- Calvin having to get a shot (offscreen), while his mom hides her face in embarrassment:Calvin: Is that a shot? Are you going to— AUGH! IT WENT STRAIGHT THROUGH MY ARM! OW OW OW OW OW!!!! I'M DYING! I HOPE YOU PAID YOUR MALPRACTICE INSURANCE, YOU QUACK! WHERE'S MY MOM!?
- In another doctor strip, Calvin is frantically asking his pediatrician whether or not his instruments hurt. In the last two strips...Calvin: What's THAT?! Will it hurt?
Doctor: It's a cattle prod. It hurts a little less than a branding iron. (Calvin faints) Little kids have no sense of humor.
- In one strip, Calvin yells to his mom from across the house. She tells him to walk over to where she is. He does... And tells his mom: "I stepped in dog doo. Where's the hose?" Topped off in the Anthology edition as Watterson's comment is simply: "Right lesson — wrong time."
- Calvin insists to Susie that he did not get a frowny face sticker on his assignment.Calvin: (Thinking to himself) I didn't even know they made barfing face stickers.
- Any time Calvin outsmarts Moe.
- For example:Calvin: Are your maladjusted antisocial tendencies the product of your berserk pituitary gland?
Calvin: Isn't he great, folks? Let's give him a big hand!
- For example:
- Calvin's little poem about spiderwebs:"Like delicate lace,
So the threads intertwine,
Oh, gossamer web
Of wond'rous design!
Such beauty and grace
Wild nature produces...
Ughh, look at the spider
Suck out that bug's juices!"
- At the beginning of the baseball arc, Calvin realizes he's the only boy on a playground full of girls, and starts freaking out about being in a "Cootie central." Susie retorts with "Relax. Stupidity produces antibodies."
- Calvin's ransom note to Susie."Susie, if you want to see your doll again, leave $100 in this envelope by the tree out front. Do not call the police. You cannot trace us. You cannot find us.Sincerely, Calvin."
- Made funnier by the panel break before the last sentence, causing a beat when reading.
- Most of the "Dad polls" strips.
Calvin: (Looking at an old yearbook) Is this you with the keg and the 'Party Naked' t-shirt?
- For example:
Dad: (grabbing yearbook) Give me thaaaaaat!
Calvin: Who's the bimbo with you in this old prom picture?
Dad: THAT 'BIMBO' IS YOUR MOTHER!
Mom: (offscreen) WHO'S A BIMBO?!
Calvin: Pretty funky hairdo, mom!
Calvin: Well, you'll never keep the job with that attitude!
- The last panel when Dad tries to put a stop to the polling by pointing out that he doesn't care about approval points:
Dad: If anyone else offers to do it, let me know.
Calvin: NOT ELECTED!? You mean you can govern with dictatorial impunity?Dad: That's right.Calvin: In short, open revolt and exile is the only hope for change?Dad: I don't like the direction this conversation is taking...
- In another strip, Dad points out that being a father is not an elected position and he doesn't need to listen to public approval. Calvin is aghast.
Calvin: FOR LIFE!? What about recall? Impeachment?!Dad: There are no provisions for either.Calvin: What, did you write this constitution yourself?!Dad: Well, Mom helped.
- In a similar strip, Calvin asks Dad when his term expires, only to be told that the Dad appointment is for life.
Mom: My first decree will be to make you do all the cooking.Calvin: Woah, that changes everything!
- Another time, Calvin says that there's been talks about voting Dad out of office and making Mom the new Dad. Dad has a sneaking suspicion about who's behind that idea.
- A filler panel in one of the book collections had Calvin making a "Dad performance" graph with the approval rating going so low that he had to tape new extensions to the graph to show how bad it was, while Dad has a sarcastic look on his face that says, "Where did I go wrong with this kid?"
- In a one-shot strip where Calvin's dad can't find his glasses, Calvin is revealed as the "thief" in the most hilarious way. The last panel really sells it.Dad: Honey, have you seen my glasses? I can't find them anywhere.
Mom: I haven't seen them.
(Enter Calvin, with glasses and slicked-down hair)
Calvin: Calvin, go do something you hate! Being miserable builds character!
(Mom has literally fallen out of her chair laughing hysterically)
Dad: (glaring at his wife) OK, the voice was a little funny, but that's still one darn sarcastic kid we're raising.
- Calvin's poem about Hobbes sleeping on the carpet:Calvin: My tiger, it seems, is running 'round nude.
This fur coat must have made him perspire.
It lies on the floor — should this be construed
As a permanent change of attire?
Perhaps he considers its colors passé,
Or maybe it fit him too snug.
Will he want it back? Should I put it away?
Or use it right here as a rug?
Hobbes: (irritated) I wonder when school starts?
- In one strip, Dad ducks out of having to have "The Talk" with his six-year-old son. Also one of his funniest gadfly moments.Calvin: Dad, how do people make babies?
Dad: (matter-of-factly) Most people just go to Sears, buy the kit, and follow the assembly instructions.
Calvin: (with a Wild Take) I came from Sears!?
Dad: No, you were a blue-light special at Kmart. Almost as good, and a lot cheaper.
Calvin: (hyperventilating) AAUUGHHH!
Mom: (from the other room) Dear, what are you telling Calvin now?!
- Calvin's Oh, Crap! moment one day when his dad takes the day off work and just happens to read the classified section..."New dad wanted. Frequent traveler preferred. Liberal views on discipline a must. Ask for Calvin during normal work hours."
- Not a strip at all, but a picture with Calvin riding in his parents' car holding up a sign in the rear window saying: "Help! I've been kidnapped! Call the police!"
- Another one showing Calvin watching TV with Hobbes with a zombiefied, hypnotized look in his eyes.
- "Tyrannosaurs in F-14S!!"
- Calvin jumps on a makeshift springboard, which is weighed down by a giant snowball. Predictably, the snowball gets launched into his face.
- The strip in which Calvin employs Loophole Abuse to answer the question "Explain Newton's First Law of Motion in your own words." His answer? "Yakka foob mog. Grug pubbawup zink wattoom gazork. Chumble spuzz."
- Calvin's little monologue about the weirdness of cow milk was hilarious enough, but it was even better in the 10th Anniversary Collection:Calvin: Who was the first guy who looked at a cow and said "I think I'll drink whatever comes out of these things when I squeeze 'em!"?Bill Watterson: It's sometimes frightening where my mind will go if I let it. Who was that guy?!
- "I hope you suffer a debilitating brain aneurysm, you freak!"
- Three panels of a hideous space alien contemptuously addressing a classroom and proceeding to demonstrate his planet's destructive technology, one panel of Calvin pulling a hideous face at the front of the classroom growling gibberish. "Miss Wormwood, shouldn't he be in some kind of special school?"
- This part of the Mercury report arc:Susie: (to Calvin) Look, bird brain, you wasted this entire week in the library. We have to give our report on Monday. You'd better bust your butt over the weekend, or I'm telling the teacher you didn't do any work. Got it? ...WELL, WHAT DO YOU SAY?! AM I GETTING THROUGH TO YOU?? THIS IS IMPORTANT!
(The next panel has Spaceman Spiff and an angry alien in place of Calvin and Susie)
Alien: Gronk! Gribble gok! Gak gork! Goonk!
Spaceman Spiff: Our hero regards the strange alien. ...It seems to be trying to communicate.
"I overplayed the quasi-romantic tension between Calvin and Susie in early stories. This story was an improvement, because I just let the two personalities bounce off each other."
- The whole story arc. Susie takes the report so seriously that she thinks getting into a good college depends on her doing well on it. Calvin, of course, couldn't care less.
- This is also the story arc where Bill Watterson began to nail down the Calvin/Susie Dynamic.
- This argument between Calvin and Hobbes. Over a croquet game.Calvin: (after Hobbes had called him a liar) ...Well, you're just a poop head! So there! THBPBPTHPT!
Hobbes: POTTY MOUTH! POTTY MOUTH! CALVIN IS A POTTY MOUTH!
Calvin: You're asking for a toothless mouth, buster!
Hobbes: Yeah? Says you and what army? You couldn't knock the teeth out of a mosquito!
Calvin: Ha! Mosquitoes don't have teeth! That shows how dumb you are!
Hobbes: Compared to you, I'm Einstein! Leggo my leg!
(the fight escalates into a Big Ball of Violence)
Calvin: Ow! Go stick your nose in a rubber hose, you walking flea condo!
Hobbes: I say it takes one to know one, bozo! Why don't you go play in the food processor!
- Also; The throwaway panels in the beginning....Hobbes: (solemnly as he sets things up) "Croquet is a gentleman's game."Calvin: "That's hard to believe.....I've played before and the temptation to misuse these things note is awful."
- The Big Ball of Violence has insults like "Streudel-Brain!" and "Oatmeal-Face!" around it.
- Also; The throwaway panels in the beginning....
- "TEN MILLION BOTTLES OF BEER ON THE WALL, TEN MILLION BOTTLES OF BEER..."
- One strip, Calvin is pounding nails into the coffee table. Mom runs in screaming "CALVIN! WHAT ARE YOU DOING TO THE COFFEE TABLE?!?" After a Beat Panel, he looks up and says, "Is this some sort of trick question, or what?"
- Calvin's snowmen.
Dad: He knows I hate this.
- "Oh yeah?! Define 'well-adjusted!'"
- "I don't care. We're not having an anatomically correct snowman in the front yard."
- "I don't think the schools assign enough homework." is also a Moment of Awesome! Seriously, how did he make THAT?! Or the snowman enjoying a snowcone for that matter. "It's a sordid story."
- "Ready... Aim..."
- "You don't like my Snowman House of Horror, do you?"
- "Mom and dad don't value originality and hard work as much as they say they do."
- "First she says go out. Now she says come in."
- "For the townsfolk below, the day began like any other day..."
- "What's wrong with Easter Island? I like Easter Island."
- Snowmen prophets of doom!
- The strip where Calvin's dad comes home to an army of snowmen lined up and saluting him, much to his chagrin:
Dad: No one else at the office talks about this kind of thing.
- On that note, the one where he comes home to snowmen picketing him with signs such as "Calvin's Dad Unfair" and "Egad! Bad dad!"
Dad: CALVIN, I'M LATE FOR WORK!!
- The strip where they talked about the new year in relation to the snowmen that Calvin made was both serious and funny.
- And then there was this one strip where Calvin used Forced Perspective to freak out his dad (Calvin built half a giant face and fingers on a hill top so it looked like a giant snowman was peeking out from over the hill.)
- "I call it, 'The Torment of Existence Weighed Against the Horror of Nonbeing.'"
- Upon seeing Calvin's hideous snowman which he's treating like a work of art, Hobbes congratulates him on putting artistic integrity before marketability. After hearing this Calvin immediately makes a normal happy-looking snowman.
- The strip where Calvin built a crowd of snowmen crossing the driveway, complete with a "Snowmen Crossing" sign.
Dad: (standing next to the car) WHERE'S THAT KID!!?
- The strip where Calvin and Hobbes build a snow fort, then cover it with water to encase it in ice so that it will "be here until July." The final panel reveals he has built it across the driveway.
Dad: You can always tell when we get to our house.
- Mom and Dad are out for a walk through the neighborhood and are casually admiring all of the snowmen in people's yards. They then come across a two-headed snowman.
- On the topic of snowmen, the definite crowner is the "Deranged Mutant Killer Monster Snow Goons" arc. Calvin is trying to bring a snowman to life and succeeds! Unfortunately, the snowman lacks any obedience to his master and proceeds to chase Calvin. Then it finds out where Calvin lives! Calvin recruits Hobbes to help him take down the snowman and try to do it with snowballs! It ends predictably and gives the snowman the idea to put more snow on itself to become bigger and stronger! Then it puts on another head and an extra arm! Then it begins to create more snowbeasts! Which are loyal to the creator! Calvin and Hobbes eventually defeat them by spraying them with the hose, freezing them all.Hobbes: Maybe we could lure him inside and he'd melt!
Calvin: That would take hours! And if he didn't kill Mom, she'd have a fit about the water on the floor!
Hobbes: Hmm. How did they finally kill "Frosty?" note
Calvin: Beats me. Now I wish I'd watched that dumb show! Maybe they stabbed him with an icicle.
- Since the snow goons "sleep" (or at least stop moving) at night, Calvin and Hobbes decide to stage their hose attack then. They get out of bed and into their winter clothes as quietly as possible, then sneak outside, shushing each other the whole time. Then:Calvin: HA HA HA! DIE, SNOW GOON, DIE!!!
- Since the snow goons "sleep" (or at least stop moving) at night, Calvin and Hobbes decide to stage their hose attack then. They get out of bed and into their winter clothes as quietly as possible, then sneak outside, shushing each other the whole time. Then:
- In one strip, Miss Wormwood takes Calvin to the Principal's office—while Calvin is imagining himself as Spaceman Spiff.Principal: Why is he eating his hall pass?
- Pretty much any time either parent finds Hobbes somewhere unusual in the house while Calvin's at school (usually so Hobbes can ambush Calvin.)
- In one arc, Calvin tries to wheedle out of a school assignment (write and illustrate a story), by going forward in time with Hobbes from 6:30 to 8:30, when he will have already written the paper — only to find his 8:30 self had had the same idea and not actually written the report. Calvin teams up with the 8:30 Calvin and they both travel back to 7:30 in an attempt to force that Calvin to do the homework. To put it simply, things end up escalating into a Mêlée à Trois.note Meanwhile, the 6:30 Hobbes and the 8:30 Hobbes write Calvin's story and give it to him when he returns, resolving the whole mess. What they don't mention is that the story was about how he tried to avoid doing the assignment. What makes this funny? At the end, Calvin is furious at Hobbes' prank only to discover that the report was great, earning an A+, and the arc ends with Calvin still trying to be mad at Hobbes for the principle of the thing as Hobbes gets starry eyed over a possible journalism career.
- One strip has Calvin whiff a snowball throw at Susie, leading him to chase her with a shovel full of snow instead.
- Another one has Calvin toss a snowball down a hill. There's a pause before he begins cheering, and we see Susie at the bottom of the hill having been plowed over by a massive snowball.
- Calvin's mom's face in the last panel of this strip.
- This strip from the last camping arc.Dad: Ta da! We're here!
Calvin: Good ol' "Itchy Island". Home of the nuclear mosquitoes.
Dad: Bug bites build character.
Calvin: Yeah, and last year you said diarrhea builds character.
Dad: So, think what a fine young man you're growing up to be.
Calvin: ...If all this character doesn't kill me first.
Dad: That reminds me, open the duffel bag and get out the spam.
Calvin: If the canoe isn't here in the morning, it means Hobbes and I struck out for home.
- Calvin's "smile" in this comic.
- "Good heavens, I think I blew my face inside-out!"
- "Do you believe in ghosts?"
- This strip. The look on Calvin's dad's face is priceless, as well as the last panel.
- The rest of that story arc counts too. Calvin is sick of being a kid and wants to be a tiger instead, so he dresses up as a tiger and goes out into the forest with Hobbes. At one point he reads that tigers are "secretive." They get into an argument about the secrets Hobbes knows, then Hobbes promises to give Calvin a hint.Calvin: Ok, shoot!
Hobbes: The flea market.
Calvin: THE FLEA MARKET?! WHAT KIND OF LOUSY HINT IS THAT?!
Hobbes: Do you know how your parents got you?
Calvin: I was... What? What are you saying?
Hobbes: No more hints.
- Later, Calvin learns that tigers are territorial, so he chooses a boulder to mark the border between his and Hobbes' part of the forest. Calvin brags about how much better his side is than Hobbes'. Then Hobbes rolls the boulder over to Calvin's side and declares "your side is smaller."
- The rest of that story arc counts too. Calvin is sick of being a kid and wants to be a tiger instead, so he dresses up as a tiger and goes out into the forest with Hobbes. At one point he reads that tigers are "secretive." They get into an argument about the secrets Hobbes knows, then Hobbes promises to give Calvin a hint.
- Hobbes gives Calvin a haircut that quickly goes horribly wrong. Bill Watterson went on record saying that he rarely laughs when he draws, but drawing the results of Hobbes' work actually cracked him up.note
- "...Our first president was NOT Chef Boy-Ar-Dee, and you ought to be ashamed to have turned in such preposterous answers!"
- The strips where Calvin and Susie play house and Calvin just phones it in the whole time. Of course, Susie has some pretty ridiculous ideas too. What really makes it work it that it's all drawn in the style of a serious, soap opera comic.
- At one point Calvin is told to stop making a particular face, as it will freeze that way if he does so. This kicks off a week of strips containing the following:
- Calvin claims to his dad that his face really has frozen, and he comes to the dinner table looking like that. After failing to explain why his face can't return to normal, he throws on a sheet with eye-holes proclaiming "Look, Elephant Man!"
- Then right afterward, he and Hobbes make the face to Susie, and through her point-of-view, you just see Calvin standing there saying "Hi, Susie" with Hobbes as a stuffed tiger sitting next to him. She, inevitably, says his "frozen" face is an improvement.
- Calvin randomly decides to abandon another homework assignment by pretending to be a zombie, as "the living dead don't need to solve word problems." Hobbes gets a shock when he sees Zombie Calvin, but then reconsiders:Panel 1: (Calvin walking about with zombie-grimace face)
Panel 2: (approaches Hobbes, who jumps in surprise at the sight)
Panel 3: (beat panel as Hobbes considers Calvin)
Panel 4: (Hobbes adopts a similar expression and falls in with Calvin)
Hobbes: (thinking) "When in Rome..."
- This exchange:Calvin: Cigars are all the rage, Dad. You should smoke cigars!
Mom: Flatulence could be all the rage, but it would still be disgusting.
- "So if we subtract 5 from..." "OUR FEARLESS HERO ESCAPES!!!"
- "Hello, speaking... HE WHAT?!"
- Calvin and Hobbes are at Susie's birthday party, and the birthday girl is passing around paper plates. Calvin confides in Hobbes his hopes that the cake isn't something gross, like coconut. Hobbes assures him that it's chocolate.Susie: [Off-panel] HEY! WHO CUT A PIECE OF MY CAKE ALREADY?! I DIDN'T EVEN GET TO BLOW OUT THE CANDLES!!
Hobbes: [while Calvin Face Palms] It's nice and moist, too.
- In one Sunday strip, Calvin and Hobbes are outside walking through the snow;Calvin: I asked dad if he wanted to see some New Years resolutions I wrote. He said he'd be glad to, and he was pleased to see I was taking an interest in self-improvement. I told him the resolutions weren't for me, they were for him. That's why we're outside now.
Hobbes: I wondered what the rush was.
- An entire Sunday comic is devoted to Calvin's dinner reciting the "To be or not to be" soliloquy from Hamlet to him. It then, after a short pause, begins singing "Feelings" by Morris Albert. Calvin eats it before it can do anything else. In the last panel, his mom remarks happily about how quickly he finished eating, and with a look of supreme disgust Calvin says "Let's not have this ever again."
- When Calvin tells his mom he DOES have common sense when he's told he lacks it, he turns to the reader and says happily "I just choose to ignore it!"
- In one arc, both Calvin and Susie have been sent to the principal's office (Susie was passing notes, and Calvin basically announced it for all the world to hear). They become worried that they may be spanked, and when Mr. Spittle comes to talk to them, they start freaking out, culminating in, "WAAHHHH!! I WISH WE WERE DEAD!!"Mr. Spittle: (Thinking, giving Aside Glance) I hate this job.
- Beforehand, Susie says that they can't paddle her because she's a girl. Calvin wonders what that has to do with it, and Susie replies with "Girls have more delicate heinies."
- One in a multitude of strips where Hobbes and Calvin fight. In the middle of it, Susie walks in.Susie: I'm not sure what's weirder, that you're fighting a stuffed animal, or that you seem to be losing.
Calvin: I'M NOT LOSING! HOBBES CHEATS! Quit it, you! Ow! Stop it!
- Calvin's face just before he and Hobbes start fighting: "MUCHAS SMOOCHES?!"
- Calvin's attempt to hit Susie with a pine cone, only for her to throw it back at him with her lacrosse stick.
- Susie and Calvin discuss their roles in the school play, which is about food groups.Calvin: I'm still learning [my lines]. Being an onion is difficult, you know. What are you?
Susie: I'm "fat."
Calvin: No, I mean in the play.
(next panel shows Calvin dazed on his back)
Susie: (standing in a dominant posture) ANYONE ELSE WANT TO SAY IT?!
Calvin: Aack! Understudy! Understudy!
- Before that; When his mom has him don his costume for the first time and asks for his opinion on it....
- The Duplicate(s) arc.
Hobbes: He's a duplicate of you alright.
- When Calvin creates the first duplicate to clean his room and do his homework for him, the clone inevitably runs away to goof off, just as Calvin was planning to do:
Calvin: What do you mean? This guy is a complete jerk!
Miss Wormwood: Yes, you were, Calvin. Didn't you do your problem?
- Calvin and the multiple duplicates agree to split up going to school. When Duplicate #5 is asked to demonstrate a problem assigned the previous day, he insists he wasn't there.
Duplicate #5: I'm not Calvin. I'm Duplicate Number Five. Duplicate Two was here yesterday, not me. We're all taking turns. Number Two will be back next week, and you can ask him then.
(later in Mr. Spittle's office)
Duplicate #5: Look, I don't see what's so hard about this!
- And the worst part of the whole thing for Calvin? Not only is he getting framed by his own doubles, but he's upset that he doesn't even get to have the fun of doing the stuff he's getting blamed for.
- The retelling of Calvin's favorite book, Hamster Huey and the Gooey Kablooie as told by Calvin's dad, frustrated over having to read it night after night. While we never get to hear the story, we see Calvin and Hobbes lying in bed afterwards with their eyes as big as dinner plates.Calvin: Wow, the story was different that time!
Hobbes: Do you think the townsfolk will ever find Hamster Huey's head?
- Pretty much the entire bat report arc. There's a damn good reason why the scene with Calvin reading his report provides the page image for Critical Research Failure. Even funnier in the Anniversary edition, where Watterson mentions that, after that arc, he learned far more about Bats than he'd ever cared to know. You can start it here.All the students but Calvin: BATS AREN'T BUGS!!!
- After Calvin gives Susie her Valentine ("Susie, I hate you. Drop dead."), she's furious.Susie: Calvin you baloney brain! You sent me a hate-mail Valentine and a crummy bunch of dead flowers! So here's a Valentine for you, you insensitive clod! (nails him point blank with a snowball and walks away, smiling and thinking) 'A Valentine and flowers! He likes me!'
Calvin, buried in the snow: (thinks) She noticed! She likes me!
- "WHAT'S THIS?! SANTA FLAMBE?!" note
- The entire exchange about Calvin being called "Boy of Destiny."Miss Wormwood: Here is your paper, Susie. Very good. Here is yours, Calvin. By the way, you can stop signing your paper "Calvin, Boy of Destiny," and I think your time would be better spent studying than drawing "official notary seals" at the bottom.
Susie: Everyone I know thinks your destiny is a private cage in the primate house.
Calvin: Your destiny is to have a smile that's all gums.
- When Calvin secedes from his family to go to the Yukon, he changes his mind after roughly a morning spent in the woods, leaving Hobbes behind in his rush to get back home. His parents go out there after dark to look, and his Mom actually calls out Hobbes' name. The sheepish look on her face coupled with his dad's reaction seals it.Dad: I may be crazy, but I'm not as crazy as you.
- One where Calvin notices a door that he had never seen before in the hallway. He opens it, to find a gigantic Muppet-like version of his mom offering oatmeal. Calvin immediately panics, knowing this to be off, while "Mom" keeps trying to offer the oatmeal. Even funnier when you realize it's a reference to when scientists use a bird puppet to feed baby birds.Calvin: What's going on?! This isn't my house and you're not my mom! (two panels later) Auugh! I'm trapped in a lab and they're trying to make me imprint on my species before releasing me back to the wild!
(Cue outside shot of a large scale model of Calvin's house in a cage, and two aliens in lab coats, one with the Mom Muppet)
Alien with Muppet: He's onto us Wayne.
Wayne: There goes our funding.
(Calvin wakes up, heads to the table, where Mom is bringing him a bowl of oatmeal, wearing the same outfit)
Mom: Morning. Here's your breakfast. What's wrong?
Calvin: ...Prove you're my Mom...
- This strip is probably one of Susie's finest moments of Snark:Calvin: Hello Susie. This is Calvin. I've lost my homework assignment. Can you tell me what we're supposed to read 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 Hobbes are walking through the snow when Calvin begins ranting. Keep in mind that everything Calvin says here, except for his last line, is spread over three panels before Hobbes finally gets a word in.Calvin: Some people complain all the time! They complain about the least little thing! If something bugs them, they just never let go of it! They just go on and on, long after anyone else is interested! It's just complain, complain, complain! People who gripe all the time really drive me nuts! You'd think they'd change the subject after a while, but they never do! They just keep griping until you start to wonder "What's wrong with this idiot? But they go on complaining and repeating what they've already said!
Hobbes: [with a long-suffering look] Maybe they're not very self-aware.
Calvin: Boy, that's another thing that gets on my nerves!
- Even funnier is that Word of God is that this was inspired by his wife making a similar comment.
- One story where Calvin and Hobbes are playing with a Ouija board. Calvin decides to ask it if he will grow up to be President. The Ouija board's reply? "G-O-D-F-O-R-B-I-D."Calvin: When I want an editorial, I'll ask for it, you stupid board!
- Also, in the previous strip, Calvin asks the Ouija board, "Who is smarter? Calvin or Hobbes?"Hobbes: Quit resisting, you! It's heading for the "H"!
Calvin: Ha! It's obviously trying to (mmf) go to "C", you cheater!
- Also, in the previous strip, Calvin asks the Ouija board, "Who is smarter? Calvin or Hobbes?"
- In one strip, Calvin bemoans how cold it is and asks why they can't turn up the heat. His dad explains that it would cost too much money and waste valuable energy.
- In an early Rosalyn story arc, Rosalyn puts Calvin and Hobbes to bed early, as usual. Calvin and Hobbes decide to make a lot of noise to annoy her.Rosalyn: Calvin, I just wanted to remind you that sleeping in a bed is a privilege. The basement is sure to be a lot less cozy.
Hobbes: (whispering) What did she mean, "the basement"?
- Calvin's feud with his bicycle is good for a few laughs. One strip has the bike jump Calvin, who returns with a lasso and ties the bike to a tree.Calvin's Dad: Sheesh, you buy the kid a good, expensive lock, and look.
- Calvin has a perfect retort for the stock "Do you have enough for everyone" question about chewing gum in class:Miss Wormwood: Calvin, are you chewing gum in class?
Miss Wormwood: Do you have enough to share with everybody?
Calvin: (pulls a giant glob of gum out of his mouth) Probably, but do you really think they'd want it??
(cut to Calvin in the principal's office)
Calvin: It was her idea...
- Yet another of Calvin's attempts to get out of answering a question in class:Miss Wormwood: OK, you've all ready the chapter, so let's review. Calvin, where was the Byzantine empire?
(Calvin makes a face of shock, then ponders)
Calvin: I'll take "Outer Planets" for $100.
- Calvin walks by Mom, proclaiming himself to be her "big accomplishment in life." Cut to Mom talking to Dad: "I'm depressed."
- "It's the Show and Tell that was never shown or told! Ha ha ha! AH HA HA HA HA!""Everyone wants the same old thing."
- Throughout the first camping arc a constant downpour followed Calvin's family. When Dad decides to pack it up, it stops raining. He slaps his forehead in frustration, and in the last panel we go to Calvin and Hobbes planning on looking up whatever he said in the dictionary.
- The first three panels of following day's strip has Dad trying to apologize for the Horrible Camping Trip. The fourth panel:Mom: Calvin, tell your dad any judge would take this trip as grounds for divorce.
Calvin: (smiling) Dad, Mom says...
Dad: All right! All right!
- The first three panels of following day's strip has Dad trying to apologize for the Horrible Camping Trip. The fourth panel:
- Calvin comes up with a technically correct answer to another question in class:(Calvin imagining himself as a pterosaur, flying over the sea)
Plesiosaur (lunging out of the ocean): CALVIN, PAY ATTENTION!!
Ms. Wormwood (back in reality): We're studying Geography! Now what state do you live in?
Ms. Wormwood: Sighhhh... I don't suppose I can argue with that... (walks away)
(The pterosaur flies on)
- Watterson based this exchange on an exaggeration of his wife's occasional Cloud Cuckoolander non-sequiturs.Calvin: Do you know why birds don't write their memoirs? Because birds don't lead epic lives, that's why! Who wants to read about what a bird does? Nobody!
Hobbes: (stares wordlessly)
Calvin: This is changing the subject, but have you ever noticed that somebody can be completely looney and not even be aware of it? What are you supposed to do, just let it slide?
Hobbes: Sometimes if you let him, he'll top himself.
Calvin: I say punch 'em then and there!
- One strip has the duo playing pirate and Hobbes hands Calvin a shoe declaring it their "booty."
- In another strip, the two are playing cowboy. Calvin is "shot" and Hobbes gives the boy a maraca. When asked what it's for, Hobbes explains that it's Calvin's "Death rattle."
- "WHAT ON EARTH AM I DOING HERE ON THIS BEAUTIFUL DAY?! THIS IS THE ONLY LIFE I'VE GOT!! AAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!!!!!"Miss Wormwood: (carrying Calvin back to class) Next time, take a drink of water and a few deep breaths.
- Dad reading a bedtime story to Calvin about a disembodied hand. He puts one hand up his shirt and pretends to strangle himself, making Calvin faint. He then says, "I should have thought of that years ago."
- Calvin calls his dad at work, begging to read him a story.Dad: Right, right. This is the story of the hydraulic pump (Fig. 1), the wheel shaft flange (Fig. 2), and the evil patent infringement.
Calvin: I want a good story.
- Watterson explained he made Calvin's dad, like his own dad, a patent attorney because "specific things are funnier than generalities".
- Calvin points out to Hobbes how, when you're a kid, you accept everything your parents do as normal regardless of what they do. Then Calvin's dad bursts in.Dad: Ahh, what a day! Up at 6:00, a ten-mile run in the sleet, and now a big bowl of plain oatmeal! How I love the crazy hedonism of weekends!
Calvin: Okay, maybe "normal" is too strong a word.
Hobbes: I think we'd know normal if we saw it.
Dad: My glasses are fogged and I can't blow my nose but my heart rate is the envy of men half my age.Calvin: Weirdness always starts at home.Hobbes: Even when you're looking for it, you're never prepared for it.
- Topped off by Bill Watterson's comment in the Tenth Anniversary Book.
- Another strip has Calvin and Hobbes out looking for weirdness in nature, with little luck, only to run into Dad on the way home, in full bike regalia.
- In one of their baseball games, Hobbes hits the ball so far out that he can make a home run long before Calvin ever gets the chance to tag him out. To make the loss even more humiliating, Hobbes purposely stalls himself while taunting Calvin, and makes a home run just before Calvin, running with all his might, tries to tag him. Calvin's facial expression in the second-to-last panel is hilarious.
Mom: (putting bandages on Calvin) Stitches for Hobbes, bandages for you...how on Earth did you do this to yourself?
- The cherry on top is the last panel with Calvin's mom patching up him and Hobbes after the game and (presumably) the off-screen fight that followed it:
Calvin: Don't feel sorry for him! He—ow—deserved it!
- This classic strip:Dad: I cleaned and oiled your bicycle, Calvin. What do you say I take some time and help you learn how to ride it?
(the next panel, which is twice the length of a regular panel, is just Calvin running away from his dad and screaming "NO-O-O-O-O-O!" in huge font)
Dad: (with an "I don't get paid enough for this" look on his face) You're welcome.
Calvin: (off-panel) Mom! Mom! Dad hates me!
Mom: AUGH!!! BIKE TRACKS ON THE FLOOR!! OIL ON THE COUCH!!Dad: WHERE'S THAT KID?!!Calvin: One day, our neighbors are going to look outside and wonder why there's a grown man in kids clothes sitting on our roof.
- By far one of the best bike-themed strips (and one of the last ones at that) had Calvin answer a knock on the door... only for the bike to burst in, chasing him all over the house, with Calvin barely managing to escape to the roof outside his room and locking the window behind him. Unfortunately, there's a good deal of collateral damage...
- One storyline turned out to be a prank on the reader. Calvin orders a copter beanie from the back of a cereal box, convinced it can actually fly. Several days of Calvin obsessing over the beanie ensue. Then it finally arrives, and the readers undoubtedly expect the obvious disappointment... but it requires assembly and Calvin breaks a part, seemingly derailing the entire plot. Readers had to wait two whole days to find out that it was just the battery casing and it could be fixed.
- Add in that while Calvin is super happy that his dad fixed it for him, he is so amazed he shouts it out like he's announcing the Second Coming. His mom's amazement at it just seals the deal and leaves his dad exasperated at their response.
- A Sunday Strip has a song sparrow perched on a tree branch, preparing to "burst forth in rapturous melody". The sparrow then starts screaming the words to "On Top of Spaghetti". The last panel has Calvin's mom kicking him out of the house.
- Mom asks Calvin why he's hiding in the bushes and he tells her to go away because he's going to throw some crab apples at Susie. Mom tells him not to do this because crab apples are hard and he could hurt someone. Calvin grudgingly agrees not to. In the last panel, Susie asks Calvin why he's hiding in the bushes and he tells her to go away because he's going to throw a squishy old tomato at Mom.
- Dad, once again, as The Gadfly who Lies to Children:Calvin: Dad, how come old photographs are always black and white?
Dad: Those old photographs are in color. It's just the world was black and white then... The world didn't turn color until sometime in the 1930s, and it was pretty grainy color for a while, too.
- Just the fact that Calvin buys it, every time his dad tells him something like that. One strip has his dad claiming that when the sun sets, it settles in the hills of Arizona. The last panel has Calvin getting ready for bed, looking impressed.Calvin: I hope I'm as smart as Dad when I grow up!
Mom: Why? What's he been telling you this time?
- Just the fact that Calvin buys it, every time his dad tells him something like that. One strip has his dad claiming that when the sun sets, it settles in the hills of Arizona. The last panel has Calvin getting ready for bed, looking impressed.
- In the baseball story arc, Calvin and Hobbes are in bed after Calvin got hit by the grounder. This exchange occurs.Hobbes: Your nose is probably all clogged up now, huh?
Calvin: *snrkk* Yeah, why?
Hobbes: If you snore, I'm tilting the bed so you roll out the window.
Calvin: It's always nice to have a sympathetic friend to talk to.
- Mom yells at Calvin to quit running around the house. Calvin keeps running, crashes into a table, and knocks over a lamp.Mom: WHAT DID I JUST TELL YOU?!?
Calvin: Beats me. Weren't you listening either?
- In one G.R.O.S.S. meeting that degenerates into a power struggle between its Supreme Dictator-for-Life and President-and-First-Tiger, Hobbes holds up the official club notebook showing a page on which he just wrote "HOBS = GRAT" (Hobbes equals great) and says, "Now it's a law!"
- "I don't know whether your grasp of theology or meteorology is more appalling."
- Calvin asks Hobbes to draw a dinosaur whose skeleton they made out of assorted junk. Since they used a soda bottle for the head, it comes out looking like Birdo.Calvin: What's it doing? Whistling?
Hobbes: You tell me... Maybe it's puckering up.
- In one arc, after accidentally breaking his dad's binoculars, Calvin decides to replace them. He and Hobbes pool their money and find they have about four dollars. Then Calvin calls the store.Calvin: (on the phone) Hello? I'd like to find out how much a good pair of binoculars costs... ONE TO SIX HUNDRED DOLLARS?! DO YOU HAVE ANY IDEA WHAT MY DAD'S GOING TO DO TO ME?!?Hobbes: He won't stop at killing you, that's for sure. Uh uh.
- Not to mention Calvin revealing the actual condition of said binoculars after said breakage...
- In one strip, Calvin's in a bad mood, but Mom ain't having it. Calvin angrily grumbles that his biological mother would try to cheer him up. To which Mom gets on her knees and tells Calvin this;Mom: Kid, anyone but your biological mother would have left you to the wolves long ago.
Calvin: Yeah, right. How much did you pay for me?
- One strip has Susie telling Calvin about their new substitute teacher Mr. Kneecapper. Calvin is horrified, and tells Susie about how he (supposedly) killed a kid last year.
- For "Show and Tell", Calvin hasn't brought anything, and instead just tells everyone that his mother goes out to fight crime when he's at school. The teacher sends a note home, and while Mom's exasperated as usual, Dad's just interested in seeing her in that outfit.
- In the introduction to the collection The Complete Calvin and Hobbes, Watterson described his former job doing ad layouts with the following:Watterson: I learned a bit about design doing this job, but one might charitably say the boss had rage issues, so the office environment was dreary and oppressive, except when enlivened with episodes of fire-breathing insanity.
- In one arc, Calvin loses Hobbes when a big dog grabs the tiger and runs off. Susie finds Hobbes and decides to take him home. When Calvin sees Hobbes (In his "person" form usually reserved for their private moments) at Susie's tea party, he thanks her and kisses her hand, much to her confusion.Susie: Well, wasn't Mr. Calvin a gentleman— HEY! WHO ATE ALL THE COOKIES!?
- One Rosalyn arc begins with Calvin yelling in the last panel of the first strip, and continues yelling through all four panels of the next day's strip. The last panel of that strip has mom telling him "For goodness sake, Calvin! Take a breath before you pass out on the floor!"
- One Christmas strip has Calvin writing a letter to Santa about how good he's been all year. Hobbes reads over it and can't control his laughter, much to Calvin's annoyance.Calvin: Perhaps you need a drink of water.Hobbes: (still laughing) I think I do.
Mom: You're going to be one sad little kid on Christmas.
- The Running Gag about Calvin's Christmas wish list consisting mostly of heavy weaponry, like flamethrowers or heat-seeking missiles. Even Lampshaded in one strip.
- In one arc, Calvin and his parents leave the house to go to a wedding for the weekend, but leave Hobbes behind. In one strip, Calvin tells his mom that he can't sleep because he's used to Hobbes' breathing.Mom: Well, you can listen to your dad snoring.
Calvin: That's dad? I thought those were trucks downshifting on the highway.
- Calvin's occasional From the Mouths of Babes moments, especially one early strip where he asks his father why he lives in a house married to Mom instead of an apartment with several scantily clad female roommates. The look on Dad's face in the third panel especially takes the cake, as does the ending.
- Calvin's over-the-top reaction to Hobbes saying that girls are good for smooching."OOOG! AAACK! I GOT THE DRY HEAVES!! YOU'RE DEMOTED FROM FIRST TIGER TO TIGER BULK RATE!"
- After a spat over Calvin's insect collection gets Susie sent to the principal's office, Calvin's initially relieved but then has a massive Oh, Crap! moment upon realizing that she'll probably end up ratting him out. Cut to a relieved Susie with Mr. Spittle, who's holding a massive file.Mr. Spittle: (dryly) Oh, yes, we've got quite a file on our friend, Calvin.
- Which is impressive in itself given that Calvin's supposedly just a 1st-grader.
Susie: You're going up the river, Calvin.
- Right before that, while she's walking down the hallway to the principal's office, Susie muses if they make the hallways long on purpose.
- After she gets back to class, Calvin asks if she told on him and Susie just turns to him with the smuggest look possible.
- Hobbes greeting pounces on Calvin when he comes home from school have always been funny. In one strip, Calvin attempts to get proof of Hobbes in the act to prove to his parents of Hobbes actions by using a camera. He succeeds in snapping a picture before getting tackled by Hobbes, but the actual picture shows Hobbes in stuffed animal form seemingly jumping at the camera.Calvin: (shows his dad said picture) See!? See!? That's what he does every time I come home!(the following scene)Hobbes: He thinks you tossed me in the air!? Well I've never been so insulted in my life!
- "Heh heh, just, uh, clapping the erasers, heh heh..." (cough)
- In one strip, Calvin gives his mom an impromptu lecture on how gravity works in space. He then caps this off with, "Speaking of gravity, I dropped a pitcher of lemonade in the kitchen when my roller skates slipped." The final panel has Mom mopping the floor with an ugly expression.Mom: How can kids know so much and still be so dumb?
- Calvin loves to give speeches about how deadly the various hills they sled down are, but when Hobbes says he isn't ready to go down Suicide Slope, Calvin seemingly tries to sway him by continuing his speech.Hobbes: This isn't helping.
- During the arc where Calvin fakes amnesia, he gets sent to his room by his dad. Calvin winks at Hobbes, and...Calvin: AAUUGHH! Mister, there's a tiger in this room!
- One strip has Calvin's oatmeal come to life and make a break for freedom, valiantly pursued by Calvin. The funniest part are the onomatopeias as it splorts around the kitchen that might actually be part of its speech.Oatmeal: Gagpth! I'm free! blaugh blork! ick oog
Calvin: Yaah! Death to oatmeal!
Oatmeal: agh bloop org
Calvin: You'll never escape, vile glop! Die! Die!
Oatmeal: ig ork gook
Mom: IT'S YOUR FAULT WE DIDN'T HAVE A SWEET LITTLE GIRL! YOUR STUPID CHROMOSOME!! NOT MINE!
- And then Mom sees the mess, so she takes it out on Dad.
(Mom stomps off. Dad goes back to his reading)
Dad: (...I just live here...)
- The entire arc about Calvin dressing as Stupendous Man to answer questions on his quiz is hilarious from start to finish.
"Five years until retirement, five years until retirement..."
- When Miss Wormwood goes out into the hallway to find Calvin, she repeats this Survival Mantra to herself:
- As she drags Calvin back, she has this to say.
- When Calvin is asked what important event took place on December 16, 1773note :Calvin: I do not believe in linear time. There is no past and future: all is one, and existence in the temporal sense is illusory. This question, therefore, is meaningless and impossible to answer.Calvin: (looking at the reader) When in doubt, deny all terms and definitions.
- In one storyline, Calvin has the bright idea of pushing his mom's car out of the garage instead of asking her to move it. As Hobbes predicts, it goes horribly wrong.Calvin: (staring dead-eyed at the car in the ditch) My life is flashing before my eyes.Hobbes: Yeah, I doubt your parents figured you'd wreck their car before you were 16.
- In one strip, Miss Wormwood asks Calvin to demonstrate a math problem on the chalkboard. Calvin responds in a robotic voice, "Yes, Miss Worm-wood. I would be hap-py to do an-y-thing you ask. I have been suc-cess-ful-ly pro-grammed to obey all di-rect-tives. I have no will of my own... my own... my own... my own..." Which, naturally results in Calvin getting sent to the principal's office.. Miss Wormwood's exasperated expression in the third panel really sells it.Calvin: Doesn't anybody appreciate theater?!
- One of the final Sunday strips has Calvin rushing to the bus stop only to forget his lunch. Calvin runs back to retrieve it, unaware that his mother ran out with the bag. This results in Calvin missing the bus so his mom has to drive him to school. While walking to class, Calvin realizes he forgot something else... and the last panel has his mother screaming because he left a stack of books at home. Panels of this strip provide the page image for Silence Is Golden.
- In another Sunday strip, Calvin and Hobbes go fishing, but Calvin gets bored of waiting for a bite and gets the idea to throw a giant rock into the water to blast the fish out. Predictably, they both get extremely wet, with Hobbes glaring at Calvin, who has an apologetic/nervous smile. The last panel:Calvin: (as Hobbes is about to hurl him into the water) OK, it was a bad idea! But I got wet too, right?Hobbes: No, no, your idea was fine! We just didn't throw in a big enough object!
- This:Calvin: (after hearing a loud thump) What was that!?Hobbes: It's Santa! Listen, he's saying something!(final panel reveals Dad dropped a HUGE present on his toe)Mom: Quiet, dear! Calvin will hear you!
- The following day's strip. Calvin and Hobbes celebrate because they see presents under the tree. The last panel:Dad: Oh, no... it's not morning already?Mom: (looking at her alarm clock) Well, technically, yes...
- When Calvin is asked what year the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock:Calvin: 1620Calvin: As you can see, I've memorized this utterly useless fact long enough to pass a test question. I now intend to forget it forever. You've taught me nothing except how to cynically manipulate the system. Congratulations.Calvin: (looking at the reader) They say the satisfaction of teaching makes up for the lousy pay.
- A slightly darker one, Calvin and Hobbes are having an in depth discussion about why we have a sense of humor, and tend to laugh at absurdity. Hobbes concludes that if we didn't laugh at things that don't make sense, we wouldn't be able to react to a lot in life. As he walks alway, Calvin is left to mull that over before finally saying, "I can't tell if that's funny, or really scary."
- When Susie ropes Calvin into one of her games where they're married and she's the President of the United States, he quickly ruins it by saying the dinner he made for her is dog food and that she's the "President of Deluded Fruitcakes Anonymous." When she protests, he quickly pulls a Screw This, I'm Outta Here!, strips down to his underwear, declares himself "Wonga-Taa, King of the Jungle!" and leaves to go play with Hobbes. But the best part? Nearly the entire strip is drawn in a serious, realistic style, so from the reader's point of view, it looks like a grown man arguing with his wife before he suddenly strips down to his underwear and inexplicably swings off on a vine into the distance.
- Calvin imagines himself as a dinosaur terrorizing his school playground during recess. In the final panel, Miss Wormwood wonders where he is since she and the other teachers lined up the other children to come inside. One of his classmates tells her that he's "out by the swings, and he's yelling or something!"
- This strip where Calvin catches his dad morally off-guard;Calvin: Do you support the free expressions of ideas in our society?
Dad: Sure. That's first on our Bill of Rights.
Calvin: So you would be against censorship and the suppression of ideas you found distasteful.
Dad: Right. You've got to take the bad with the good.
Calvin: So you wouldn't object to me being exposed to art, movies or music that some people think is offensive and shocking? (Dad gets an "Uh oh, what did I walk into?" expression)
Dad: OK, first let me explain about our responsibility to be culturally educated and able to make critical distinctions about...
Calvin: YOU'RE STALLLLING!
- This gem:Calvin: (greeting his mom) Hi, it's me. Your big accomplishment in life!(Cut to next panel, where Calvin's mom is sunk to the couch)Mom: (to Dad) I'm depressed.
Funny / Calvin and Hobbes