Cartoon Gags

Here we are going to look at generating ideas for cartoon gags from some different situations.

Let’s start off with some situations that we are likely to encounter, either directly or on TV, in everyday life.

I haven't added any of my cartoons to this page as I want you to see what you come up with by yourself.


Job interview

Talking with the boss



Coffee break

Arriving at work

Going home


Your idea

Eating out/drinking

Ordering food at a restaurant

Down the local pub

Talking at a bar

Take away meal

Going home at the end of the night

Your idea


Watching TV

Preparing food

With pets


In the garden


Your idea


Playing sports

In the park

At the beach

At the gym

Yoga class


Going Walking

Your idea


Trying on clothes

Customer complaint

Buying something

Window shopping

Shop displays

Shop signs

‘difficult’ customers

in a coffee shop

at a market

car boot sale/flea market

Your idea

Let's break down the situation

Now let’s take one of these situations and look at it in more depth. Start asking questions.

Let's take the situation 'At a restaurant'.

What kind of restaurant?

What is the food like?

What is the waiter/waitress like? Any personality quirks?

What are the customers like? Any personality quirks?

What is the chef like? Any personality quirks?

What is the relationship like between people at the table?

What could go wrong?

Have any interesting experiences happened to you at a restaurant? What about a friend?

Can you remember any interesting scenes from movies/TV?

Do you need words/a caption to tell the story, or can the picture tell the story by itself?

Your question

Now try this process again with a different context.

Set yourself a target of say ten questions. Having a set number forces you to push yourself to think of ideas. Who knows whether that extra idea you strain for might prove to be the best of the lot.

Not so everyday situations

On a desert island

Blind date



Trip to the zoo

Close encounter

Meeting a hero

If animals could talk

The best/worst day of your life

etc. I'm sure that you can think up many ore situations - just let your imagination run wild.

You don't have to think solely in terms of psychical situations. Think of emotional states as well - good and bad, high and low etc.

Over to you

You can have a list of situations always on hand if you need to prime your mind for fresh cartoon gags. Review it from time to time to see what new situations you can add. Remember that potential comical situations surround us all the time.

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