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It's a Dog's Life (The Ren & Stimpy Show)

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It's a Dog's Life (The Ren & Stimpy Show)
Come on, Nickelodeon! You banned Man's Best Friend, and you still allow this episode to air?!
Series: The Ren & Stimpy Show
Part of Season: 4
Episode Number: 7a
Air Date: December 3, 1994
Writer: Jim Gomez
Bob Camp
Director: Bob Camp
Ken Bruce
Previous episode: Powdered Toast Man vs. Waffle Woman
Next episode: Egg Yolkeo

It's a Dog's Life is the first half of the 7th episode in the 4th season of The Ren & Stimpy Show.


Ren and Stimpy are on death row at the pound, being led to the gas chamber. However, they are saved when a sweet, rich, and seemingly sane granny comes to adopt them. On the drive home, she renames Ren and Stimpy "Abraham" and "Leviticus". At their new home, Ren finds a dog sleeping in a basket. He tries talking to it, but it doesn't respond. He soon discovers that the dog is long dead and the granny had it stuffed. Afterward, the two of them begin doing usual cat and dog things (Ren bum-scooting on the rug, Stimpy ripping up the sofa). The granny thinks that they're possessed, so she tells her huge Asian butler to take care of them. The butler breaks Stimpy's hands and feet and forces Ren to sit on a plastic cushion, called the "Hemo-Donut". Then the butler rings the bell for Ren and Stimpy to come to dinner. But instead of real food, both Ren and Stimpy are served gravel. Ren breaks his teeth on his and Stimpy put the entire ball of gravel in his mouth and begins choking on it. Ren tries to save him, but the granny mistakenly assumes that they're doing inappropriate things and sprays them with the hose. Then she takes the two of them to the animal clinic to be neutered.

At home, the two of them are ready to sleep, but the granny wakes them up and carries them to the yard, which is also a graveyard, and makes them sleep there. Scared and afraid, the two of them run away from home, only to be captured by a police officer. They are faced with two choices: Go back to death row at the pound or go back to the granny. The two of them choose the granny, only to discover upon returning home that she's died from lead poisoning, presumably killed by the butler. Later, the lawyer reads the granny's will to the butler and Ren and Stimpy. The butler, masquerading as both the chauffeur and the goldfish, receives the Mansion, a solid gold Lincoln, and $43,000,000. Ren and Stimpy, however, are chosen to join the granny in the eternal mercy of sleep. They are both killed and then stuffed. The episode ends with the butler dusting them, along with the also-stuffed granny.

Why It Should Be Stuffed

  1. The episode's plot is unnecessarily cruel and genocidal. The whole episode's plot comes across as an exceptionally harsh torture episode on the main duo, Ren and Stimpy. What is so good about the plot in this episode if it's this bad?
  2. Very misleading title: It doesn't have anything to do with a character to wonder what their life would be like if they were never born.
  3. We get disturbing, but the cringe-worthy moment where Ren rips up a dead dog that is stuffed up after the dog died years ago. As if it wasn't disturbing enough, he tried to get it off of him. Of course, he didn't know that it was dead and stuffed, but the looks on how the dog was destroyed by Ren's foot are horrifying, weirdly disturbing, and incommodious.
  4. The infamous starting scene where Ren and Stimpy almost die in a gas chamber shows signs that the episode itself was doomed from the start.
  5. The joke where Ren and Stimpy are called "Abraham" and "Leviticus" makes no sense at all.
  6. Weak, unfunny, cruel, idiotic (eediotic), frustrating, and poorly-executed jokes.
    • There was also one stupid joke where the Granny assumes that Ren and Stimpy are mistaken for having sex, which would fit more in Adult Party Cartoon than the original.
      • This causes them to get spayed/neutered!
  7. The Granny is a terrible and unlikeable character because she is assumed to be a murderer who kills her pets and stuffs them on purpose without any reason.
  8. The butler is also a killer by killing the granny by having her die of lead poisoning, even though, the granny is a bad character in the show's book.
    • She also gets stuffed! Which somewhat does justify her actions seen in the episode.
  9. The eternal mercy of sleep is the most unacceptable choice for a pet, if you let your pet sleep for too long, it can die!
  10. The infamous ending scene where Ren and Stimpy both get killed and stuffed, IN A KIDS' SHOW.
  11. Lots of animal cruelty is featured but in a kids' show! Wouldn't this give you the impression this episode is written from the Deep Web?
  12. Not helping with WIS #11, the premise of the episode makes it feel more like a creepypasta rather than an actual episode.
  13. This episode showed how hypocritical Nickelodeon and Vanessa Coffey were. They banned Man's Best Friend which also has Ren and Stimpy being abused by their owner George Liquor, and yet this episode is A-OK in their eyes.

Redeeming Qualities

  1. The dog catcher from the show's pilot episode (Big House Blues) returns, but this is his only appearance in the actual show.
  2. The animation of this episode is nice as usual.
  3. The dog versions of Ren (despite being an asthma-hound chihuahua) and Stimpy are really cute.
  4. The scene where Ren looks out the window like a dog outside the car is kind of funny.
  5. They do appear in the next episode, Egg Yolkeo because they are cartoon characters who die and come back to life in the next episode.
  6. Ren and Stimpy do get rescued from the gas chamber.
  7. Thankfully, it isn't bad as Adult Party Cartoon for those that liked this episode whilst everybody else hates this one nor it doesn't parody It's A Wonderful Life in a negative way like It's a Wishful Life does.


This episode was widely hated by a lot of fans of the show because of the following disturbing moments: Ren and Stimpy nearly dying in a gas chamber, being killed and stuffed at the end of the episode after joining the granny for the eternal mercy of sleep, Ren tearing up apart a stuffed dog who was killed (or died of old age) and stuffed years ago, and the premise of the episode was known to be a really cruel plot to the main duo. It received very negative reviews as of the episode being panned heavily by fans and was claimed the worst episode of the whole show. Well-known cartoon devotee Thad Komorowski gave this episode two and a half stars out of five, on his Sick Little Monkeys: The Unauthorized Ren & Stimpy Story book. He wrote in regards to it: "A partial remake of Man's Best Friend, only with a lot fewer laughs".