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Silent Gag Cartoon Exercise

Each student is given a cliché scenario for a one panel gag cartoon. Draw a cartoon based on that scenario. You will have 15 minutes. Do not add a caption, but draw it as if a caption already existed. One character (specified by the word “caption”) should have his/her mouth open as if he or she were saying something. Pass it to the student on your right. That student must write 5 captions for the scenario.SCENARIOS:

A man with a cast in a hospital bed, with a visitor by his side. Caption: either one

A business meeting at a long desk, with a man at the head pointing to a graph chart going down. Caption: man at graph chart

A couple sitting across from a marriage counselor at his/her desk. Caption: marriage counselor

Over shoulder view of someone looking at a dialogue box on his or her computer. Caption: dialogue box.

A backyard barbeque, with a man at the grill. There are huge flames coming from the barbeque grill. Two women stand watching. Caption: one of the two women.

Martians coming out of their flying saucer in the middle of a cow pasture. One of the Martians is saying something to a cow. Caption: Martian

A patient sitting in the doctor’s office with their tongue sticking out. The doctor is examining it. Caption: doctor.

A ragged, thirsty man crawling in the empty desert stopped at a sign. Caption: sign.

Construction workers watching a young woman walk by. Caption: one of the construction workers to another

A bachelor’s party, with a stripper coming out of a large cake. Caption: one of the bachelors to another (maybe groom?)

Elopers. A young man at the top of a ladder to the girl’s bedroom window, with the girl looking out the window to him. Caption: girl.

A kid on Santa’s lap in a mall or department store. Caption: kid

A couple in a flooded cellar. Water is pouring from a pipe. The woman is yelling at the man. Caption: woman

Two cavemen standing in front of a stone wheel. One of them has hammer and chisel, as if he had just finished making it. Caption: either caveman.

Two women walking down a city street with many shopping bags. Caption: one woman to the other.

A person sitting on a subway sitting next to a bare chested man with a tattoo. Caption: tattoo

A father handing his teenage son car keys. They are standing next to the car. Caption: father.

Now draw another captionless gag strip. Make the drawing any scenario you want, but try not to make it a cliché!! Draw it as if a caption already existed. The caption must be like the previous exercise. It must be either dialogue, or some sort of sign that can be read. Pass it to your right again, and the other student must make up 5 alternative captions for the scenario.


1. Draw a caption from the pile of cliché captions and come up with an image to match it. 2. Then write a caption, and pass it to your left. Draw a cartoon for the caption you have received.