1. I don’t think there’s any connection between the two strips. The key to the first one is that Grimmy is taking an item to add to his cart, and not unloading anything onto the other cart. Some directional movement squiggles would have made this clearer. The two ladies are buying nice “sensible” items, but Grimmy wants some junk food instead. Whether he just pulled it from the shelf, or stole it from the other cart is irrelevant, but the latter scenario is more amusing.

  2. Fish, Soap and Chips (CHiPs) are all old tv shows, but not sure how it adds to the gag in first strip. If there is a gag at all.

  3. That doesn’t matter. All she was going to get were “fish and crisps“. (I’ve never seen a strip that establishes where MG&G is set, but Mike Peters is from Missouri.)

  4. Weird or very tiny store to have fish and soap so close together. Especially since it doesn’t look like a freezer case, so those fish are gonna be nasty….

  5. I agree with Rob that the products shown in the MG&G are (or correspond to) names for old TV shows. But I would say we needn’t ask how that adds to the gag – it just is the entirety of the gag.

    The Pickles is of course making some joke of its own. But in this context it serves as a clue to the MGG by reminding us about the character Fish on Barney Miller, who got a spinoff series in his own name.

  6. I’m not convinced that Grimmy is giving or taking the chips. He’s just holding for the reader to see like the other characters.

    I didn’t remember Fish having his own show. That seems pretty obscure.

  7. There has to be at least a little bit more to the strip than just presenting the three names; otherwise I could claim that this is a funny comment just because I included “Fish, CHiPs, & Soap” in the text. Besides, if Peters really was going for nothing other than the cheap gag, I think he would have dotted the “i” in “CHiPs“.

  8. “Something smelly that starts with F” … Are fish and foot the best matches one thinks of? Even if you add “.. in four letters” …

  9. @Bpostow, yeah, I noticed that as a sort of problem too.
    But think of “(gold)fish (crackers)” which do sometimes come in a box.

  10. @bpostow, mitch4: Frozen fish sticks can come in a box, but I was wondering if those were actually books, and they were in a library. Then I looked at the carts and reconsidered.

  11. @Danny Boy: there seems to be a bias toward tangible objects, at least for me. I had to think hard before I came up with the obvious answer you are suggesting (at which point it seemed obvious). But at least for me, I was actively picturing things, so tangible things have a preference.

  12. (Posting a comment on behalf of Whitey – mitch)

    The Pickles is part of a running joke, also combining hearing and smell with word play, which reside in my house also. Love it.

  13. @ larK – Thanks for the indirect clue toward the word that DBLD was hinting at. Even though it can be interpreted as an ethereal noun, it is more common to think of it as a verb, which perhaps explains why it wasn’t immediately obvious to either of us.

  14. “I have seen this on some episode
    Of Maude, Fish, CHiPs, or the White Shadow
    Rerun in my mind a thousand times
    Though I forget the channel…”

    Pain, “Suckerpunch”

  15. Barney Miller is still being shown in reruns on MeTV. My husband has been watching it nightly at 10.

    And as a teen I loved CHiPs, but I never would have realized that those three were shows. Fish and Chips go together, Soap had me very confused. Maybe if there had been another one or two? Maybe MAS*Hed Potatoes or something?

    I’m guessing that the artist went shopping and got those 3 things and suddenly realized they were all TV shows and thought “Gee, that’s funny.”

  16. Mike Peters is from Missouri

    St. Louis, MO to be more precise. I will say that while the people in the US typically mean products like Lay’s when they say “chips”, the phrase “fish and chips” is fairly well known and understood. There is a restaurant here that I go to on occasion that has in-house-cooked potato chips with that dish, so I have to order it with fries instead.

  17. @Danny Boy: I’m reminded of a puzzle in the National Lampoon a long time ago. It was a word game: complete the sentence by filling in the word.

    “What a smelly f—!” Answer: fish.
    “Wow, Sandra really knows how to —k!” Answer: cook.
    And so on.

  18. Mark in Boston: What’s a four-letter word ending in -k that means intercourse?


    Third-grade humor indeed.

  19. Danny Boy: Do you know what I want for my birthday? It starts with “f” and it ends with “uck”.

    A Fire Truck!

    You can localize the joke to Boston if you know that the late Arthur Fiedler, conductor for many years of the Boston Pops, was an avid “spark” or fire buff. He was a member of the Boston Sparks Association and the Boston Fire Museum. One year he received as a birthday present a real working fire truck.

    So: What did Arthur Fiedler get for his birthday? It starts with “f”….

  20. So many old shows are still on TV – and on and on and on…

    Robert never liked or would watch shows such as Little House on the Prairie or The Waltons. Since the start of the pandemic we watch these shows (and others he would not watch before) over and over and over and over… And then they ran – “The Waltons” marathon for days and days – every episode including the TV movies so it was Waltons and nothing else for well over a week!

    So chances are whichever “geezer” show is mentioned it is probably on some TV channel these days.

    (Right now – Waltons are on as I type.)

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