There are a number of themes and situations in Beetle Bailey that get recycled many times. Sarge is always falling off a cliff. Lt. Fuzz is constantly annoyed by Sarge's squeaky chair. Beetle loves to catch a snooze under his favorite tree.
Cookie’s meatballs are also a good source for recurring gags. The recent example above is from 2020.
This scenario goes back a long way. Here is an early strip from 1967 with Beetle evaluating the quality of Cookie’s meatballs.
Another familiar scenario is when Cookie gets mad and sits on top of the mess hall. This is how he escapes from the rest of the men at Camp Swampy. They often try to coax him back down.
This strip from 1971 combines two recurring gags - Cookie on the roof and Cookie's meatballs.
This gag from 1984 shows how many meatballs Sarge can fit in his mouth.
The guys at Camp Swampy were still playing with their meatballs in 1993.
The challenge with these recurring set-ups is coming up with new variations. For a strip that has been around for seventy years, it is inevitable that there is some repetition. Hopefully, our readers forgive us for recycling gags.
– Brian Walker