Hanna-Barbera created an animated T.V. special based on a popular line of stuffed dogs in 1985. A series appeared the next year which followed it closely, despite changing most of the voice cast. Both revolved around "the Pound Puppies", a group of dogs consisting of:
- Cooler, leader with a trademark laugh.
- Nose Marie, a melodramatic Southern Belle bloodhound.
- Bright Eyes, a perky cheerleader type.
- Howler, an eccentric inventor with Harpo Marx-like hair.
- Whopper, the diaper-wearing cute kid, who often lies and exaggerates.
The Pound Puppies lived at a dog pound and helped other canines find good homes while taking a Masquerade as normal dogs. The puppies were cared for by their neighbor Holly, a kindly orphan girl who the dogs drop the disguise for and is a kind of Cool Big Sis. Holly lives with her guardian, an evil Cruella De Ville wannabe named Katrina Stoneheart, who hates The Pound Puppies (and dogs in general). Katrina was constantly plotting against them, with the help of her bratty daughter Brattina; their pet cat, Catgut, and occasional partner, Captain Slaughter.
The show was dramatically retooled for its second season, called "The All-New Pound Puppies" in the opening credits. What follows is a list of some of the changes:
- The instrumental theme song was replaced with an Expository Theme Tune with the same tune.
- The animation became more competent.
- Bright Eyes was changed into a younger (but still older than Whopper) puppy, to eliminate the possibility of a Love Triangle between her, Nose Marie, and Cooler.
- The less flighty, more mature Nose Marie became a doting, apron-wearing Team Mom to Whopper and Bright Eyes.
- The pound was now run by Katrina, in the manner of a concentration camp.
- Howler was AWOL in many episodes.
- The originally short-haired, skirt-wearing Holly had much longer hair and was a bit more of a tomboy.
The Pound Puppies and Holly were now freedom fighters who operated out of an Elaborate Underground Base, trying to save dogs from Katrina and hook them up with lonely kids.
The premise was then retooled once more for the 1988 movie Pound Puppies and the Legend of Big Paw, before disappearing completely, followed by the toy line in 1990, although that made an unexpected reappearance in 2007.
The sister line of toys, Pound Purries, never had the luxury of a T.V. special or series. They did make a token appearance in The Movie as supporting characters, though.
- Abhorrent Admirer: Brattina had a very obvious crush on Captain Slaughter, much to his annoyance.
- Aborted Arc: Four episodes of the first season featured Captain Slaughter, a Dr. Claw-esque villain who was responsible for destroying the puppies' home in the first place and was Cooler's greatest enemy. When the show was retooled in its second season, he disappeared, his storyline never resolved.
- And Knowing Is Half the Battle: The "Pet Care Corner", where viewers are given hints on pet care.
- Art Evolution/Art Shift: The special, the two seasons of the TV series and the movie all have strikingly different art styles.
- Barefoot Cartoon Animal: Bright Eyes.
- Big Eater: Brattina in "The Fairy Dogmother" when at the party. Oddly, she never displays this trait any other time.
- Breaking the Fourth Wall: Cooler does this all the time.
- Card-Carrying Villain: Katrina. She named her kid Brattina! That's all you need to know.
- Cats Are Mean: Catgut.
- Subverted in "Tuffy Gets Fluffy".
- Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: The All-New Pound Puppies saw the complete disappearance of Captain Slaughter, while Howler was pushed Out of Focus. Before that, the TV series pared down the pups from the special to five and completely replaced the human supporting cast/setting.
- Cute but Cacophonic: Brattina's voice can get pretty grating.
- Cruella to Animals: Katrina, who wants to turn the puppies into fur coats.
- Dangerously Genre Savvy: The dognappers in the '85 special, when they decide it's easier to just wait at Violet's place for her to return home rather than try and track her down.
- Determinator: Captain Slaughter, who blamed Cooler for how he lost his hand during a previous chase.
- Disney Death: Happens at the end of the '85 special when Cooler gets hit by a car.
- Drunk with Power: Whopper in "King Whopper".
- Evil Redhead: Katrina and Brattina.
- Expository Theme Tune: Used in the second season by added lyrics to the instrumental version.
- Having a Gay Old Time: Thought to be one of the reasons Pound Puppies' feline counterparts were called Pound Purries.
- Imaginary Friend: Bob in "The Invisible Friend". He turns out to be not so imaginary.
- Improbable Age: In the first season Holly owns a puppy pound despite being a minor. Averted in the second season where Katrina owns the pound.
- Inflationary Dialogue: Whopper does this at least Once an Episode.
- Knight of Cerebus: Captain Slaughter
- Lighter and Softer: The All-New Pound Puppies toned down the villains, removing the most obviously evil of the lot, and put more emphasis on finding homes for puppies.
- Meaningful Name: Brattina and her mother, Katrina Stoneheart.
- Mr. Imagination: Whopper.
- My Name Is Not Durwood: For some reason, Cooler keeps calling Violet "Sam" in the '85 special.
- Naive Newcomer: Violet in the '85 special; Holly at the start of the TV series.
- Only Known by Their Nickname: The Nose, precursor to the TV series' Nose Marie.
- Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: The Nose originally had a New York accent, then traded it in for a Southern drawl as Nose Marie. This may have been lampshaded in All-New Pound Puppies with one-shot rival Toots, who had a similar accent and was pointedly disliked by Team Mom Nose Marie.
- Paper-Thin Disguise: In "The Bright Eyes Mob", Katrina tricks a group of high class women into believing she's a dog lover with a very obvious robot dog, until it shorts out and explodes.
- Parental Bonus: What kid would have known that Cooler was a Shout-Out to the Cooler King?
- Pounds Are Animal Prisons: In the second season where Katrina owns it. And in the original special.
- Shallow Love Interest: "The Fairy Dogmother" introduced a boy that Holly and Brattina both crushed on. And he was never seen again.
- Shorttank: Holly, but more in the second season.
- The Speechless: In the '85 special, Howler couldn't speak, only howl. This was dropped for the TV series.
- Spoiled Brat: Brattina.
- That Makes Me Feel Angry: Katrina and Brattina can't go one episode without exclaiming how much they hate the Pound Puppies or all dogs in general.
Katrina: You Pound Puppies / I hate them yes I do
Brattina: Eww! Pound Puppies! / They’re yucky, icky-poo!
- Valley Girl: Brattina.
- Who Names Their Kid Brattina?
- Will: A flashback episode revealed that the dogs had to find the Puppy Pound's founder's will to prevent Katrina from inheriting it.
- You Keep Using That Word: Brattina is always calling things "icky", no matter how little sense it makes.
- Also, the shows like to use "puppy" to describe a dog regardless of age. For example, the millennia-old Big Paw is just a "lonely puppy without a home", and the mother "puppy" gives birth to a litter of actual puppies. Don't think about that too hard.
- Big Damn Movie
- Canis Major: Big Paw.
- Chekhov's Gun: Reflex's reflexive reaction to the ringing of a bell.
- Conveyor Belt of Doom: An Idiot Ball induced one.
- Dance Party Ending
- The Fifties
- Framing Device: The main story which takes place in 1950's is told in the present by grown-up Whopper.
- Gentle Giant: Big Paw once again.
- The Jimmy Hart Version: The songs essentially use the same tune as 1950s classics such as "Let's Go to the Hop" and "Duke of Earl".
- Logical Fallacies: McNasty thinks he can be King because he's got Puppy Power.
- To clarify, nothing about him changes when he's got the bone that gives Puppy Power, he just says he's king of the world and gives himself a crown.
- It's glossed over, but he says he wants to take over the world by using an army of vicious attack dogs. Which is an okay plan, but his Mean Machine doesn't need Puppy Power to work, and holding the bone doesn't give him any control over animals, so why did he want to steal the bone again?
- MacGuffin: The Bone of Scone
- Obviously Evil: His name is McNasty and he looks like the lovechild of Renfield and the Penguin? Nah, nothing suspicious about him!
- Off-Model: Aside from changes made to the character designs, there is a particularly noticeable animation error in which Cooler's nose disappears from his face. Word of God confirms that the film's animation was done in only six months and with little preparation, hence the rather sub-par quality.
- The Other Darrin: Cooler was voiced by Brennan Howard here.
- Power of Love: The victims of The Mean Machine can be literally cured by hearing "I love you" alone.
- Villain Song: 'The King of Everything'. Not a very good one, but a villain song nonetheless.
Like the original series, a team of canines finds homes for puppies (and occasionally adult dogs), often by escaping the pound in the style of The Great Escape and Hogan's Heroes. This time around, the pound is run by Lenard McLeish, a dog catcher who is ambitious, but mostly ineffectual and ultimately harmless.
The new squad consists of team leader Lucky; right-hand dog and no-nonsense second-in-command Cookie; Squirt, the streetwise chihuahua with connections across the city; resident genius and inventor Strudel; and Niblet, the big, strong sheepdog with an even bigger heart.
Along with Mr. Nut-Nut, Sparky and the other helper squirrels, the team from Shelter 17 is responsible for matching the right pup with the right person. The shelter's success is even occasionally recognized by humans somehow... which McLeish gladly takes credit for whenever he can, much to the chagrin of the ones really responsible.
The episode "The Yipper Caper" is included on the DVD My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic: The Friendship Express, and the episodes "My Fair Rebound", "Quintuplets", "Homeward Pound", "Zoltron", and "The K9 Kid" are included on the DVD Pound Puppies: Homeward Pound.
The second season began June 2, 2012 with "Zipper the Zoomit Dog".
- Animation Bump: The later DHX Media/Studio B episodes are more smoothly animated than the earlier 9 Story episodes, and the second season looks better still.
- Big Eater: Niblet.
- Big Friendly Dog: Also Niblet.
- Catch Phrase:
- "Once a Pound Puppy, always a Pound Puppy!"
- "A pup for every person, and a person for every pup."
- Lucky's "Go, dogs, go!"
- Cats Are Mean: Not always. The Cats of the Alley from the episode "Taboo" definitely were. The Happy Valley Shelter cats have both their mean and nice moments. Mr. Cuddlesworth's feline friend Madame Pickypuss in "The Prince and the Pupper" seemed to be initially, but she was angry with Squirt for attempting to imitate her companion, Cuddlesworth. Mittens and Lilly, the kittens the Kennel Kittens wanted to place in "Catcalls" and "Kennel Kittens Return" respectively, didn't have a mean bone in their collective bodies.
- Continuity Nod: In "The General", Lucky's team is charged by the eponymous leader with getting 67 puppies adopted. Then in "Quintuplets", Lucky mentions that if they could get 68 puppies adopted in one weekend, then five in one day should be a piece of cake. Of course it wasn't quite that simple, as the siblings refused to be adopted separately.
- When Lucky, Cookie and Niblet visit Mrs. McLeish's in "My Fair Rebound", Lucky explained to Rebound they were there for her three-month checkup (from when she was adopted in her eponymous episode).
- In "McLeish Unleashed", Milton Feltwaddle ("Toyoshiko!") returns to take over the pound, the Happy Valley Shelter Kennel Kittens ("Catcalls") are on a scouting trip at the same home the Pound Puppies have scouted once more, and Cookie mentions her family which was seen at the beginning of "Rebel Without A Collar".
- Cute Kitten: Generally, the adoptees of the Pound Puppies' rival organization, the Kennel Kittens, to potential human companions. (Also see the entry in the episode section.)
- Cute Little Fangs: Rebound, Niblet's little sister and Agatha's pet dog.
- Deadpan Snarker: Cookie. And she does not care who you are. Squirt will get in his fair share of cracks as well.
- The Ditz: Niblet has his moments of brilliance, but no matter how one might rank the five dogs of the team by intelligence, poor Nibbles is coming in a distant fifth.
- Dogs Are Dumb: Averted by four-fifths of the main team. Niblet, of course, is a straight example, at least most of the time.
- Expy: Lucky in a way resembles Charlie B. Barkin. He even has a red collar that is similar to the one that Charlie wears in the sequel.
- Character-wise however, it's subverted. Lucky would never be as selfish as Charlie. Charlie DOES seem to be very cool, calm, and collected though.
- Fantastic Racism:
- Dogs and cats in "Catcalls".
- Dogs and coyotes in "Rebel Without A Collar".
- Squirt had a problem with alligators in "The Really Weird Dog". (Also see Broken Aesop in the episode section.)
- Five Dog Band
- Getting Crap Past the Radar:
- From "Quintuplets":
Squirt: Yeah. I knew a marmot once who got his picture on boxes of nuts. Guy was fixed for life. All the pistachios he could eat!
Niblet: Wow! Can I get my picture on a bag of marshmallows, Lucky? 'Cause I love marshmallows! And I want to be fixed for life, too! (eyes dart back) I mean, not fixed fixed, but, you know...
- In "Bone Voyage", Lucky used a makeshift rope swing to rescue Rebound from her pursuers and place her next to Agatha. He finished by jumping off and landing next to Cookie. She's impressed with his performance.
Cookie: Nice dismount.
- In "Mutternal Instincts", Lucky was giving kudos to Strudel and Cookie for a delivery system they developed. Niblet was quite proud of his dachshund teammate.
Niblet: That's my wiener!
- Another from "Mutternal Instincts": Just before the shelter was to host a conference of Pound Puppies agents from around the world, eight puppies were brought to the pound by dog catcher Ketchum. When some of the team expressed doubt in their ability to get the puppies adopted and prepare for the meeting, Cookie challenged them:
Cookie: What are you guys, a bunch of pussycats?
- Hammerspace: The new adoptees are always given a Pound Puppy collar. Oftentimes, the collar is produced by one of the team members reaching to their side and turning back around with one in his or her mouth.
- Hidden Depths: Niblet can walk and dance quite well on his hind legs because he used to perform in the circus as a dancing dog. Strudel is quite knowledgeable about dog shows because she used to be a show dog herself (though she's quick to add she has never actually won). Squirt (aka Wings) was once a championship Frisb-- um, that is, Zoomit champion dog, thanks to his ears.
- Invincible Hero: Lucky. The puppies and dogs he takes as charges will be adopted and the lost dogs he and his team encounter will find their way back home, the question is how.
- Joisey: If the voice weren't enough, Squirt mentions he's from Hoboken in "I Never Barked For My Father".
- Kindhearted Simpleton: Niblet. As mentioned above, he can show flashes of intelligence, and he can be provoked into acts of anger and even mild aggressiveness, but he is at heart a simple, lovable goofball.
- Leaning on the Fourth Wall:
- Strudel and Cookie have this exchange in "Quintuplets":
(After a [figurative] light bulb goes off in Lucky's head)
Strudel: All I know is when Lucky gets excited about an idea, it's usually a good one.
Cookie: Like Charlie Five?
Strudel: I said usually.
- After placing Twiggy (see Parental Bonus below) with her person in "Taboo", the team talks about how good they are at their jobs, which they agree they couldn't do without Lucky, which in turn leads to this question:
Cookie: Seriously, Luck, how do you do it? How do you always find the right dog for the right person right at the last minute when it looks like everything is going to fall apart?
- The Masquerade: Like their predecessors, these Pound Puppies also avoid directly talking to humans. Usually, the only time they will speak to a person is indirectly (i.e., when Strudel makes a call) or when their face is hidden (as Niblet did in "Snow Problem").
- Broken Masquerade: In "Lucky Gets Adopted", Lucky resorts to talking to explain to his new human Dot why he (in part) ran away the first time, after she leashes him to her dresser to keep him from leaving again. Unlike Holly above, she doesn't know all dogs can talk, just Mr. Chewy McFluffster... um, Lucky.
- Meaningful Name: Nearly every dog/puppy as well as some humans (Mr. McLeish being the most prominent example).
- Miniature Senior Citizen: Agatha McLeish.
- Mouse World: There is a worldwide network of Pound Puppies that has escaped notice by humans. The Kennel Kittens are the feline counterpart.
- Nearly Normal Animals: The pigeons are Largely Normal. The dogs can communicate with the pigeons and they will understand and carry out the canine's request. Indeed, the pigeons' response can also be understood. The reason they are here instead of with the Speech Impaired Animals is because they only coo and peck.
- Nutty Squirrel: Shelter 17's (and more specifically, Strudel's) squirrel helpers are an intelligent, friendly bunch. However, they aren't above the occasional bit of payback if, say, a visitor insults their hygiene.
- In "The Call Of The Squirrel Dog", it becomes clear that Strudel wouldn't have it any other way.
- Once Per Episode: An adoption happens or a dog is returned home in each episode. (Technically "Toyoshiko!" is an exception, but Toyo did bond with Strudel.) However, the adoption is sometimes secondary or incidental to the main plot.
- Parental Bonus:
- From "Quintuplets":
(After one of the quintuplets wriggles free to avoid being adopted by a couple)
Girl: We need something cute and cuddly and doesn't do much of anything.
Guy: Just like you, babycakes.
- From "Rebel Without A Collar" (with a dash of Does This Remind You of Anything?):
(After Cookie confronted their visitor about his poor manners)
Niblet: Cookie? Next time I'm a bad dog, would you talk mean to me, too?
(Niblet starts to run away. Cookie growls at him. Niblet laughs.)
- In "Taboo", the dog the team matches with a person before encountering the episode's namesake puppy is an Afghan with long, light brown fur named Twiggy. While her real-life namesake is a beautiful and well-known model and singer, she isn't someone the average ten-year-old will be terribly familiar with.
- The car Captain Randy drives in "Zoltron" is a near spot-on model of an AMC Gremlin.
- Similarly, the vehicle Mr. Julius (voiced by George Takei) drives in "My Fair Rebound" is easy to make out as a stand-in for a Hummer. While that is something kids might recognize, the implications of the Hummer being pink and Hummer owners supposedly compensating for something just might get by the young ones.
- In "Olaf In Love", the team based their attempts to help Olaf and his date connect on the dating shows Niblet likes to watch. Niblet knows what happens throughout the shows, which, according to him, ends with them saying "I love you", but is unsure of what happens after the credits. At the end of the episode when Olaf and Gertrude, the town librarian get together, both he and Strudel express interest in finding out what happens after the credits.
Strudel: Simply for scientific research.
- Partially Civilized Animals: Lucky's planning, Cookie's organization skills, Strudel's gadgets, Squirt's ability to find outside equipment (and both Strudel and Squirt's skill at utilizing networks of varying Speech Impaired Animals), and Niblet's ability to make a passable imitation of a human when necessary are but a few examples of why Lucky and the gang land here instead of Talking Animal territory. Watch closely, and you'll notice that the dogs will make slightly humanlike gestures, such as placing a paw or leg on or around a puppy in comfort or encouragement, or holding each other back with a leg.
- Ping-Pong Naivete: Niblet is clearly not the smartest dog in the group, and there are times you might wonder if he ate paint chips as a puppy. Yet, there are others, like his analysis of his situation in "King of the Heap" or the pep talk to the eponymous dog in "Zoltron", or even jokes he makes (see "Parental Bonus" above for an example), that are far above his normal advertised intelligence.
- Potty Failure: When one of the captures growls menacingly at Olaf, the assistant dog catcher, in "Rebel Without A Collar", he tells them to play nice while he goes to change his pants. Complete with uncomfortable walk.
- Pounds Are Animal Prisons: Captured worrywart Buddy initially thinks Shelter 17 is one in "Rebel Without A Collar". Strudel helps to convince him otherwise.
- The Canine Capture and Removal Center in "I Never Barked For My Father" very much is. Dog catcher Ketchum of the Canine Capture and Removal Team looks like a stereotypical Hollywood sheriff.
Olaf: (after seeing a picture of the facility) It looks like a doggy prison.
- When Milton Feltwaddle returns to take over Shelter 17 in "McLeish Unleashed" when McLeish is promoted, he does turn the pound into a prison.
- Precious Puppies: An in-universe example: The puppies Lucky and his crew match with their designated persons improves the lives of both.
- Puppy Dog Eyes: Well, of course. But making the eyes is also a skill that the team makes sure the adoptees master.
- Recurring Characters: In the case of dogs, Rebound, Dolly as well as Agent Ping and Agent Todd. The Kennel Kittens from the Happy Valley Shelter have made return appearances. Mrs. McLeish, the mayor, Milton Feltwaddle and Dog Catcher Ketchum have shown up in at least two episodes as well.
- In "Snow Problem", after the team had a rough first day of sled racing, Lucky tried a pep talk:
- In "The K9 Kid", the featured puppy of the episode wanted to become a police dog. Upon approaching some rambunctious fellow future adoptees who have broken a garden gnome, she said:
- When Feltwaddle uses his computer to match dogs and potential adoptees in "McLeish Unleashed", the first human is paired with a large brown dog with a blue Pound Puppies collar.
- It could be a coincidence, but in "Mutternal Instincts", Olaf mentioned he was going to send adoption flyers to a Third Street School.
- Similar Squad: The Happy Valley Shelter Kennel Kittens are the feline equivalent to Lucky's team, with almost identical fur patterns and very similar names.
- Southern Belle: Dolly (AKA The General) is a Bonne Belle, sweetie pie.
- Speech Impaired Animals: The squirrels. Their squeaking is perfectly intelligible to other squirrels as well as Strudel, but not as much to the other dogs. (The gist of the squeaks will be made obvious to the viewer if the joke necessitates it.) In fact, Strudel needs them, as the squirrels have manual abilities that dogs of the world don't, and hence, she wouldn't be able to construct or finish many of her gadgets, and the ones she could complete would take much longer.
- The chipmunks seen in "The Prince and the Pauper" also belong here. However, they're not quite as nice as the squirrels.
- This may go for all rodents, as the hamsters in "Rebel Without A Collar" and "Lucky Gets Adopted" also are capable of communicating with dogs.
- Status Quo is "Dog": You knew Lucky wasn't really going to stay "adopted", right?...
- Additionally, you didn't really think the Pound Puppies and Kennel Kittens were going to call off their rivalry for good, did you?...
- Tertiary Sexual Characteristics:
- Strudel has a purple collar with a pink Pound Puppies medallion and long eyelashes.
- Cookie is a bit more complicated. At first, she didn't have anything. (Her collar is black.) After seeing The General flirt her way into getting the male dogs to fawn over her, she becomes jealous. By the end, Dolly gives Cookie the pink bow that she's seen with from that point on.
- Tunnel Network: The team's center is a hub from which a series of tunnels that lead into, out of, and around the pound, placing the dogs on the grounds, just outside the shelter wall, into the sewers (and from there, into the alley among other places), and so on.
- Two Girls to a Team: Strudel and Cookie, the Tomboy and Girly Girl.
- Vitriolic Best Buds: Squirt and Niblet, of the first type. Squirt has no compunctions about leveling insults toward Niblet in regards to his intelligence, weight and hygiene. Most of the time, Niblet will either take the jabs or be oblivious to them. Yet as seen in "Homeward Pound" and noted by the featured puppy in "Olaf In Love", they're best friends. (Interestingly, in the latter case, when Squirt started fighting with Niblet, he fought back.)
=== Episodes of the 2010 version of
- All Girls Want Bad Boys: In the episode "Rebel Without A Collar", the tough Cookie decides to leave the team to roam the desert with Fang, a wily coyote who was captured in the desert and brought back to Shelter 17.
- Annoying Younger Sibling: Niblet saw his sister Rebound as one in the episode "Rebound". At first.
- Backstory: The episode "The Call Of The Squirrel Dog" explains how Mr. Nut-Nut met Strudel and, in a more general sense, how the team of Shelter 17 came to have squirrel teammates.
- Be Careful What You Wish For: Squirt and his Identical Stranger Cuddlesworth P. Wigglebottom after switching places with each other. (Also see Prince and Pauper below.)
- Big Ball of Violence: The fight that the Pound Puppies and Kennel Kittens get into after Ace, the Kennel Kittens leader, spit in Lucky's face for a reason he couldn't even give at the end of "Catcalls".
- The climax of "Rebel Without A Collar" could have very much been this if it wasn't for Cookie:
Fang: SHUT UP about the dog I love!
Lucky: Dog you LOVE?! The only thing coyotes love is themselves!
Fang: Watch it, pal!
(Lucky growls harshly at him and soon everyone in the room except Cookie is growling at each other. The hamster prays for dear life.)
Cookie: KNOCK IT OFF! ALL OF YOU!!
- Big No: Yipper, once the boy he connected with left without adopting him in "The Great Yipper Caper." Come on. You do know the kid adopted him in the end, right?
- Bland-Name Product: The Northminster Dog Show that Mrs. McLeish's pride entered Rebound into in "My Fair Rebound", as well as the Oditaride race the team entered for the sake of Husky puppy Tundra in "Snow Problem".
- Brand X: Not quite the same as the Bland Name Products above, the Zoomit from "Zipper the Zoomit Dog" is a plastic flying disc. You know the one.
- Broken Aesop: In "The Really Weird Dog", Squirt gets a lesson about racism after encountering a friendly alligator. Given the way cats and coyotes are treated on the show, this kind of rings hollow.
- Cannot Spit It Out: Lucky has a pretty hard time telling Cookie the team needs her in "Rebel Without a Collar". He finds it impossible to admit saying that he does as well. He manages do to the former by the end of the episode. Not so much the latter.
Lucky: But... Doesn't she realize how much I... (grimaces) we need her?
Strudel: Did you ever tell her?
Lucky: (frowning) Yeah! (beat) No. ... I think so.
Strudel: But how can you expect someone to know something if you never tell them?
- Canada, Eh?: The Royal Canadian Pound Puppies in "Homeward Pound".
Agent Todd: Oh, geez. We're zero-for-two. Or oh-for-two as you'd say, eh?
- The musher Jean-Luc Glacier in "Snow Problem" is the French Canadian version.
Jean-Luc: Sorry about that, there.
- Rover the alligator in "The Really Weird Dog". He even says "aboot".
- Lucky also sometimes has shades of this, due to his voice actor, Eric McCormack, being Canadian. He will spout out an "abote" from time to time.
- Conspicuous Trenchcoat: Niblet and Lucky use them to get some of the puppies and their smaller teammates into a basketball game in "Quintuplets". (Cookie uses a dress instead.)
- Crazy Enough to Work: The adoption fair in "The General", with the trope name paraphrased by Lucky to boot. The plan involved getting 60+ puppies adopted by making them look identical so that it seemed like the same puppy was being adopted over and over again, for a start.
- Cute Kitten: A more episode-specific example: In "Catcalls", the mother and son were cat lovers and preferred the adoptee offered by the Happy Valley Shelter team. The father comes around, as does the mother with puppies.
- Daddy Had a Good Reason For Abandoning You: As Lucky's father Slick explained in "I Never Barked For My Father", Lucky had to stop thinking about it as a puppy and think about it from his father's perspective, or for you as the viewer, as Slick's role as a pet. Slick was actually the dog of the neighbors of Lucky's mother's humans, not of his mother's humans as Lucky thought. When the neighbors moved across town, they naturally took Slick with them.)
- Disappeared Dad: Slick, in the mind of Lucky, for "five years, six months and three weeks" until meeting him again in "I Never Barked For My Father". (Also see When You Coming Home, Dad? and Daddy Had A Good Reason For Abandoning You [includes a spoiler].)
- Embarrassing Nickname: In "The K9 Kid", Police dog Sarge teased Squirt with "Pizza Breath", which Squirt got in his days living on the street prior to being a Pound Puppy. It angers Squirt, but as he's a chihuahua and Sarge is a German shepherd, the latter easily got away with it.
- Everything's Worse with Bears: Played with and ultimately subverted in "Homeward Pound". While Niblet initially heeds Squirt's advice toward the bears he encountered after their split, he realizes those bears are cubs, and they offer him some of the honey they were eating. Things seem to take a turn for the worse when the Mama Bear comes back, but it turns out she's friendly, as she saves Squirt at Niblet's (off-screen) request. When Lucky and the Royal Canadian Pound Puppies find Niblet and Squirt, they were stuffed after eating fish the bears caught for them. The bears were also kind enough to catch fish for the rescue party as well.
- Halloween Episode: "Nightmare On Pound Street". It doesn't involve spooky stories and the team only dresses up to help a puppy find a home, but it is set on Halloween. Oh, and the puppy is named Freddy.
- Heroic Sacrifice: When Toyoshiko realizes she has been recording images that could, in Lucky and Squirt's opinion, "ruin the whole operation", she does herself what Lucky insisted should have been done in the first place. She erases her own memory, via a giant magnet. Strudel sheds some tears, and there is a chance you might as well. Strudel brought Toyo back after removing her capture card.
- Hey, That's My Line!: Said word-for-word by Lucky after Kennel Kitten leader Ace said "Go, cats, go!" when it came time to repair some damage both teams caused.
Lucky: ...except for the 'cat' part.
- Lucky also had his Catch Phrase stolen three times in "Snow Problem": once by Niblet and twice by the puppy Tundra, the second of which he didn't mind at all.
- Hollywood Nerd: Captain Randy in the episode "Zoltron", Type 1. Fat physique, dressed in a uniform similar to those from Enterprise, paused like Kirk, had a "Captain's Log", wanted to mind-meld with the titular dog, watched "Star Voyage: Deep Space 90", referred to his mother's garage as the Autopod, excited over seeing a phony flying saucer (even going so far as to say he was okay with the beings in the saucer experimenting on him). And this line, after the saucer disappeared and Zoltron escaped:
Captain Randy: The biggest night of my life, and I'm left with nothing at all. Just like prom.
- Mr. Geekman (yes, that's his name) from the episode "Taboo" is another Type 1. Skinny with large frame glasses, the clumsy bicycle-riding math teacher had been searching for the "perfect as pi" puppy for seven years. At least he's married.
- I Remember It Like It Was Yesterday: In his eponymous episode, Taboo begins his story of becoming an unlucky dog with his birth.
Taboo: I remember it like it was months ago.
Squirt: It was months ago.
- Interspecies Romance: Madame Pickypuss describes Mr. Cuddlesworth as her "best friend" in the middle of "The Prince and the Pupper". However, toward the end of the episode, when Squirt told Cuddlesworth there was a fat cat at home waiting to get her claws on him, his tail wagged vigorously. To top it off, the last three lines of the episode were these:
Madame Pickypuss: Bark for me, Cuddlesworth! Bark for me!
(Cuddlesworth barks twice.)
Madame Pickypuss: Me-ow.
- Also hinted in "Kennel Kittens Return", between Squirt and Fluffy.
- The Jinx: The eponymous puppy of "Taboo" thinks he is. Bad things just seemed to follow him around....
Taboo: Name's Taboo. And I'm 100% bad luck. (air conditioning unit falls behind him)
- Lame Rhyme Dodge: In "Nightmare on Pound Street," Niblet commits one:
Niblet: It's so sad. I mean, just because he's creepy-looking--
Freddie: *overhearing* What do you mean 'creepy-looking?'
Niblet: Um...did I say 'creepy?' 'Cause I meant *thinks for a minute* 'sleepy!' Yeah, I meant sleepy-looking.
- Little Girls Kick Shins: McLeish knows that firsthand about his niece, Tabitha (from "A Nightmare On Pound Street").
- Never Say "Die": Perhaps pushed ever so much closer to being discredited. In "Homeward Pound", Squirt was struggling to keep from hitting the bottom of a waterfall.
Squirt: (after realizing he didn't fall all the way down the cascade) I'm alive? (sees bear that saves him) AAH! I'm gonna die!
- On the other hand, when Toyoshiko decided to delete her own memory in her eponymous episode, Strudel says that Toyo "erased herself". Of course, as Toyo was a robot dog, it was an appropriate description.
- Oblivious to Love: Lucky, in "Olaf In Love". Though both he and Cookie nervously denied their feelings when Kiki, the featured puppy, made mention of them being "more than friends", Cookie pointedly brought up of Lucky's blindness to her (his?) feelings, in relation to Olaf dating city librarian Gertrude Washburn.
- Paper-Thin Disguise: Despite seeing the Pound Puppies in less-than-convincing cat disguises in "Catcalls", Ace and his team still fall for Squirt's equally wanting disguise in "Kennel Kittens Return".
- The Password Is Always Swordfish: In "Kennel Kittens Return", this was the password to the gated community that the Kennel Kittens wanted to place their adoptee into. It's probably worth noting that the code was entered on a numerical keypad.
- Prince and Pauper: In "The Prince and the Pupper", street-tough Squirt pines for some of the pampered life look-alike Mr. Cuddlesworth enjoys, while Mr. Cuddlesworth wants to escape the confines of his rich owners and get in on the exciting life of the Pound Puppies.
- Repeat After Me: The adoptee Ginger in "I Never Barked For My Father" when Lucky told her to say goodbye to the team. The look on her face hinted she knew exactly what she was doing.
- Reptiles Are Abhorrent: Very much averted with Rover in "The Really Weird Dog".
- Robot Dog: Toyoshiko, Bark Friend Machine from, well, "Toyoshiko! Bark Friend Machine". Toyoshiko is so much like a living dog that Strudel goes from thinking of her as "an endearing piece of technology" to developing a friendship with her. (However, the way Toyo initiates the friendship, and often how she talks, is quite mechanistic.) Suffice it to say that while Toyo is indeed a robot buddy, she's not simply a Robot Buddy.
- Saying Sound Effects Out Loud: Toyoshiko, possibly as an effect of her being a robot, actually says "bark" and "giggle".
- Similar Squad: Similar to the Happy Valley Shelter cats above, each of the titular puppies in "Quintuplets" turned out to have a personality corresponding to the dogs of the main team, but not as initially obvious.
- Singing Voice Dissonance: When Olaf sang to the pound's Japanese visitors in "Toyoshiko!", he sang alto/countertenor, as compared to his normal mid-ranged male speaking voice.
- Tastes Like Purple: Niblet in "Toyoshiko!". When Strudel and Toyo have a bonding moment after building a machine, they neglected to give their sheepdog helper the okay to let go of the rope. (To be fair to the big guy, it probably would be rather hard to describe the feeling of potential mouth rope burn...)
Niblet: (muffled) That's sweet. Can I let go now? My mouth, it tastes like pain.
- Thinking Out Loud: In "Bone Voyage", Mrs. McLeish received a day spa treatment during a cruise courtesy of the ship's captain, who was smitten with her. While relaxing after a cucumber facial, Agatha, thinking she was speaking to the ship masseuse, said that while she could appreciate the captain's love of the ship, she couldn't really enjoy herself without her puppy. Rebound, who was afraid Mrs. McLeish was leaving her for good and followed her onto the ship, was there to hear her.
- Those Wily Coyotes: Appear in "Rebel Without A Collar". The coyotes that patrol the "No Dog Zone" crossed in "The Prince and the Pupper" are also crafty, but it turns out it's in a slightly different sense.
- Timmy in a Well: In the episode "Snow Problem", Tundra dug out a competing sled dog and musher Jean-Luc Glacier, then made his way down a cliff to attach a hook to allow Lucky and his team to pull up a second dog. While it is a fact of the Pound Puppies universe that dogs (among other animals) are smarter and more capable than humans realize, they rarely act so intelligently in front of people. Hence while Lucky was impressed, Glacier was even more so.
- Ugly Cute: Used in-universe by the Mayor to describe newly-adopted Freddy in "A Nightmare on Pound Street". (The exact description was reversed: "cute ugly".)
- What Have I Done: Niblet, essentially word-for-word after he notices Rebound ran into Mrs. McLeish's limo in "Rebound".
- Pepper says it after she causes the police lieutenant's son Charlie to get into hot water with his father in "The K9 Kid".
- When You Coming Home, Dad?: When Lucky was a puppy, his father would be gone for hours or even days at a time, until one day he left for good. (Also see Disappeared Dad and Daddy Had A Good Reason For Abandoning You [includes a spoiler].)
- Won't Take Yes for An Answer: Strudel in "Dogs On A Wire". After expressing her frustration on not going on missions, Lucky offers her the chance to help lost dog Chuckles return to the circus.
(After Cookie, Squirt and Niblet argue with each other about why they should be chosen for the assignment)
Lucky: Guys! I think the one who should go... is Strudel.
Strudel: (rolls eyes) Oh, sure. Pick Strudel like you always... (brightens) Me?! Are you sure?
- You Never Did That for Me: Lucky's feelings in "I Never Barked For My Father" on how Slick treated tagalong puppy Chip as compared to him when he was younger. As you might expect, it's much more complicated than that. Chip is Slick's son and hence Lucky's brother. Slick never told Chip because he didn't want him to feel the same way about him as Lucky did.
- You Won't Like How I Taste: Squirt when facing a bear in "Homeward Pound".
Squirt: Please don't eat me, Mr. Bear! Honest, I'm stringy and I'm chock full of preservatives!
- Perhaps another puppy found a home sometime after the Adoption Fair.