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Shout Out / Calvin and Hobbes

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  • The names Calvin and Hobbes are taken from a 16th-century theologian (John Calvin) and a 17th-century philosopher (Thomas Hobbes).
  • In the tenth anniversary book, Watterson notes that Miss Wormwood is named after the apprentice devil in The Screwtape Letters. He also comments on naming his leads after theologian John Calvin and philosopher Thomas Hobbes.
  • Calvin wears the exact same red striped shirt and black pants as Linus. Not surprisingly, Bill Watterson is a big Peanuts fan.
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  • In an early Sunday strip when Calvin and his parents went to an art museum, in one panel, his parents are admiring a Krazy Kat landscape. If they're not in museums, they should be.
  • Hobbes once does Calvin's hair for school picture day. Calvin keeps asking him how it looks and Hobbes finally tells him that he looks like Astro Boy. Upon hearing that, Calvin exclaims that he can't wait to get his picture taken.
  • One Spaceman Spiff strip has him finding a planet with a city and civilization that are the size of ants, likely an ode to the episode "The Little People" from The Twilight Zone (1959).
  • In an arc in which Calvin gets turned into an owl with his transmogrifier gun, when he realizes that owls don't have to go to school, he starts singing the "Zip-a-dee-doo-dah" song from Song of the South.
  • Another Disney tribute: "When you wish upon a star, your dreams come true... I WISH I HAD A COOL MILLION DOLLARS, RIGHT NOW!... If Jiminy Cricket was here, I'd skoosh him." In one of the babysitting arcs, Hobbes sarcastically calls Calvin Pinocchio after he unconvincingly tries to lie his way out of another incident with Rosalyn to his mom.
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  • One comic had Calvin wearing a cape and shouting "Up, up, and away!" in an attempt to fly. After he crashes he shouts "Ack! Kryptonite!" And of course, Stupendous Man is heavily based on Superman, with a bit of Batman thrown in as well.
  • There was also a Sunday strip where Stupendous Man reversed time by spinning the earth backwards.
  • When Calvin and Hobbes imagine superheroes going after mundane supervillains, they imagine one attending council meetings and sending letters to the editor. Hobbes then exclaims "Quick! To the Bat-Fax!". In another strip, Calvin manipulates his parents into buying him overpriced museum souvenirs by claiming it's "educational", and then wondering if he could con them into buying him Batman merchandise the same way.
  • In one strip Calvin claimed he was attacked by space aliens that looked like "baked potatoes with ray guns", which could be a reference to the Sontarans from Doctor Who.
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  • After one of Calvin's antics, Rosalyn tells him ''BEDTIME FOR BONZO!"
  • When asked by Miss Wormwood the location of the Byzantine empire, Calvin replies "I'll take Outer Planets for $100."
  • Watterson is apparently a big fan of "Nude Descending a Staircase", since Calvin tries to replicate it twice in two different mediums (snow sculpture and live-action.)
  • On one occasion, Calvin calls Rosalyn "The Babysitter from the Black Lagoon."
  • Elmer Fudd and Bugs Bunny have been featured among the TV shows Calvin watches, judging by the dialogue coming from the TV.
  • Calvin describes his onion costume as Jabba the Hutt meets Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. Also, in one of the Spaceman Spiff comics, he crash lands on a desert planet scorched by twin suns, like Tatooine.
  • Calvin's dad spends one strip criticizing a Merchandise-Driven cartoon, calling it "boring" and "preachy" and saying the animation was very lazy; in the final panel, Calvin rolls his eyes and says: "Meet my dad, the Gene Siskel of Saturday morning cartoons."
  • When Hobbes gives Calvin a bad haircut, Calvin frantically wonders how he can hide it from his mother. Hobbes wraps a towel around his head, calling it the "Lawrence of Arabia look."
  • William Shakespeare is referenced with two comics. In one, Calvin fantasizes his food coming to life and giving Hamlet's "To be or not to be" speech in its entirety. Another has him imagine him and his mom speaking Shakespearean English to each other while he watches a TV version of a play on TV.
  • Calvin tells his mom he wants to grow a long beard "like the guys in ZZ Top".
  • A few strips have Calvin pretending to be a giant monster, his love of monster movies, or even explicitly mentioning Godzilla, such as one Sunday strip where he imagines his mom is "his ancient arch-rival Megalon".
  • In an early fall Sunday strip where Calvin jumps into a pile of fallen leaves. Hobbes suggest that their might be some gross slugs hidden in the pile, which grosses Calvin out enough have him decide to go back inside to watch tv instead. Hobbes suggests that they can watch The Blob (1958) (the strip predates the 1988 remake).
  • In another early Sunday strip, Hobbes is cleaning himself up to go out with Calvin an his parents. He asks Calvin if he should shave, and Calvin says he should leave it and go for a "Don Johnson fuzzy look" (Johnson was the star of the cop show Miami Vice, which had just started airing at the time). After Hobbes puts on a suit, Calvin says he looks right out of GQ.
  • After believing themselves lost in the wilderness forever, Calvin tells Hobbes they can be "modern Robinson Crusoes". They were actually within view of their house though.
  • In the beginning of one story arc, Calvin correctly deduces from seeing his mom taking a shower early that it means she and dad are going out and he'll be stuck at home with Rosalyn. His mom sarcastically congratulates his critical thinking by replying "Brilliant, Holmes".
  • After Calvin loses a game of checkers to Hobbes, he furiously accuses Hobbes of cheating by using a psychic mind-meld to make him lose. In the story arc with the flying carpet, Calvin tells the carpet to go the "warp factor five".
  • In the baseball arc, Moe insults Calvin not signing up for baseball by mockingly asking if he was busy playing with Barbie dolls with the girls instead.
  • In an attempt to act "cool" with Calvin, Hobbes dresses up in Mickey Mouse pants. Calvin facepalms and angrily says he doesn't look cool, he looks like an idiot.
  • In one Sunday strip, Hobbes says if you don't get a goodnight kiss, you get Kafka dreams. Fittingly, this is the same strip where a giant bug appears in Calvin's bed. Another strip also has a similar set up to The Metamorphosis, where Calvin imagines himself waking up in bed having turned into a giant slug.
  • After Calvin complains to his dad that they don't have cable television or a VCR, he gives Calvin a copy of Oliver Twist, saying that Calvin might identify with it.
  • In one camping trip arc, Calvin's mom mockingly calls his dad Conan the Barbarian for repeatedly forcing them out into nature for a vacation.
  • Two different strips had Calvin reading Dick and Jane for his homework.
  • Once, Calvin practiced making cute faces in a mirror to try and convince his mom to buy him a flamethrower. Hobbes isn't convinced his "Bambi eyes" will work. In a different Imagine Spot comic where a group of anthropomorphic deer are shown hunting humans, one deer calls another "Bamb".
  • In the arc where Calvin attempts to freeze his face into a permanent grimace, he puts a cloth over his head in one panel and calls himself "Elephant Man" (granted, he was also a real person, but considering the film had only been out for a few years at the time and won widespread acclaim the reference to the movie specifically is likely).
  • In one strip where Hobbes tricks Calvin into thinking Susie gave him a steamy Valentine's Day card, he starts singing "matchmaker, matchmaker, make me a match..." when the jig is up.
  • An early comic has Calvin swinging on a rope pretending to be Tarzan (complete with his signature yell), while another has him pretending to be Tarzan in his underwear at Susie. Another Sunday comic makes an indirect reference to Tarzan with Calvin pretending to be "Wonga-Taa, King of Jungle" (a title often given to Tarzan), who swings away on a vine.
  • Hobbes is mentioned a few times to be a National Geographic fan, reading both the magazine and watching their nature documentaries on the National Geographic Channel, and one time hoping to have his face on the cover.
  • During the Snow Goon story arc, Hobbes asks Calvin how they killed Frosty at the end of Frosty the Snowman when thinking of ways to get rid of the Snow Goon.
  • One strip start with Calvin asking his mom if he can watch "Killer Prom Queen" on TV. Sound familiar?