Comic Strip: Hägar the Horrible
Hägar the Horrible
is a classic comic strip about a red-bearded Viking. He is married to Helga, who is a formidable woman with bigger horns on her helmet than he has on his. The rest of Hägar's family consists of his young son Hamlet, and a daughter called Honi who is just old enough to be The Ingenue
. His best friend is a short guy called Lucky Eddie. This is a gag-a-day Strip set in Dark Age Europe
covering both Viking invasions and sieges (he regularly harasses castles) and Hägar's home life.
Not to be confused with Haggis Is Horrible
Tropes in Hägar the Horrible:
- Aerith and Bob
- Action Girl: Honi has difficulty deciding whether she wants to be a housewife or a warrior.
- Anachronism Stew: Hägar has encountered King Arthur, Robin Hood, Attila the Hun, Richard III, and Lady Godiva in various strips.
- Animated Adaptation: Hanna-Barbera did a very good one, which aired as a half-hour TV special back in the 1980s, with Peter Cullen voicing Hägar. Sadly, it never got turned into a series.
- Apron Matron: Helga
- Artistic License – History: Inevitable in a comic strip with this premise. For one thing, Attila the Hun keeps making appearances (and is referred to even more), even though he died three hundred years before the Vikings began to sail around Europe. Browne stretched this trope even further once, when Hägar met Nostradamus!!
- Author Avatar: Hägar bares a striking resemblance to his creator, Dik Browne, as well as his son, Chris, who currently draws the strip.
- Awesome McCoolname: Even if he isn't all-that "horrible".
- Bankruptcy Barrel: Happens often when someone gets looted.
- Big Eater: Hagar
- Britain Versus the UK: In one strip, after being blown off course and shipwrecked, Hägar thinks he has landed in England and sends Lucky Eddie ashore proclaiming he loves the English. Turns out they have actually landed in Scotland, and Violence Ensues.
- Buffet Buffoonery: Hagar carries away the entire contents of a smorgasbord.
- Butt Monkey: Lucky Eddie.
- Catapult to Glory: In one strip Hagar uses this tactic to get some of his men over a castle wall.
- Clingy Jealous Girl: Hernia
- Complaining About Rescues They Don't Like: Hägar once saved a screaming woman from a rack. Only to learn later that The Brute he had killed was really her chiropractor.
- Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Hägar normally doesn't seem too impressive, but his job is raiding castles and sacking towns, and he shows off some pretty badass stunts while doing so. One three-panel strip has the catapult break down on a raid. So he successfully fills in for it by shotputting boulders at the enemy castle.
- Cunning Linguist: Lucky Eddie.
- Cut a Slice, Take the Rest
- Delivery Stork: Hamlet asks his mother The Question. She answers that the stork brought him. He wants to know about his big sister, and Helga gives the same answer. Then he asks about his dad, and Helga says: "Four big storks."
- Dub Name Change:
- In the Norwegian translation, all the main characters are named after people from Snorri Sturluson's Norse Kings' sagas. Hägar is named Hårek after Viking Age chieftain Hårek of Tjøtta (965-1036).
- The Swedish translation names Hägar Hagbard, his son Loke, his daughter Brynhilde and his best friend Tur-Ture.
- In Spanish-speaking countries, the strip is known as "Olafo el Vikingo" ("Olaf the Viking"). Hägar becomes Olafo, Lucky Eddie is named Chiripa and Honi is Astrid.
- The French translation calls him Hägar Dünor, meaning Hagar of the North, but also an Asterix-style pun on one of Paris' train stations (Gare du Nord). His wife is Hildegarde, his daughter is Ingrid and his son Homlet.
- The Finnish name of the strip is Harald Hirmuinen (Harald the Horrible) - Harald is a genuine Viking name. His best pal is Orm Onnekas (Orm the Lucky) in Finnish. Orm is also a genuine Viking name.
- Ear Trumpet: Hägar once was trying to communicate with an old Viking. The problem: The Ear Trumpet was full of letters.
- Everything Sounds Sexier in French
- Fantasy Kitchen Sink: Hagar occasionally encounters dragons and other fantastic creatures like trolls and such (one strip has him and Snert running from an angry tree, Hagar telling Snert that "you never do that in the Haunted Forest!") He also occasionally comes across fairy tale characters, like Puss in Boots and The Gingerbread Man
- "Far Side" Island: Hägar and Lucky Eddie often get stranded on that kind of island.
- Gender-Blender Name: "Hagar" is actually a feminine name, according to The Bible.
- In Scandinavia it has a fairly masculine sound, though...
- And ä is not a.
- Hates Baths: Hägar hates his yearly bath.
- Henpecked Husband
- Horny Vikings: And in this strip, if a Viking tells a lie, his horns fall off. (Hagar tends to go through a lot of helmets.)
- The Ingenue: Honi.
- I Always Wanted to Say That: Hägar once ordered his men to the life boats. When told they didn't have any, he explained he always wanted to say that.
- Ironic Nickname: Lucky Eddie - one longer story does explain he used to be extremely lucky until he was cursed.
- Italians Talk With Hands: In one comic about cities in Europe to plunder, Lucky Eddie demonstrates it.
- I Was Quite a Looker: Helga apparently used to be beautiful, according to some snarky comments by her husband- it also explains where Honi came from.
- The Jester: With elements of a modern comedian.
- Long Runner
- Loves Me Not: Hernia does it but decides to stop at "loves me" before she has reached the last petal.
- The Magnificent: Well, more like "The Horrible"
- Mattress Tag Gag
- Mermaid: They seem drawn to Lucky Eddie, oddly enough.
- Negative Continuity
- Hagar and family's house is usually shown in a wide open space... except one time it was shown to be on the edge of a cliff, with Hagar's boat docked in the water below below.
- Never Bareheaded: Hagar even sleeps wearing his helmet.
- Norse by Norsewest
- Obsessive-Compulsive Barkeeping: In the strip for July 16th 2014, Hagar and Lucky Eddie are talking in a bar. The bartender is behind the counter polishing a glass.
- The Pig Pen: Hagar's occasional ally Dirty Dirk.
- Hagar himself hates baths; a Running Gag of the strip is that he only takes one once a year. (In truth, that's actually more often than most men from that time period did.)
- Print Long-Runners: Since 1974, which is practically still baby years for a comic strip.
- Rape, Pillage, and Burn: Hagar his crew pillages a lot, and occasionally burn, but they spare the women. (Kids read the strip, after all.) There are a lot of jokes about this; for example, in a strip, Hagar is leading an army with siege engines and a battering ram against a castle, but it has a sign that says, "No looting and pillaging allowed!" Hagar says, "Gee, I kinda hate to turn back now..."
- Rhetorical Question Blunder: Hägar is looking for men willing to sail to the end of the world. The jester character answers: "Do I look like a fool?" And Hägar has his first volunteer.
- Sadly Mythtaken: Dragons aren't nearly as common in Scandinavian myths as this comic strip would have you believe. It might just be a case of Rule of Cool and Author Appeal, though, since Dik Browne really liked drawing dragons.
- Saw a Woman in Half: Subverted in one strip. The woman in the act tells him it was her fault to say that "there was no magic left in their marriage" (the magician is her husband, and it's hinted at that this won't end well).
- Shout-Out: "Hooray, Hooray! It's the third of May! Outdoor gardening starts today!!"
- Symbol Swearing
- The Ugly Guy's Hot Daughter: Honi is thin and gorgeous compared to the lumpy, hairy Hägar. Apparently this is due to Helga's looks in her youth.
- The Unpronounceable: In an early strip, Lucky Eddie gave as his real name a string of letters loaded with random diacritical marks.
- Unwilling Suspension: Tax evaders get this, for instance
- Western Zodiac: Parodied. Helga rants how she made a mistake when she married the Leo Hägar and claims she would have done better if she had married a Virgo instead. Lucky Eddie applauds her - because he's a Virgo. She gives up on astrology.
- When I Was Your Age: Also parodied. Hamlet is 12, and his grandfather tells him that in his time, kids had to grow up faster, and he himself had been 20 at Hamlet's age.
- Also another relative of them who claims that he had to work 24 hours a day and got nothing to eat but stones and was grateful for them, when he was young. And then Helga comments how much he has mellowed...
- "Where? Where?": Once they met a panicked Frenchman shouting "Les barbariens viennent!" (The barbarians are coming!) and thought he was mad, since they couldn't see anyone.