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Fanfic / Can You Imagine That?

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Can You Imagine That? is the first in a trilogy of Script Fics about Calvin and Hobbes written by garfieldodie, and is his first entry in what would be known as the Calvinverse.

While riding on their wagon one day, Calvin and Hobbes spot a man inside a weird contraption. They escape him, but the further exploits involving him and his plot to kidnap every child in the world goes beyond one's wildest imagination.

The day after Calvin & Hobbes: The Series ended, garfieldodie uploaded a remake of the fic, almost a decade after its original release. It ran until March 12th, 2014, with its story being noticeably Darker and Edgier, as well as providing a coherent timeline for the verse (which declares the original versions of the rewritten versions non-canon and officially included Which Way is Where? in the fold).

This fic contains examples of:

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    The original 
  • Alternate Continuity: While in the comic strip Calvin and Hobbes met Galaxoid and Nebular during the fall, here they meet during the summer after the original strip ended. The remake fixes this by making their initial appearance fall after their second (and final) appearance.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking:
    Calvin: What're we going to do? Why is he chasing us? How will we escape? Where does this path lead? When will our bedtime be?
    • Then there's this:
    Calvin: Yesterday, you made a remark on the feasible membership of Susie Derkins. She is the rival of our club. Plus, she's a girl!
    • Also this:
    Hobbes: Of course, when I say 'big galoot', it means that you're handsome, intelligent, and, uh, both of your legs are the same length.
    • Another example:
    Retro: The thing is that I will be the winner here. I will rule the world. I have the advantage. I have the cool car!
    Tracer: He's got a point.
  • Big "NO!": Retro pulls one when the Imaginator is destroyed.
  • Billions of Buttons: Retro has an entire wall covered in buttons. The one Hobbes tries to find turns out to have been clearly labeled.
  • Bullfight Boss: Exploited by Calvin, who hurls insults at Moe in order to get the tube working.
  • Call-Back: Chapter 6's titular chase recalls that of Chapter 1's.
  • Cassandra Truth: Invoked by Hobbes, who sets a Forget-O-Ray to everyone but Calvin and himself in order to elicit this reaction.
  • Child Hater: Retro.
    "One of these days, I swear I'll blow kids straight off the face of the earth. All they're good for is annoying adults. Well, finally they'll be put to good use. Who'd of thought that simply saying a trip to DisneyLand would convince the kids to stay? They're so stupid!"
  • Cool Car: Retro's flying car. Even Hobbes thinks so!
  • Dissimile:
    Calvin: Oh, puh-leeze. It'll be a snap! I'll admit, it will take awhile get into, but after October, I'll have that teacher right where I want her. She'll be putty in my hands.
    Hobbes: Yeah, really dry putty that's hard as a rock!
  • Happy Dance: Calvin and Hobbes do one shortly before rescuing the kids. Apparently, it looked stupid.
  • Imagine Spot: Referenced early on:
    He wished this was just a fantasy like Spaceman Spiff or Tracer Bullet that he could just have someone wake him up from, but that wasn't very likely to happen. He would've woken up at the sight of the claw!
    • These also play a very important role in the plot.
  • Medium Awareness:
    Spiff: What'd we miss?
    Hobbes: The chase scene.
    Spiff: Darn it! That's always the best part of an adventure!
  • Missing Trailer Scene: The trailer has two such scenes.
    • The first is when Hobbes is transformed into an actual tiger - the kids and Retro scream, but Hobbes just goes "WHAAA...?"
    • A similar scene goes like this:
    Calvin: Why are you all staring at him?
    Susie: …He's alive.
    Calvin: DUH! Have you all been blind for the past few years or what?
    Hobbes: Maybe now that we're heroes, they've taken on a better respect for me. And Moe, I haven't forgotten about the bear crack. That's the biggest insult to tigers.
    (Moe passes out)
  • Mythology Gag: "The days are just packed."
    • Spaceman Spiff's trusty sidekick is named Spaceman Mort, Spiff's original name before Calvin and Hobbes even started.
  • Reality Warper: Calvin's Imagine Spots actually allow him to narrate real life. Case in point - while pretending to be Stupendous Man, he manages to carry a large piece of wood and jump across a large gap when said wood collapses (by his own hand)!
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Hobbes gives one to Calvin in Chapter 4:
    "Well, this is just great, Calvin. Just great. Thanks to you, we are now hopelessly lost in an area of the woods we're not familiar with! We could've stayed home for at least a week before the camping trip and have all the fun we wanted. No, you had to make sure your summer vacation was perfect. Well, let me tell you something, buster! Right now, sleeping in a tent on hard rocks and eating dead sea animals and dry spam is starting to sound pretty good right now! You wanna go and get lost in this place? Fine. I'm going home!"
    • Dare to Be Badass: Calvin then promptly retorts with his own speech:
      "Come on, Hobbes! Don't give up now! We're doing great! We've only been gone for about five hours. If we haven't figured out everything in another five, then it will be okay to give up. Hobbes, we've come too far to give up now! Just think of the fame we'll be getting if we succeed. Also, we're not just doing this for ourselves. We're doing for Susie and Moe and all the other kids. Sure, they're not so great, but do they deserve to miss out on summer vacation because of some wacko? NO, THEY DON'T! No child should have to spending summer vacation in some place we don't know about yet. I feel sorry for those schools that have year round school years, and I wish I could help them, but I can't. This is my way of helping innocent kids get their time off from school to be enjoyable, as all summer vacations should. If you want to go home, fine, but I'm in it for the long run. I'm not giving up until I've rescued those kids!"
      • Hobbes gives Calvin another Dare to Be Badass speech later:
        "Calvin, if it wasn't for your 'weirdness', we would never have had all the adventures we've had. If you weren't weird, you'd have never of thought to build a Transmogrifier/ duplicator/ time machine. You'd have never thought to make a snowman come to life, only for it to become a Deranged, Mutant, Killer Monster Snow Goon. If it wasn't for you, G.R.O.S.S. wouldn't exist. Stupendous Man, Spaceman Spiff and Tracer Bullet wouldn't exist at all if it weren't for you. Calvin, your weirdness has made many lives to become more interesting. If there's one thing I can count on to get me out of boredom, it's to drag me on some sort of adventure that I'll hate at first but love later on."
  • Thing-O-Matic: The Forget-O-Ray.
  • Shout-Out:
    Hobbes: Come on, Calvin! This is no time for a bout around Mr. Calvin's Neighborhood! We need to get home!
    • See Child Hater above.
    • Then there's this from Tracer Bullet:
    "I've got a few questions for you, buddy! Where were you the night of August 23? What do you know about the Klopman Diamond? Where did you hide the gloves? When was the war of 1812? Who put the 'bomp' in the 'bomp sha bomp'? How did you dispose of the body? And, most importantly, IS PROFESIONAL WRESTLING FIXED??"
  • Status Quo Is God: Everything returns to normal at the end (save for Calvin gaining the Destructo-Ray).
  • Take Over the World: Lampshaded:
    Calvin: That's such a non-original goal for you super villains these days, isn't it?
    Retro: Well, it beats the alternative.
  • There Are No Adults: Inverted - the kids are all abducted by Retro.
  • They Called Me Mad!: Retro sings about it.
    "I'm going to rule the world! I'll show them all! I'm not nuts! They all think so, but I am not!"
  • This Is No Time for Knitting: Calvin's Imagine Spots end up playing a key role in the plot, as mentioned above.
  • Verbal Backpedaling: Hobbes does this after insulting one of Retro's henchmen.
  • You Never Asked:
    Galaxoid: We just bought a planet with murky spots?
    Nebular: Why did you not tell us?
    Calvin: You didn't ask us.

    The remake 
  • Break the Haughty/Characterization Marches On: Word of God is that the remake shows the process through which Calvin is forced to mature from his jerkass persona in the original strip to the more heroic personality he shows in later Calvinverse stories. Chapter 7 follows up on this promise, with Calvin being Mind Raped and forced to bring everything in his imagination alive, which doesn't turn out well for him.
  • Darker and Edgier: Taken up to eleven with Calvin's brutal Mind Rape and noticeably darker and more disturbing version of Retro.
  • Disney Death: Retro seemingly dies at the end of Chapter 12, though he ends up alright in the next chapter.
  • Monochrome to Color: In a rare text-based example, the rewritten version shows the Film Noir world of Tracer Bullet in monochrome, and when the other Calvins arrive he observes color seeping into his person.
  • Wham Episode: Chapter 12, wherein Retro (seemingly) dies.
  • World of Chaos: Earth becomes one when Calvin's imagination invades it.