Quotes / Calvin and Hobbes

If you have a line from Calvin and Hobbes you enjoy, feel free to add it to this section! The quotes have begun being divided into sections, as a basic "Philosophy of Calvin & Hobbes." Also, if you know the date of the comic in which any quotes on this page appeared, please note it in the same format as those that are already complete.

Advertising

Calvin: Here's an ad for a new gum called Hyperbubble. It says, "If you're not chewing Hyperbubble, you might as well be chewing your cud." Ooh, great copy! Wow, am I cool enough to chew Hyperbubble? Maybe I'm not. Maybe if you chew Hyperbubble, you become cool! Or maybe if you chew it, everybody assumes you're cool, so it doesn't matter if you are or not. What do you think? Should I buy some?
Hobbes: If your emotional security depends on satisfying a need you didn't have before you read the ad, go ahead.
Calvin: I think I will! Boy, I'm glad I get this magazine!

Art

Calvin: I got the new album by Scrambled Debutante. All their songs glorify violence, mindless sex, and the deliberate use of dangerous drugs!
Hobbes: Your mom's going to go into conniptions when she sees this lying around.
Calvin: [Tossing the vinyl record itself in the trash] Well, I sure didn't buy it for the music...
—Calvin and Hobbes, 18 February 1986

Hobbes: Whatcha doin'?
Calvin: I'm writing my autobiography.
Hobbes: But you're just six years old.
Calvin: I'm only got one sheet of paper.
—Hobbes and Calvin, 5 January 1987

"I understand my tests are popular reading in the teachers' lounge."
—Calvin

Calvin: They say the world is a stage. But obviously the play is unrehearsed and everybody is ad-libbing his lines.
Hobbes: Maybe thatís why it's hard to tell if we're living in a tragedy or a farce.
Calvin: We need more special effects and dance numbers.
—Calvin and Hobbes

"The arts are always the first to go in public schools."
—Calvin, 15 September 1991

Authority

Calvin: ...This library book was due two days ago! What will they do? Are they going to interrogate me and beat me up?! Are they going to break my knees?? Will I have to sign some confession???
Mom: They'll fine you ten cents. Now go return it.
Calvin: The way some of those librarians look at you, I naturally assumed the consequences would be more dire.
—Calvin and his mom, 26 December 1986

Hobbes: So, your teacher didn't know you'd ripped your pants, and she made you do a problem at the chalkboard?
Calvin: That sums it up.
Hobbes: How awful! What did you do??
Calvin: I didn't have a choice. I mooned the whole class.
Hobbes: That's why you're home early?
Calvin: Three teachers and the principal couldn't restore order.
—Hobbes and Calvin, 11 April 1987

Mom: I saw your teacher at the supermarket. She said to tell you hello.
Calvin: You saw Miss Wormwood at the supermarket?
Mom: What's so unusual about that?
Calvin: I just figured that teachers slept inside coffins over the summer.
—Calvin and his mom

Customer Service

Mom: (at the post office) Fifteen people in line and the teller goes on break without a replacement. (at the supermarket) After I wait ten minutes, they open a new line for all the people behind me who have waited two minutes. (at the Department Store) I'm waiting to pay, and the cashier puts me on hold instead of the person on the telephone.
Cashier: Have a nice day.
Mom: Too late.
Calvin and Hobbes, 11 May 1995

Death

"This is where dad buried the little raccoon. I didn't even know he existed a few days ago, and now he's gone forever. It's like I met him for no reason. I had to say goodbye as soon as I said hello. Still... In a sad, awful, terrible way, I'm happy I met him. (sniffs) What a stupid world."
—Calvin

Economics

"Here is successful Mr. Jones. He lives in a 5-acre home in a wealthy suburb. Here is his new Mercedes in the driveway. ...It's anyone's guess as to how much longer Mr. Jones can meet his monthly finance charges."
—Calvin, 15 February 1987

Education

"As you can see, I have memorized this utterly useless piece of information long enough to pass a test question. I now intend to forget it forever. Youíve taught me nothing except how to cynically manipulate the system. Congratulations."
—Calvin

Calvin: Miss Wormwood, I'm not going to learn this material unless you make it enthralling.
Miss Wormwood: I see. And what will you do if the rest of your life doesn't entertain you every minute?
Calvin: What? ...You think I'll live someplace that doesn't get cable?

Calvin: What assurance do I have that this education is adequately preparing me for the 21st century? Am I getting the skills I'll need to effectively compete in a tough, global economy? I want a high-paying job when I get out of here! I want opportunity!
Miss Wormwood: In that case, young man, I suggest you start working harder. What you get out of school depends on what you put into it.
Calvin: Oh. Then forget it.
Calvin and Hobbes, 30 March 1992

Calvin: If ignorance is bliss, this lesson would appear to be a deliberate attempt on your part to deprive me of happiness, the pursuit of which is my unalienable right according to the Declaration of Independence. I therefore assert my patriotic prerogative not to know this material. I'll be out on the playground.
Calvin and Hobbes, 14 October 1992

Calvin: You know, school wouldn't be so bad if you didn't have to go every day... and if you didn't have to learn anything... and if you took away all the teachers and all the other kids. If it was completely different, school would be great.
Hobbes: A lot of things are like that.
Calvin: Nobody asks me how things ought to be. I've got tons of ideas!
—Calvin and Hobbes at the bus stop

Calvin: What on Earth am I doing in here on this beautiful day?! This is the only life I've got! (runs off) AAAAAAAAAA!"
Miss Wormwood: (carrying Calvin back to his seat) Next time, try a drink of water and a few deep breaths.
Calvin and Hobbes, 28 April 1995.

Environmentalism

Calvin: I wonder if you can refuse to inherit the world.
Hobbes: I think if you're born, it's too late.
—Calvin and Hobbes, 21 March 1987

Calvin: Why do you think the Martian hid from us?
Hobbes: Maybe Martians don't like Earthlings.
Calvin: Don't like us?! What's not to like?? There's nothing wrong with humans! (calling out)) Hey, you Martian! Come on out! We're not bad! We just came here because people polluted our own planet so much that... uh... what I mean is... um... (talking to Hobbes again) So what are you saying? That our reputation preceded us?
Hobbes: Would you welcome in a dog that wasn't house-trained?
Calvin and Hobbes, 28 September 1988

The aliens then sucked up the clouds and the air,
Causing no small amount of Earthling despair.
With no air, the people started to die.
"Help us! Please stop!" was the public outcry.
A hatch opened up and the aliens said:
"We're sorry to learn that you soon may be dead,
But while you may find this slightly macabre,
We prefer your extinction to the loss of our job."

Ethics

Hobbes: It says here that by the age of six, most children have seen a million murders on television.
Calvin: I find that very disturbing! ...It means I've been watching all the wrong channels.
—Calvin and Hobbes, 30 December 1985

"I like maxims that don't encourage behavior modification."
—Calvin

"Life's disappointments are harder to take when you don't know any swear words."
—Calvin

"In my opinion, we don't devote nearly enough scientific research to finding a cure for jerks."
—Calvin

Calvin: I don't believe in ethics any more. As far as I'm concerned, the ends justify the means. Get what you can while the getting's good, that's what I say! Might Makes Right! The winners write the history books! It's a dog-eat-dog world, so I'll do whatever I have to, and let others argue about whether it's 'right' or not.
Hobbes suddenly shoves Calvin into a mud hole.
Calvin: HEYY! (Beat) Why'd you do that?!?
Hobbes: You were in my way. Now you're not. The end justify the means.
Calvin: I didn't mean for everyone, you dolt! Just me!

Freedom

Calvin: Somewhere in communist Russia I'll bet there's a little boy who has never known anything but censorship and oppression. But maybe he's heard about America, and he dreams of living in this land of freedom and opportunity! Someday, I'd like to meet that little boy... And tell him the awful TRUTH about this place!!
Dad: Calvin, be quiet and eat the stupid lima beans.
—Calvin and his dad, 7 April 1986

[Phone rings]
Calvin: Hello?
(Caller): May I speak with your father, please?
Calvin: Heck, you don't need my permission! Be my guest!
Calvin: [Hangs up, rolling eyes] What a weirdo.
—Calvin, 25 July 1987

Calvin: Do you support the free expression of ideas in our society?
Dad: Sure. That's first on our bill of rights.
Calvin: So you would be against censorship and suppression of ideas you would find distasteful?
Dad: Right. You've got to take the bad with the good.
Dad: OK, first let me explain about our responsibility to be culturally educated and able to make critical distinctions about...
Calvin: You're stalllling!

Gender Roles and Stereotypes
Calvin: You're lucky that girls don't have to put up with this nonsense. If a girl doesn't want to play sports, that's fine! But if a guy doesn't spend his afternoons chasing some stupid ball, he's call a wimp! You girls have it easy!
Susie: On the other hand, boys aren't expected to spent their lives 20 pounds underweight.
Calvin and Hobbes, 26 April 1990

Home Improvement

Dad: "Before beginning any home-plumbing repair, make sure you possess the proper tools for the job. Check the following list of handy expletives, and see that you know how to use them."
Calvin and Hobbes, 31 May 1987

Hobbes: What are you doing with all your dad's tools in the bathroom?
Calvin: This faucet drips, so I'm going to fix it.
Hobbes: You're going to fix it?
Calvin: That's what I said. ...And you can keep your comments to yourself, Dr. Doom.
Calvin and Hobbes, 8 August 1988

Leisure

"There's never enough time to do all the nothing you want."
—Calvin, 28 August 1988

"Weekends don't count unless you spend them doing something completely pointless."
—Calvin

Dad: Our lives are filled with machines designed to reduce work and increase leisure. We have more leisure than any man has ever had. And what do we do with this leisure? Educate ourselves? Take up new interests? Explore? Invent? Create?
Calvin: Dad, I can't hear this commercial.
[Dad kicks Calvin out of the house]
Calvin: If it were up to Dad, leisure would be as bad as work.
—24 January 1994

Calvin: OH NO! I OVERSLEPT! I GOTTA GET UP!
Hobbes: But it's Saturday.
Calvin: Well sure. If this were a school day, what would I care?

Linguistics

Calvin: I like to verb words.
Hobbes: What?
Calvin: I take nouns and adjectives and use them as verbs. Remember when "access" was a thing? Now it's something you do. It got verbed. Verbing weirds language.
Hobbes: Maybe we can eventually make language a complete impediment to understanding.
—Calvin and Hobbes, 25 January 1993

Calvin: I used to hate writing assignments, but now I enjoy them. I realised that the purpose of writing is to inflate weak ideas, obscure poor reasoning, and inhibit clarity. With a little practice, writing can be an intimidating and impenetrable fog! Want to see my book report?
Hobbes: "The Dynamics of Interbeing and Monological Imperatives in Dick and Jane: A Study in Psychic Transrelational Gender Modes."
Calvin: Academia, here I come!

Politics

Calvin: Any monsters under my bed tonight?!
(Monsters)" "Nope!" "No!" "Uh-uh."
Calvin: Well, there'd better not be! I'd hate to have to torch one with my flame thrower!
Hobbes: You have a flame thrower??
Calvin: [Going to sleep] They lie. I lie.
—Calvin and the monsters, 25 November 1985

Hobbes: How come we play war and not peace?
Calvin: Too few role models.
—Hobbes and Calvin, 23 March 1986

Calvin: Dad, how do soldiers killing each other solve the world's problems?
(Dad sits speechless for 2 panels, unable to come up with a good answer)
Calvin: [Walking away] I think grown-ups just act like they know what they're doing.
—Calvin and his dad, 18 February 1991

Calvin: —the scandals of your administration continue to haunt you.
Dad: Scandals? What scandals?!
Calvin: Bedtimegate and Homeworkgate come readily to mind.
Dad: Instances of true leadership. History will vindicate me.
Calvin and Hobbes, 11 April 1988

Pop Culture

"I love Saturday Morning Cartoons. What classic humor! This is what entertainment is all about. ...Idiots, explosives, and falling anvils."
—Calvin, 10 May 1986

Calvin: Here's a movie we should watch.
Hobbes: Who's in it?
Calvin: It says, "Japanese cast." "Two big rubbery monsters slug it out over major metropolitan centers in a battle for world supremacy." ...Doesn't that sound great?
Hobbes: And people say that foreign film is inaccessible.
—Calvin and Hobbes, 14 May 1986

Calvin: Popular culture isn't to blame for selling twisted values. Movies, records, and TV shows reflect the reality of our times. Artists depict hatred and violence because that's what they see.
Hobbes: Why don't they see things of beauty and value?
Calvin: Because boring stuff doesn't sell.

Progress

"I'll bet future civilizations find out more about us than we'd like them to know."
—Calvin, 19 July 1987

"The problem with the future is that it keeps turning into the present."
—Hobbes, 30 December 1990

"Sometimes I think the surest sign that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us."
—Calvin

Proverbs

"Never argue with a six-year-old who shaves."
—Calvin, 30 January 1986

"Never criticize a guy with a razor."
—Calvin, 14 March 1986

"...It's hard to argue with someone who looks so happy."
—Calvin, 17 April 1986

Virtue needs some cheaper thrills.
—Hobbes

Psychology

Calvin: What's it like to fall in love?
Hobbes: Well, say the object of your affection walks by...
Calvin: Yeah?
Hobbes: First, your heart falls into your stomach and splashes your innards. All the moisture makes you sweat profusely. This condensation shorts the circuits to your brain, and you get all woozy. When your brain burns out altogether, your mouth disengages and you babble like a cretin until she leaves.
Calvin: That's love?
Hobbes: Medically speaking.
Calvin: Heck, that happened to me once, but I figured it was cooties!!
—Calvin and Hobbes, 16 February 1986

"What fun is it being "cool" if you can't wear a sombrero?"
—Hobbes, 30 September 1986

Calvin: Hobbes, do you think human nature is good or evil?
Hobbes: Watch out for those trees.
Calvin: I mean, do you believe people are basically good, with a few bad tendencies, or basically bad, with a few good tendencies?
Hobbes: There's a rock up ahead! Look out!
Calvin: Or, as a third possibility, do you think people are just crazy, and who knows why they do anything?
Hobbes: Not so close to the ledge!
Calvin: Well? What do you think? Are people good, bad, or crazy?
Hobbes: Aughhh! I can't look!
*WUMP!*
Calvin: [Buried up to face in snow] You know, it's very rude of you to keep changing the subject after every sentence.
Hobbes: [Buried, face first, down to waist in snow.] I choose crazy.
—Calvin and Hobbes, 11 January 1987

Calvin: Dad, how do people make babies?
Dad: Most people just go to Sears, buy the kit, and follow the assembly instructions.
Calvin: I came from Sears??
Dad: No, you were a blue light special at Kmart. Almost as good, and a lot cheaper.
Calvin: AAUUGHHH!
Mom: *Across the house* Dear, what are you telling Calvin now?!
—Calvin and his dad, 18 April 1987

"I'm sick of everyone telling me what to do all the time! I hate my life! I hate everything! I wish I was DEAD! [...] Well, no, I don't. Not really. I wish everyone else was dead."
—Calvin, 21 March 1989

Calvin: Isnít it strange that evolution would give us a sense of humour? When you think about it, it's weird that we have a physiological response to absurdity. We laugh at nonsense. We like it. We think it's funny. Don't you think it's odd that we appreciate absurdity? Why would we develop that way? How does it benefit us?
Hobbes: I suppose if we couldnít laugh at things that donít make sense, we couldn't react to a lot of life.
*beat*
Calvin: I canít tell if that's funny or really scary.
—Calvin and Hobbes, 19 April 1992

Calvin: I'm a genius, but I'm a misunderstood genius.
Hobbes: What's misunderstood about you?
Calvin: [Wearing his clothes upside-down] Nobody thinks I'm a genius.
—Calvin and Hobbes, 7 September 1993

"It's sad how some people can't handle a little variety."
—Calvin and the world around him, in a nutshell.

Calvin: I let my mind wander, and it didn't come back.
Mom: I figured you lost your mind years ago.
—Calvin and his mom

"Reality continues to ruin my life."
—Calvin

"A little rudeness and disrespect can elevate a meaningless interaction to a battle of wills and add drama to an otherwise dull day."
—Calvin

"I'm not dumb. I just have a command of thoroughly useless information."
—Calvin

"Everybody seeks happiness! Not me, though! That's the difference between me and the rest of the world. Happiness isn't good enough for me! I demand euphoria!"
—Calvin

"I think night time is dark so you can imagine your fears with less distraction."
—Calvin

Calvin: Trick or treat!
Adult: Where's your costume? What are you supposed to be?
Calvin: I'm yet another resource-consuming kid in an overpopulated planet, raised to an alarming extent by Madison Avenue and Hollywood, poised with my cynical and alienated peers to take over the world when you're old and weak.
Calvin: [Walking away, bag overflowing with candy] Am I scary, or what?
—Calvin

Calvin: (inner monologue) Come on, you are gonna dodge all those trees. You can do it. You'll stop just before you reach the cliff. You won't fall on the lake. Besides, the ice must be really thick. Go on.
Calvin:
(outer monologue to the reader): My brain is trying to kill me.''
—Calvin deciding if he will ride his sled down the hill or not.

"You know, Hobbes, some days even my lucky rocket ship underpants don't help."
—Calvin

Religion

Hobbes: Do you think there's a God?
[Beat]
Calvin: Well, somebody's out to get me.
—Hobbes and Calvin, 6 May 1986

Calvin: Do you believe in the devil? You know, a supreme evil being dedicated to the temptation, corruption, and destruction of man?
Hobbes: I'm not sure that man needs the help.
—Calvin and Hobbes

Calvin: Bad news, Mom. I promised my soul to the devil this afternoon.
Mom: Oh? That recently?
—Calvin and his mom

Calvin: I wonder why man was put on Earth. What's our purpose? Why are we here?
Hobbes: Tiger food. [Hobbes grins, which freaks out Calvin]
—Calvin and Hobbes

Science and Technology

"What horrors we visit upon ourselves in the name of science."
—Hobbes, 26 March 1987

Calvin: I've been reading about the beginning of the universe. They call it "The Big Bang." [...] Isn't it weird how scientists can imagine all the matter of the universe exploding out of a dot smaller than the head of a pin, but they can't come up with a more evocative name for it than "The Big Bang?" That's the whole problem with science. You've got a bunch of empiricists trying to describe things of unimaginable wonder.
Hobbes: What would you call the creation of the universe?
Calvin: The Horrendous Space Kablooie!
Hobbes: Hmm... That is better.
Calvin: Almost anything would be. [...] And I think "Tyrannosaur" should be changed to "Monstrous Killer Death Lizard."

Calvin: Do you believe in evolution?
Hobbes: No.
Calvin: You don't believe humans evolved from monkeys?
Hobbes: I sure don't see any difference.

Calvin: Why aren't we hooked up to an on-line service, so we can connect to other computers?
Dad: Because it's bad enough we have a telephone.

Dad: It used to be that if a client wanted something done in a week, it was considered a rush job, and he'd be lucky to get it. Now, with modems, faxes, and car phones, everybody wants everything instantly! Improved technology just increases expectations. These machines don't make life easier — they make life more harassed.
Calvin: Six minutes to microwave this?? Who's got that kind of time?!

Socializing

Mom: (screaming into the phone) DID IT EVER OCCUR TO YOU THAT I HAVE A LIFE BEYOND THIS SALES PITCH AND YOU'RE INTRUDING ON IT?! (holding the phone away from her, grinding her teeth) There would be more civility in this world if people didn't take it as an invitation to walk on you.
Calvin: I'm only civil because I don't know any swear words.
Calvin and Hobbes, 1 September 1995

"I'll spout simplistic opinions for hours on end, ridicule anyone who disagrees with me, and generally foster divisiveness, cynicism, and a lower level of public dialogue!"
—Calvin

Statistics
Calvin: Dad, your polls took a big dive this week. Your "Overall Dad Performance" rating was especially low. See? Right about yesterday your popularity went down the tubes.
Dad: Calvin, you didn't get dessert yesterday because you flooded the house!!
Calvin and Hobbes, 28 January 1986

Subterfuge

Mom: Calvin! You're going to be late for school! Get up! Calvin, it's almost 7:30! Are you up??
Calvin: I'm coming.
[Hobbes, as Calvin's mom sees him, placed out in the hallway wearing Calvin's jacket and a hat. Moments later...]
Hobbes: [Taking off the clothes] See? I told you it wouldn't work!
Calvin: Of course not, dummy! You didn't put on any pants!
—Calvin and Hobbes, 23 January 1986

Calvin: Hello Susie, this is Calvin. I lost our homework assignment. Can you tell me what we were supposed to read for tomorrow?
Susie: Are you sure you're not calling for some other reason?
Calvin: Why else would I call you?
Susie: Maybe you missed the melodious sound of my voice.
Calvin: What are you, crazy?? All I want is the stupid assignment!
Susie: First say you missed the melodious sound of my voice.
Calvin: THIS IS BLACKMAIL!
—Calvin and Susie, 9 December 1986
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