Cartoon Cliché List

The Cartoon Cliché list, created by former New Yorker cartoon editor Bob Mankoff, includes the most common themes on which many cartoons are based.
# Cartoon Cliché
1 Abominable snowman
2 Airport security line
3 Aliens arrive on Earth
4 Alien abductions
5 Asking directions
6 Atlas holding up the world
7 Banana peels
8 Beached whales
9 Bed of nails
10 Bedtime story
11 Big fish eating little fish
12 Bird versus worm
13 Bowling pin versus bowling ball
14 Burglars in masks
15 Cat versus mouse
16 Cave paintings
17 Centaurs
18 Chalk outline at crime scene
19 Chicken and egg
20 Cinderella
21 Cloud watching and identifying
22 Comedy and tragedy masks
23 Counting sheep
24 Couple caught cheating in bed
25 Couple on house during a flood
26 Crash-test dummies
27 Crawling through desert
28 Desert island
29 Easter bunny
30 Easter Island heads
31 Equations on blackboard
32 Eskimos
33 Evolution
34 Fountain of youth
35 Funeral-parlor viewing
36 Galley slaves
37 God looking at Earth
38 Goldilocks
39 Good cop, bad cop
40 Greeting cards
41 Guillotine
42 Guru on mountain
43 Hansel and Gretel
44 Mobsters and victim with cement shoes
45 Humpty Dumpty
46 Husband behind newspaper at breakfast
47 Invention of fire
48 Invention of the wheel
49 Judges
50 King Arthur’s Knights of the Round Table
51 Lawyer reading will
52 Life-raft survivors
53 Light-bulb idea
54 Little Engine That Could
55 Little Red Riding Hood
56 Lover hiding in closet
57 Man in stocks
58 Marriage counsellors
59 Mazes
60 Men working
61 Men’s Club codgers
62 Mental undressing
63 Mermaid on rock
64 Metal detector
65 Military round table
66 Moby-Dick
67 Modern art
68 Moses parting the Red Sea
69 Moses and the Ten Commandments
70 Mother-in-law
71 Mountain climbers
72 Murphy beds
73 Napoleon
74 Noah’s Ark
75 Nudists
76 Operating theatre
77 Panhandling
78 Patent office
79 Pinocchio
80 Pirates’ buried treasure
81 Police lineup
82 Rapunzel
83 Robin Hood
84 Robots
85 Rubik’s cube
86 Sandcastles
87 Scarlet letter
88 School of fish with leader
89 Sisyphus
90 Snails
91 Snow White
92 Song lyrics as captions
93 St. Bernard rescue dog
94 St. Peter
95 Stargazing
96 Star constellations
97 Statues
98 Stock-market graph
99 Superman / Batman / superheroes
100 Talking trees
101 The-End-Is-Nigh Guy
102 The Thinker
103 This Side Up box
104 Three Little Pigs
105 Tombstone
106 Traffic cop pulling over speeding motorist
107 Trojan horse
108 Tunnel of Love
109 Turtle and Hare
110 TV weather forecasts
111 Two guys in a horse costume
112 Umpires
113 Volcanoes showing that the gods are angry
114 Voting booths
115 Vultures
116 Walking the plank
117 Weather forecasters
118 Why did the chicken cross the road
119 William Tell
120 Wishing Well
121 Witch’s broom
122 Witch’s cauldron
123 Woman trying on shoes
124 You-are-here map
125 Zeus throwing lightning bolts
126 Zzzzz (sleeping)