The “Jon drinks dog semen” theory has been floating around since May 30, 1990, ever since eagle-eyed fans noticed that—at the conclusion of a strip where Jon once again futilely flirts with Garfield’s veterinarian, Liz—Jon drinks dog semen. After all, it’s telegraphed right there in the punchline, where, after Jon helps himself to an ostensible cup of coffee, Liz drolly responds, “Congratulations, Mr. Arbuckle. You are going to give birth to a fine, healthy litter of puppies.”
Ignoring the fact that Liz has some pretty mixed-up ideas about the mechanics of animal husbandry for a licensed veterinarian, the intent here seems fairly obvious. What else could possibly be the joke, if not the idea that hundreds of tiny dog sperm are now worming their way through Jon’s digestive tract? Clearly, Liz had just finished jerking a dog off into a coffee cup, and consummate goofball Jon accidentally drank it.
Or, at least, that’s been the accepted interpretation for years, until a Twitter user named @realnutsling posted a photo of the strip in question, ostensibly signed and endorsed as official canon by Garfield creator Jim Davis himself.
But while @realnutsling refused further comment on BuzzFeed’s investigation into his tweet about the cum-guzzling Garfield—easily the most 2017 phrase you will ever read—BuzzFeed was able to, once again, drag Jim Davis out and force him to clarify yet another dumb thing about the albatross that is his creation, like the time he had to go on record that Garfield is male. Here, with what one assumes to be several Garfield pencils that successively snapped in half as he was writing it, Davis composed this statement to clear everything up:
“On the farm, we used to give first-calf heifers a high protein supplement to help them deliver healthier calves. The supplement was provided by our vet... I assumed that there would be a similar supplement for dogs. So Jon is drinking a protein-enriched drink formulated for a pregnant dog.
There you have it!”
Yep, there you have it! This whole time, Liz was just joking about the dog fertility drink that she was keeping in a coffee mug and that Jim Davis just imagined existed, confident that his readers would recognize the allusion due to the preponderance of similar heifer juice commonly found across America’s farmland. Sure, compared to Jon drinking dog sperm, it isn’t a very funny punchline. But that’s how you know it’s genuine Garfield.