- "Greetings, audience. Thank you for coming. I invited you all here because I wanted to share a story my family experienced, and what we learned about posting certain types of stories online."
- ―Derrick introducing the story
Barking Up The Wrong Tree is the third comic in Season 8 of Sibling Rivalries, and the 63rd comic total.
In a comic narrated by Derrick, somebody at Wisconsin Elementary School has been posting false online Barker messages about the students. Naturally, the siblings assume it is Joel, but when Joel proves that it is not him, the siblings must find the person behind the negative messages.
♥ = character's debut
♠ = character does not speak throughout comic (does not apply to Claude)
♣ = character is mentioned only
♦ = character appear in a speaking/non-speaking cameo only
McReary Siblings' Friends
- Angel Chacon
- Salvador Ventura
- Eduardo T.
- Claude Tena
- Pablo Torres
- Zoe Torres
- Jose Gonzales
- Tony Gonzales
- Steve Madison
- Braulio G. ♠
- Armando Vasquez ♦
- J.J. ♦
- Glen Townsend ♦
- Victor Clay
- Aaron Velazco ♠
- Mark Sanders
- Michelle Stone
- Kiki Jenkins ♦
- Mikayla Saldivar ♠
Anthony DeoBer's Family
- Beatrice Luck ♥
- Raymond Luck ♥
- Travis Luck ♥
- Olivia (Travis' Girlfriend) ♥
- Madison DeoBer ♥
- Pete Escobar Luck ♥
- Nicholas Luck ♥
- Abigail Luck ♥
- Jenni Ancelotti ♥ (unseen)
- The plot is a reference to the whole concept of cyber-bullying or spreading allegations online about others (whether true or false), similar to how the SpongeBob SquarePants episode "Bulletin Board" accomplishes a similar problem.
- As established in Season 5 comic "Satellite Screw-Up", Barker is the series' equivalent of Twitter.
- Michelle is recognized as Packie's girlfriend for the first time since Season 5's "Satellite Screw-Up" (actually, it was "ApRiL fOoLs DaY: wIsCoNsIn StYlE!" but that was a non-canon comic). Also similar to that comic, Michelle is mad at something she thought Packie did, so she does not want to talk to him, but they make up once again.
- This comic contains a throwaway reference to Aiden Wilson, the retconned sixth McReary sibling who was unseen since the end of Season 5, with "ApRiL fOoLs DaY: wIsCoNsIn StYlE!" (actually "Uncle Cameron Moves In" as the April Fool's comic was non-canon). Packie states that he loves babies (in response to a Barker post accusing him of slapping crying babies at the park), and suddenly a photo of Aiden falls into his hand; he then says he has never seen this baby in his life, and rips the photo, officially cementing Aiden no longer existing in the series canon.
- This is one of few comics after "Gonzales Vs. McReary" where Joel does not play a villain role, as in this comic he actually sides with the McRearys to find the person behind the account. Other non-villainous roles include "A Christmas Story", "The Lockdown" (cameo appearance), "Wisconsin's Greatest Hero", "Brothers For Life", "Packie The Prankster", "Cabin Buddies" (he reforms in the end), and "Extreme Gamin' Packie" (cameo appearance). This is also another "appearance" of Giovanni, and he does a good deed of tracking down the person so the gang can find him.
- All of the known students to be "banned" from the school by other students due to the bad actions they supposedly did include all five McReary siblings, Angel, Salvador V, Eduardo, Claude, Pablo, Zoe, Joel, Jose, Glen Townsend, Mark Sanders, Michelle, David, and Tony. Only several of the false posts were actually said out loud, including:
- Packie: Slapped some crying babies in the park when their parents weren't looking just to shut them up
- Francis: Likes to hide in the girls' locker room and watch girls go about their business
- Gerry: Looks up cheerleaders' skirts at football games and plays it off like he just got tackled, which is why he is laying on the floor as he does this
- Derrick: Is actually not smart, because he cheats off his best friend Glen in the math club
- Kate's false story actually remained unknown, but it's implied she "bullied" somebody
- J.J.: Peed in a teachers' hydroflask when she wasn't looking (however, his name was not on the "banned studentz" list)
- Tony: Preys on kids at the skate park and breaks their feet so they can "suffer with him"
- Joel and Jose: Joel, along with Jose who was "actually evil this whole time", plan to use the Wisconsin Warriors to storm the school and make everybody bow down to them as leaders (angering Jose because he is not evil, and angering Joel because this ruined a good possible plan he could have used)
- The person behind the account ends up being Anthony DeoBer, a friend of Packie and Francis' introduced in Season 6's "Get Rec'd!". He apologizes and only wanted some attention as he is one of the lesser known students of the school. This is foreshadowed throughout the comic as when he appears, he is not booing the McRearys unlike the other kids, and keeps a straight face.
- This comic introduces Anthony DeoBer's family, consisting of mother (Beatrice), step-father (Raymond), sister (Madison), step-brother (Travis), adopted brother (Pete), and baby half-siblings (Nicholas and Abigail), revealing that he lives in a big family vastly different from the McRearys. GTA Nerd toyed with this idea of a blended family with the iteration of Anthony from Sibling Rivalries: The Next Chapter, and even for twin characters Jayden and Hayden Clinton from his cancelled 2019 comic series Christopher Turner.
- Sexual intercourse is implied for the first time ever in the series; despite no explicit content portrayed, Gerry, Derrick, Kate, and Mark accidentally walk in on Anthony's step-brother Travis with his girlfriend Olivia, and both are apparently naked under the covers; Olivia is annoyed Travis forgot to lock the door again, Kate faints in horror and Gerry is shocked asking "Were you guys.." before Derrick tells him to forget it.