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No. 4697: Lasagna Versus Pizza, or, Turtles Killed The Lasagna Star

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Lasagna Versus Pizza, or, Turtles Killed The Lasagna Star

First | Previous | 2022-03-29 | Next | Latest

Permanent URL: https://mezzacotta.net/garfield/?comic=4697

Strip by: Sloublues

{A bar graph containing the following data}
Incidence of Lasagna vs. Pizza over time

YearLasagnaPizza
1978100
1979100
198080
1981111
198282
198370
198442
198531
198682
1987113
198858
198953
199033
199105
199223
199311
199404
199523
199614
199727
199801
1999114
200023
200102
200214
200302
200441
2005313
200603
200732
2008212
200947
201014
2011213
201223
201334
2014211
201536
201619
201717
2018412
2019111
202027

{In the background, Garfield digs into his first lasagna}
{A second graph, plotting cumulative counts}
Cumulative Lasagna vs. Pizza over time
YearLasagnaPizza
1978100
1979200
1980280
1981391
1982473
1983543
1984585
1985616
1986698
19878011
19888519
19899022
19909325
19919330
19929533
19939634
19949638
19959841
19969945
199710152
199810153
199910267
200010470
200110472
200210576
200310578
200410979
200511292
200611295
200711597
2008117109
2009121116
2010122120
2011124133
2012126136
2013129140
2014131151
2015134157
2016135166
2017136173
2018140185
2019141196
2020143203

{In the background, Garfield is about to bite into his first pizza when he sees Jon coming}
{A third graph, depicting average counts per year as a function of decade}
Lasagna versus Pizza by decade
DecadeLasagnaPizza
1978-809.330
1981-906.52.5
1991-20001.14.5
2001-101.85.0
2011-202.18.3

{There is a regression line attached to the pizza data:}
y = 1.91x - 1.67, R2 = 0.9607.
{In the background is a strip with Jon at the supermarket}
Jon: One frozen lasagna
Jon: Two frozen pizzas
Jon {pulling a frozen Garfield out of the food cabinet}: One frozen pasta freak

The author writes:

As calculated by looking for "lasagna" and "pizza" in tag and transcription search engines, located at lasagna.cz, through the end of 2020. (The site probably also inspired me to jazz up the presentation a bit.) 143 strips are tagged with lasagna, 196 tagged with pizza. I also looked at the transcription search and found a few strips that were not tagged with pizza for one reason or another. The grand total, then, is 143 strips that mention or feature lasagna, and 203 pizza strips. Using the transcription search, for the record, returns 123 strips for lasagna and 187 for pizza.

These results were combined to produce the top plot above. I certainly appreciate the work done by whomever is or are behind the website.

The second plot plots the cumulative appearances of lasagna and pizza. The third attempts to reduce year-to-year noise by plotting the average number of appearances per year of each food as a function of decade, starting with 1978-1980 (average 9⅓ lasagna strips per year during this period) and continuing with 1981-1990 etc.

Comments!

You can see how pizza comes to dominate by the '90s, reflecting how often the gag involves ordering pizza and how little anyone remembers lasagna anymore. Ordering pizza, a standard low-effort means of procuring dinner in America, perhaps reflects how lazy the strip has become, as well as (later) the emphasis on turning Jon into a generic lazy bachelor who forgot how to do anything in the kitchen once he and Liz became an item.

Pizza sees a big spike in 1999 in part due to 6 strips in a row in late November, at the time of American Thanksgiving. The fact that the comic focused on pizza rather than Jon serving a turkey with all the fixings was, in retrospect, an omen of what was to come in the new millennium (see hand-wringing in previous paragraph).

Going further back, pizza first spikes in 1988, likely reflecting an attempt to be hip by following the popularity of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles TV series that debuted the previous year.

The search engine I used returns 100 results per page, which made it obvious that both transcription search terms reach their 100th mention in 2009. After this year, pizza is mentioned more than three times as often as lasagna.

Using the tags to add strips where food is depicted but nobody speaks of it, pizza catches up to lasagna in 2011. Lasagna now tallies its 100th appearance in 1997, whereas pizza reaches triple digits in 2008. Reasons for this difference or lack thereof, as contrasted with the transcription search, are left as an exercise for the reader.

The regression on the third chart indicates that every single strip will feature pizza when Garfield is about 192-193 decades old. By that time, the cat will have been rebooted so much that his current incarnation will be a prince of Denmark unhinged by his father's betrayal of the Emperor to the Dark Side.

The only strip I noticed that features both pizza and lasagna is 1982-08-19.

Original strips: 1978-07-15, 1981-11-06, 1982-08-19.