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Hypocritical Humor / Calvin and Hobbes

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This trope is one of the staples of the strip's humor, and it's justified in that Calvin is 6 and assumes the world revolves around him:


  • Common jokes involve him attempting to attack Hobbes or Susie with snowballs or other devices, then becoming indignant when they retaliate or make a preemptive strike, or him refusing to do any chores for his mother yet expecting her to do all sorts of favors for him.
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  • Calvin complains about having to walk up hills before sledding down them and asks Hobbes to pull him up on the sled. Hobbes declines, prompting Calvin to grumpily say that "He's so lazy and selfish."
  • Calvin steals Susie's doll to ransom it back for $100 and laughs about it. Next part, Susie swipes Hobbes in revenge to use as leverage, and Calvin rants about how it wasn't fair and that Susie couldn't take a joke. Then angrily grunts that it was "all funny until she did the same thing to me."
  • Perhaps best exemplified when Calvin rants for three panels about people who complain too much. In the fourth panel, Hobbes says (with an eye roll) "Maybe they're not very self-aware," to which Calvin replies, "Boy, that's another thing that gets on my nerves!"
  • Hobbes complains that he hates it when it's so windy, and Calvin responds "You know what I hate?" before launching into a rant about how rude it is when somebody hijacks a conversation to talk about themselves, adding that if he starts a conversation, he wants it to stay on the subject of him. Hobbes then gives him a look.
    Calvin: I also hate it when people look at me all bug-eyed.
    Hobbes: That must happen a lot.
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  • Calvin makes a list called "One Million Things That Bug Me." After listing a half dozen random things, Hobbes pops his head in and says, "What about 'excessively negative people'?" to which Calvin responds, "Yeah, that's a good one... HEY!"
  • Combined with Leaning on the Fourth Wall: a series of four visually identical panels of Calvin and Hobbes talking while facing each other. The subject? How newspaper comics have degenerated into talking heads with little artistry.
  • Calvin announces to Hobbes that he has outgrown morality and "the ends justify the means." After Hobbes shoves him into the mud (because "You were in my way, now you're not—the ends justify the means"), he stipulates that the rule only applies to him.
  • In the duplicator arc where clones of Calvin were made, they choose to go about their own thing not caring if they get in trouble or not since they would just be mistaken for the original anyway.
    Calvin: What a bunch of devious little stinkers! Where'd they learn to misbehave like that!?
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  • After Hobbes misses the point of a Talking Animal joke Calvin tells him.
    Hobbes: Where did the dog learn to talk? (this coming from a tiger who speaks English).
  • Calvin complains that the house is too cold and says that his dad should get a better job so they can afford higher heating bills. Then he asks why the family can't move to Florida.
    Mom: Calvin, pipe down and put on a sweater if you're cold.
    Calvin: And go to all that trouble?!
  • One Sunday strip punchline sums it up, as Calvin attempts to mail his massive Christmas wish list to Santa and has trouble reaching the mailbox, after refusing to ask for anything on Hobbes' behalf.
    Calvin: Look, it's every man for himself in this world. Now give me a boost, will ya?
  • The duo discuss Calvin's Saturday morning habits. Then Hobbes asks whether Calvin doesn't fear that so much violence (in TV) desensitizes him to which Calvin replies something like, "Nah, I'd like to shoot the idiots who think this stuff affects me."
  • Watterson said that the following is an exaggeration of his wife's own abrupt subject changes:
    Calvin: You know why birds don't write their memoirs? Because birds don't lead epic lives, that's why! Who'd want to read what a bird does? Nobody, that's who!
    (Beat Panel)
    Calvin: This is changing the subject, but have you ever noticed how somebody can say something totally loony and not be aware of it? What are you supposed to do, just let it slide??
    Hobbes: Sometimes, if you wait, he'll top himself.
    Calvin: I say just punch 'im then and there!
  • A slight twist on the trope: Calvin is arguing with his parents about having to sit at the dinner table instead of eating in front of the TV. His father says that this is the one time where all distractions can be put aside and they can just enjoy each other's company... right before the phone rings and the mom leaves to talk. Calvin then lampshades this trope by saying, "Go on, Dad. I believe you were saying something funny."
  • Calvin complains of people being so selfish, while (as usual) being very selfish himself, then drives it home further by saying the problem is they're focusing on themselves over him.
  • At the start of one G.R.O.S.S. story, Calvin gives a grand, self-affirming introduction, at the end of which he mentions his humility.
  • Calvin gripes about how irritating bugs are, specifically mentioning their size, their noise, and their way of dizzily speeding about. Hobbes notes that all of those apply to Calvin as well.
  • In one strip, after Susie sees right through Calvin's latest practical joke, he madly shouts to her "Your gender would be a lot more tolerable if it wasn't so darn cynical!" It's interesting to note that Calvin says that women are cynical when he's not exactly Mr. Sunshine himself.

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