Created in 1948 by Garry Cleveland Myers, "Goofus and Gallant" is a feature in Highlights for Children
where a Right Way/Wrong Way Pair
of boys named Gallant (good) and Goofus (bad) would teach examples of what is good and bad to do, such as "Goofus bosses his friends. Gallant asks them what they want to do."
Tropes present in this work include:
- And That's Terrible: Goofus' panels are often accompanied by nearby people shooting disapproving stares at him, if they're not outright glaring at him.
- Anti-Role Model: Goofus.
- Art Evolution: There've been at least three illustrators over the years, and the first (Marion Hull Hammel) could give Jeph Jacques lessons in self-conscious changing of drawing style. 1951, 1959, 1963, 1979, 1987, 1994, 2002, 2010.
- Brutal Honesty: Some of Goofus' mistakes involve being too forthcoming with his opinions, even when they hurt others' feelings.
- Early-Installment Weirdness: Check out that 1951 image again. Yes, those are pointy elf ears.
- Deliberately Bad Example: Goofus always teaches children what not to do in a given situation.
- Felony Misdemeanor: Some of Goofus's antics weren't all that naughty.
- Limited Wardrobe: At least in Leslie Harrington's illustrations. Goofus has worn the same green hoodie since 2006, while Gallant has worn the same red T-shirt over a white long-sleeve shirt since 2006.
- Right Way/Wrong Way Pair
- Stock Parody: Putting them in teenage or grown-up situations is popular; while in the real thing Goofus is always on the left panel so that readers see the "wrong" and "right" way to handle a situation in that order, parodies often reverse this for better comic effect; Gallant's counterpart often displays the behavior a normal person would do, whereas Goofus' counterpart's behavior, running the gamut from inappropriate to outright insane, is meant to contrast.
- Vague Age: Depending on the illustrator and the situation they've appeared as everything from very early elementary age to almost-teenagers.
- Who Names Their Kid Goofus or Gallant?: At no point are their real names mentioned, leading readers to believe their names really are "Goofus" and "Gallant".
- "Mom always liked you best!"