Why 'Clifford the Big Red Dog' Makes NO SENSE!

I mean, it all just seemed so realistic 'til now...

Why 'Clifford the Big Red Dog' Makes NO SENSE!

Clifford needed Emily, so she chose him for her own. And her love made Clifford grow so big that the Howards had to leave their home...


First off, how does love make a dog grow? How the hell does that work?

Just because you love something, that won't make it grow. If that were true, the girl I have a crush on would be about 600 feet tall right now.

And also, the Howards had to leave their home because of a giant red dog? Hell no. No way. Not in a million years. Ladies and gentlemen, buckle yourselves up for a trip to Birdwell Island because I am about to delve into one of my favorite childhood cartoons and tell you why none of it makes sense.

Okay, so let's—let's take it from the top: Emily Elizabeth bought a small red dog named Clifford.

That is where it should all stop. Name me one dog breed that has tiny, bright red dogs in their population and I'll give you a gajillion dollars.

And according to the famous theme song, her love made Clifford grow to the point where he was too big and they had to leave their home.

But like I said, love does not make little things grow. It doesn't, and I don't care what the theme song for Clifford's Puppy Days told me.

This song is my jam, by the way.

I mean, think about it—Clifford's organs expanded, his bones expanded, and his body expanded, all because someone loved him. Sure, that is pretty damn cute. But who doesn't love their dog? John Wick sure as hell loved his dog, but that didn't do much to keep his dog alive, right?

Oh great. Now, John Wick's gonna come after ME. I'M SORRY, JOHN. I'M SORRY THEY KILLED YOUR DOG! PLEASE DON'T BEAT ME!

If dogs DID grow from how much an owner loved them, people would have to walk their dogs by riding on them. So, I'm calling bulls**t on a correlation between body size and love.

Also, her love made Clifford grow so big that the Howards had to leave their home? What parent would leave their home because their daughter's dog ended up growing two stories tall? Let me tell you something—if the Howards were anything like MY parents, Clifford would get put down in an instant.

So, let's just recap what we've covered so far: we have a bright red dog that grew so big because his owner loved him, and we had a family willing to move to a completely different island, leaving behind their inexpensive apartment in order to provide this dog a home.

But we are just scratching the SURFACE here. Let me ask you something: do you have a pet? Of course you do! They're so cute and they make great companions!

But I could give a s**t about how cute they are, because what you don't think about is how much it costs to raise a dog. We're talking about food, water, veterinarians, toys, and all that s**t. Let's take it from the top.


How much kibble does Clifford need to eat to stay alive? Well, according to Google, a 22-inch tall male laborador usually weighs about 64 lbs. So, if a 1.83 foot tall dog is 64 lbs, and Clifford is 25 feet tall, then he weighs about 874 lbs.

A 150-pound dog needs about 6 ⅔ cups of food a day. So, given that Clifford weighs approximately 874 pounds, he would need about 39 cups a day. 1 cup = 8 oz, so 39 cups = 312 oz, which is equal to 19.5 pounds of kibble a day.

19.5 pounds of kibble a day, multiply that by 365 days in a year, and you get 7117.5 pounds a YEAR.

But what kind of dog food is Emily Elizabeth gonna get him? Let's say she's getting him Pedigree Adult Complete Nutrition Roasted Chicken, Rice & Vegetable Flavor Dry Dog Food.

For a 33-pound sack of this dog food, you're gonna have to cough up $18.99. And if you're gonna give him 7117.5 pounds of dog food, that'll be about $4095.80 a year you're spending to feed this ginormous canine.

Now, is everything I said exact? Probably not. I mean, how the f**k do you calculate the weight of a 25-foot dog of an unknown species? But are you honestly telling me that Emily Elizabeth's family has the money to keep feeding Clifford like this? What the f**k do they even do? Have we ever seen them do jobs?

Point is, it costs a s**t-ton of money to continuously feed a giant dog.


I'm sure we've seen Emily Elizabeth fill out a monster-sized water dish for Clifford with the hose. She fills it up with a hose, and quite frankly, I don't know how high her bills must be to fill up that giant water dish three times a day. But add it to the food cost, and that figure would not be pretty.


I don't know how much Clifford's giant-ass doghouse actually costs, but I think we can all be pretty sure that the Howard family has two mortgages to care of here.

But like I said, Clifford just doesn't make any sense. They gloss over the amount of money required to keep Clifford alive, and they make it seem like Clifford grew that big because his owner loved him.

So, here's how to make Clifford make sense: Clifford isn't a dog. Well, at least, a normal one. Clifford is a genetic mutation. He's a mutated organism.

That explains his unusual bright red color, and the fact that he started out life very small, but grew to be so big. He doesn't need $4095.80 a year for food because he's a genetic mutation. Clifford doesn't need to eat or drink that much. This is the explanation for nearly everything that doesn't make sense.

Join me next week, while I try to wrap my head around the fact that Clifford can speak English.

Anyways, I just wanted to write that article for fun. Not much else to it.

fact or fiction
Jonathan Sim
Jonathan Sim
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Jonathan Sim

Film critic. Lover of Pixar, Disney, Harry Potter, Star Wars, Marvel, DC, Back to the Future, and Lord of the Rings.

See all posts by Jonathan Sim