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Parental Bonus / Calvin and Hobbes

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Since Calvin has an unusually large vocabulary for a six-year-old and tends to discuss complex philosophy, reading the strip as a child and as an adult are completely different experiences.

  • In one strip, Calvin's mom is watching TV and Calvin is complaining about all the kissing the characters are doing. His mom announces "bed time" and carries him up to his room. The last panel has a bewildered Calvin remarking, "There's a connection here, I just know it."
  • One strip had Calvin ask his mother why it was "worth four dollars a minute to talk on the telephone to goofy ladies who wear their underwear on TV commercials".
  • Calvin also asked his dad why "he lives in this house with Mom instead of an apartment with several scantily-clad female roommates." Quite explicably, this leads to him getting all of his television privileges revoked.
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  • Then there's this one program we get to overhear him watching (note that the following is punctuated by kissing noises):
    "Oh Mary, you look ravishing in that skimpy negligee!
    "Mmm...darling, don't you wish we were married?"
    "But we are! ...Or did you mean to each other?"
    "I've got to have you! Let's murder our spouses!"
    "Murder?! — You sick animal! I love it when you talk that way! Come here!"
    Calvin: (smiling widely) Sometimes I think I learn more when I stay home from school.
  • A number of early strips see Calvin trying to get into or rent R-rated movies with pretty suggestive titles, like "Venusian Vampire Vixens," "Attack of the Co-Ed Cannibals," or "Cannibal Stewardess Vixens Unchained."
  • In one strip, Calvin's gum-chewing leads to the memorable line from Hobbes: "An orifice is an amusing thing, all right."
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  • At the end of one strip, Calvin's dad receives a call from his wife at work to which he answers: "Look, Honey, could we talk about that operation some other time?" What's the context? Well, Calvin had just been asking his mom for a baby brother, but only so he could have someone smaller to bully.
  • There's a strip where Hobbes mentions that he reads National Geographic for the hot tigress babes on the cover. Well played, Mr. Watterson. (Of course, it would only be porn if the tigresses were shaved.)
  • For one show and tell, Calvin told his class that his mother dons "a patriotic leotard, a cape, and knee-high, high-heeled boots, and she fights crime as a super-heroine" (possibly something like this). In the last panel, as his mom is handing his dad the note from the teacher, he remarks, "Wow. Show me that outfit sometime."
  • This strip. Not many non-German kids are expected to be familiar with the phrase "Jawohl, mein Führer!"
    Rosalyn: (grabs Calvin by his shirt) Care to repeat that comment?
    Calvin: I said I'm not going anywhere. Leggo.
  • One wintertime strip had Susie building a snowman with long hair and bumps on the chest; when questioned by Calvin, she explains that it's actually a snowwoman. The last panel of the strip has Calvin building a snowman, visible only from the back, with his exasperated mother declaring "I don't care. We're not having an anatomically correct snowman in the front yard." Given the snowman's extremely confident stance it was quite impressive.
  • When his mom is sick, Calvin asked if that's because she's going to have a baby. His dad replied not that he knew of...
  • Calvin points out that on the TV listings, a movie has "adult situations." He asks Hobbes what they are. Hobbes responds, "Probably stuff like going to work, paying bills and taxes, taking responsibilities." As Calvin notes that they don't kid around about how they are for "mature audiences," Hobbes claims he never understood how these movies make any money.