AskDefine | Define mooch

Dictionary Definition

mooch v : ask for and get free; be a parasite [syn: bum, cadge, grub, sponge]

User Contributed Dictionary




  1. To wander around aimlessly.
  2. To beg, cadge, or sponge; to exploit or take advantage of others for personal gain.
    • 1990, p. 26, Michael L. Frankel & friends, Gently with the Tides, Center for Marine Conservation, Washington (DC), ISBN 1879269-007, p. 26,
      I managed to mooch my way up the journalistic ladder to the next, more impressive level of "Interviewer."
  3. To steal or filch.
    • 1922, J. S. Fletcher, The Middle of Things, ch. 16,
      These chaps that mooch about, as Hyde was doing, pick up all sorts of odds and ends. He may have pinched them from a chemist's shop.
  4. In the context of "Brummie slang": To stroll or peruse.


  1. One who mooches; a moocher.

Extensive Definition

Mutts is a daily comic strip created by Patrick McDonnell in 1994 based on the day-to-day adventures of two house pets: a dog named Earl and a cat named Mooch. Earl and Mooch interact with each other, their human owners, and a large cast of neighborhood animals.

Main characters

The strip centers on the relationship between Mooch, a cat, and his best friend and neighbor Earl, a dog. Their friendship focuses on the differences between cats and dogs as pets: Earl is friendly, loves the company of his human companion and loves to play outside; Mooch is often indifferent to his human companions, except for being fed, and prefers to stay inside and play by himself.


Earl lives with his human companion Ozzie, a bachelor. They love spending time together and taking frequent walks. Earl often howls in loneliness when Ozzie is away from home. Earl spends much of his free time with Mooch, either inside or wandering around town visiting other domesticated and wild animals. He loves to eat both human food and his own dog food.


Mooch lives next door to Earl with his human companions Millie and Frank and a pet fish named Sid. Mooch is somewhat reclusive, sometimes preferring to stay inside and nap, or play with his little pink sock, rather than go outside with Earl. He has a lisp that causes him to insert an sh into words, such as yesh or shmousie. He frequently shnubs his food, much to Millie's chagrin, dislikes car rides, and, like Earl, eats human food at every opportunity. He frequently borrows a little girl's "Bobbie Doll" toy car. Mooch owns a small bathrobe he wears from time to time; while wearing the robe, he quotes the Dude from The Big Lebowski.
In 2005, Earl and Mooch appeared as guests in Blondie and Dagwood's 75th anniversary in the comic strip Blondie.

Other characters

  • Bip and Bop - Two squirrels who like bonking ground-dwellers with nuts
  • Chickpea and Chickpea's brother - Two former shelter stories kitties; the two are indistinguishable
  • Crabby - An unhappy crab who speaks with frequent expletives (denoted by stars and typographical symbols). He claims to have gone on many adventures, such as on a pirate ship, inside a whale, and even meeting the Popeye cast.
  • Guard Dog - A fierce-looking canine perpetually chained up in his yard
  • King Crab - The crabbiest of them all. Ruler of all he sees (since he's at the bottom of the ocean, however, he can't see anything).
  • Lollipop- Crabby's soft-shell wife
  • McGarry - A bird who lives at the shore and tries to get Crabby not to swear
  • Mussels Marinara - A mussel that's always talking about its "mussels" (muscles). Crabby's buddy.
  • Noodles - An alley cat friend of Shtinky
  • Philippe - A bird always wooing his love, Phoebe
  • Shnelly - The house cat for whose love Mooch and Noodles fight; only the top of her head is seen through her owner's window
  • Shphinx - One of Mooch's alter egos, obsessed with answering riddles
  • Shtinky Puddin (aka Jules) - A little kitty with a short memory and a very wealthy human companion. He wants to save the world and often speaks out about animal rights, especially saving the Tigers.
  • Sid - An unhappy fish in Mooch's house who wishes to be free
  • Speed-o (aka Little Earl) - Mooch's pet snail obsessed with walking Mooch
  • Sourpuss - An unhappy kitty who hates Mondays and usually hides under his owner's sofa
  • Tom-Tom - A former shelter stories cat
  • Woofie - A dog that "wuvs" everything and everyone
  • Doozy - A little girl who loves animals
  • Bushy - Doozy's best friend and a hero to Tom-Tom
  • Butchie - The owner of Fatty Snax Deli who tries to stop Mooch and Earl from eating his food
  • Millie - Mooch's owner
  • Frank - Millie's husband
  • Ozzie - Earl's owner
  • Dr. Woo - A veterinarian often seen with Ozzie

Recurring story lines

From time-to-time there are special sets of daily comic strips, such as Shelter Stories (which focuses on animals in shelters) and Animal Idol (a parody of American Idol). More recently, some strips have poked fun at The Big Lebowski featuring Mooch as the Dude, with different characters qouting lines from other characters from the film.

Animal welfare and animal rights

On occasion, McDonnell devotes the strip for a week or so to animal welfare issues, especially the adoption of pets from animal shelters. Themes include Farm Animal Awareness Week and Shelter Stories, where pet adoption as well as pet shelter life is focused on. McDonnell also created artwork for the second generation New Jersey Animal Friendly optional license plate first issued in 2001. A portion of the revenue from the plates goes to the New Jersey State Department of Health's Animal Population Control Program. Also, he speaks out (usually using Shtinky) about numerous animal rights causes, including seal clubbing, whale hunting and most of all, saving the tigers.

Sunday title panels

Sunday strips are coloured and their title panels are usually a tribute to a famous comic strip, a work of art or another subject, among which one can find tributes to Flash #1, Dalí's The Persistence of Memory, Elvis Presley, Trout Mask Replica and Magritte's Golconda, to name but a few. Title Panel Tributes

Mutts books

Annual collections

Black-and-white reproductions of full year's strips.
  1. Mutts (July 1996)
  2. Cats & Dogs (October 1997)
  3. More Shtuff (September 1998)
  4. Yesh! (April 1999)
  5. Our Mutts (August 2000)
  6. A Little Look-See (April 2001)
  7. What Now (September 2002)
  8. I Want To Be The Kitty! (April 2003)
  9. Dog-Eared (September 2004)
  10. Who Let The Cat Out? (April 2005)

Treasury collections

Large-format, dailies in black-and-white, sunday in color
  1. Everyday Mutts: A Comic Strip Treasury (September 2006)
  2. Animal Friendly: A Mutts Treasury (May 2007)

Sundays collections

Large-format color reproductions of Sunday strips.
  1. Mutts Sundays (September 1999)
  2. Sunday Mornings (August 2001)
  3. Sunday Afternoons (April 2004)
  4. Sunday Evenings (September 2005)


  1. Mutts Little Big Book (1998)
  2. Mutts: The Comic Art of Patrick McDonnell (2003) (retrospective)
  3. Mutts: The gift of nothing (2005)
  4. Mutts: Just like Heaven (2005)
  5. Mutts: Hug time (2007)
  6. The Best of Mutts (October 2007)
  7. Shelter Stories: Love. Guaranteed. (late April 2008)

Mutts in other languages

  • Iceland: Kjölturakkar
  • Denmark: Mis Og Fister
  • Sweden: Morrgan & Klös
  • Norway: Pels og poter (Fur and paws)
  • Finland: Kamut (Pals)
  • Austria: Milou & Filou
  • Brazil: Au Miau
  • Estonian: Krantsid (dogs)
  • France: Earl & Mooch

External links

mooch in Italian: Mutts
mooch in Dutch: Mutts
mooch in Finnish: Kamut
mooch in Portuguese: Mutts

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

bat, bat around, beg, bum, bum around, cadge, count ties, divagate, do nothing, drift, flit, gad, gad about, gallivant, go about, go the rounds, goof off, hang around, hit, hit the road, hit the trail, hit up, hobo, idle, jaunt, knock about, knock around, laze, lazy, lie around, loaf, loiter about, loll around, lollop around, lounge, lounge around, meander, mooch around, moon, moon around, nomadize, panhandle, pass the hat, peregrinate, pererrate, prowl, ramble, range, roam, rove, run about, saunter, scrounge, sit around, slouch, slouch around, stand around, straggle, stray, stroll, touch, traipse, tramp, vagabond, vagabondize, walk the tracks, wander, wayfare
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