Snitches cause glitches

Thanks to maggiethecartoonist for sending this in and posing the question, what exactly is a Snitch Burger supposed to be?

If you browse the Garfield archive from around this date, Jon has been regaling Garfield with tall tales from his family history, some of the strips involving this photo album or diary or scrapbook. But there is no more story about this young Mr Snitch (if that is actually his surname and not a descriptive moniker); and the idea of a carnivorous cow transmitting the snitchness into their eventual beef comes out of nowhere.


  1. There seems to be something going on with burger recently. Notice “nothing burger”. (And compare “everything bagel” though that’s a little less metaphorical.)

  2. Nice point, Dana. But do note this Garfield is from 2009, and I don’t think nothing burger is more than a couple years old.

  3. Uh… “nothingburger” was coined in 1953 by Hollywood gossip columnist Louella Parsons. It was used in the halls of Congress and entered into the Congressional record in 1984.

    That said, Garfield here is simply issuing a sardonic analysis of what happened to Cletus after being et.

  4. I have looked it up, and read all the comments on the GC website. Nobody has any idea what a snitch burger is. Maybe Jim Davis had had a snitch burger as Downpuppy suggested, or else there’s some kind of play on words from a popular burger in 2009?

  5. @ Maggie – I agree with Powers: it’s not necessary to over-analyze Garfield’s response. There probably isn’t a specific antecedent, it’s just a catchy phrase describing what happened to the twerp. As for that “notorious” burger: the company was founded in 2012, so maybe they borrowed (a.k.a. “snitched“) the name from a long-forgotten (three-year old) comic.

  6. Oh, would that be funny!! Imagine snitching the name of your cuisine from a cartoon!
    You’re definitely right about it being catchy. Once I read this cartoon, I ponder on snitch burgers all day.

  7. After cheeseburgers, all kinds of “burgers” showed up: baconburgers, chiliburgers … Even things without meat in them: veggieburgers. Of all the different Xburgers, the only one that does NOT have X in it is the original: HAMburger.

  8. @ Maggie – There used to be a restaurant called “Roy’s Place” northwest of Washington D.C., which had (literally) hundreds of sandwiches and burgers on the menu, all with comical names swiped from a variety of sources. The menus were so entertaining to read that they started selling copies: “If you’ll stop stealing our menus, we’ll stop slashing your tires. Menus for sale: $1.00, tires for sale: $25“. Here’s a typical page, including a special entry at the bottom:

    P.S. Note the copyright and the mimeograph reproduction. Roy’s has been out of business for at least a decade, maybe more, but their Internet footprint lives on.

  9. P.P.S. @ MiB – Roy’s had a “Ratburger” on a later version of the menu (with ratatouille, of course).

  10. maggiethecartoonist – not too hard to imagine. There’s the Wimpy burger from Wimpy’s Diner. There’s also Popeye’s fried chicken, but I don’t think they were named for the cartoon character.

  11. Even things without meat in them: veggieburgers.

    One of my brothers had off and on bouts of trying to be vegetarian years ago. Once we were at a family reunion in Iowa, and he was surprised to see one on the menu at a diner. When presented, it was a regular burger with lettuce, tomato, and onion†.

    † Unabashedly serial comma-ing my way through life.

  12. Mark in Boston, as you point out, burger came to be a productive suffix (derivational). (Or second term in an attributive N-N pair.) You didn’t note that, among your examples, “Xburger” or “X burger” had two different uses: a beefburger with X added to it ; and a round patty-type sandwich served on a bun, made of X and not beef. The difference is nicely illustrated in Brian in STL’s story of his brother’s incident with the veggie burger.

  13. My grade school cafeteria served things called “baconburgers” that were … well, the most charitable interpretation was that they’d mixed some bacon in with the ground beef. This is perhaps a third use…

  14. I should have mentioned that my brother accepted what the universe was telling him about ordering a veggie-burger in an Iowa diner and ate it as presented.

    A good think to look for at such an establishment is the pork tenderloin sandwich. The meat is pounded out until very thin, then breaded and fried. It should stick out of the bun by several inches.

  15. @ Brian – Just this week I was putting some native polish on an English-language document written by a German colleague, and was highly amused when the automatic grammar check reminded me to insert an Oxford comma. (I am a very strong proponent, but Germans tend to leave them out, because they are virtually illegal in “correct” German writing, with only limited, highly specific exceptions.)

  16. What a cruel thing to do, Kilby, adding Polish to English language documents written by unsuspecting Germans… ;-P Don’t they catch on when they see all those vowel-less consonant clusters?

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