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What An Idiot / Calvin and Hobbes

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  • After Calvin proves that he can't be left alone by himself, his parents get him a babysitter named Rosalyn. Rosalyn is gruff and has heard about Calvin's reputation as a Bratty Half-Pint and a loudmouth.
    You'd Expect: For their first meeting that she would try to get on Calvin's wavelength to ensure his best behavior; also, for Calvin's parents to brief her on some of his interests, such as tigers, dinosaurs, and discussing the world's problems.
    Instead: She locks him up in the garage for whatever he did to annoy her. It couldn't have even been big since only an hour passed.
    The Result: Calvin detests Rosalyn after every subsequent visit, even when she tries to be nice and offer to make popcorn. He's, in no order, called the cops, tried to run away from home, tried to tie her up, locked her out of the house, and threatened to flush her homework down the drain. After several arcs of this, only then does Rosalyn get the idea to bribe Calvin by offering to play his favorite game after he finishes his homework. While he's upset that she wins because they're playing Calvin Ball, and she's better at making up rules, it's the only time they actually enjoy each other's company.
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  • In one arc where Rosalyn babysits, she has to study for a science test the following day.
    You'd Expect: Knowing the previous times she has babysat Calvin, for her to realize that this is a bad idea. She needs complete concentration so she can do well on her test and she would be risking another restless night if she watched over Calvin. You'd also expect Calvin's parents to postpone their night out after Rosalyn informs them of her test.
    Instead: She comes over anyway with the promise that she'll have an easy night because Calvin's hiding from her. Calvin slips downstairs after his parents leave to greet Rosalyn. She tells Calvin to be quiet and warns him not to touch her notes which she leaves strewn on the table. Calvin steals them and threatens to flush them down the toilet.
  • Calvin and Hobbes want to set up their G.R.O.S.S. headquarters in the garage where a car is taking up most of the room. Hobbes suggests that to Calvin that he could ask his mom to move the car out of the garage.
    You'd Expect: Calvin to do just that. If Mom says no, they can set up their club somewhere else (subsequently, they do so in their treehouse).
    Instead: He and Hobbes push it out of the garage where it rolls down the driveway and ends up in a ditch.
    The Result: Calvin goes My God, What Have I Done? and runs into the woods after making sandwiches. It turns out his parents were more worried about him than the car.
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  • Calvin finds Susie's Binky Betsy doll on the sidewalk and decides to hold the toy for ransom. He drafts an "anonymous" ransom note demanding $100 if Susie wants to see Binky Betsy again. He and Hobbes write it with cut and pasted letters from the newspaper.
    You'd Expect: Calvin to avoid drawing attention to himself on the ransom note or to at least figure out that "anonymous" means nameless.
    Instead: He signs the note "Sincerely, Calvin", at the end (presumably also in cut and pasted letters).
    The Result: Susie, upon reading the note, quickly realizes that Calvin stole Binky Betsy, and decides to steal Hobbes in retaliation. Luckily for Calvin, he and Hobbes reunite by the end of the story arc.
  • Calvin completely forgets his class's insect collection assignment and he tries to enlist Susie's aid (despite her objections) when he hastily puts it together without much success. He then asks her to assist in making up scientific names for his four "bugs" (only the ant and the fly are true insects) without drawing attention to the teacher.
    You'd Expect: Susie to simply ignore him since she knows his "project" is going to fail anyway or raise her hand to notify Miss Wormwood since she usually does this.
    Instead: She shushes him, drawing Miss Wormwood's attention to her and getting her sent to the front of the classroom.
    Thus: Susie is (understandably) ticked about this and feels Calvin should have received this penalty instead. She receives a note from Calvin passed to her and isn't pleased with what it says.
    You'd Then Expect: Susie to either quietly discard the note and, once again, either ignore him or raise her and show the teacher the note (after all, it does have Calvin's signature).
    Instead: She starts to write a hateful note back to him, only to get caught by Miss Wormwood again and sent to Mr. Spittle's office.
    Luckily: Mr. Spittle bails her out and Calvin gets in a ton of hot water for it.
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  • When the family goes to the zoo, Calvin and Hobbes get separated from Mom and Dad. Calvin then accidentally leaves Hobbes behind at the nearby benches and follows a woman whom he mistakes for his Mom. He goes Oh, Crap! when she says he was with the wrong person. She then kindly asks if he's lost and what his mom looks like.
    You'd Expect: Calvin would stay with her until she can get a zoo employee to watch him and call his parents.
    Instead: He wanders away trying to find Hobbes and his parents. Then he goes to the tiger pit to ask them if they've seen their "relative" Hobbes.
    The Result: Adult Fear ensues for Mom and Dad, especially when they find Hobbes on the bench and note that Calvin goes everywhere with him. Dad fortunately through logic figures out that Calvin must be at the tiger pit, sprinting when he considers the possibility that Calvin may have climbed into the area to find Hobbes. After they are reunited though Dad is sarcastic, Mom tells Calvin that he should have gotten an adult for help rather than ask for advice from a bunch of tigers.
  • In the duplicator arc, Calvin creates a clone of himself using his cardboard box. The duplicate then makes four other copies without his knowing, and the doppelgängers get Calvin in a heap of trouble with his mother. Calvin later decides to send one clone to school five days of the week.
    You'd Expect: Calvin to brief his duplicates on what they should do in school. When they are addressed there—or anywhere else for that matter—they shouldn't reference that they're clones. The duplicate who attended should detail everyone else on Miss Wormwood's lesson plan for that day. Finally, Calvin should give his clones directions to his classroom and locker.
    Instead: Calvin apparently doesn't do either of these. The duplicates insist on being called their numbers which gets all of them sent to the principal's office. This only dawns on Calvin after a clone gets sent there for the third day in a row, to which he says this doesn't happen even to him every day.
    To Make Matters Worse: Number two asks Susie where his locker is instead of Calvin himself, and nobody informs number five on what Miss Wormwood taught number two the day before.
  • In one Rosalyn arc, Calvin tries to prevent his parents from leaving the house for Rosalyn to watch over by hiding his mother's shoes.
    You'd Expect: Calvin to keep quiet about it and pretend to be oblivious to what's going on.
    Instead: He tries to shoo Rosalyn out but when his dad questions him, he points out his mom cannot leave with her shoes missing. Cue stern look from his Dad and an "Oh, Crap!" Smile from Calvin.
    • Shortly after that, Rosalyn sends Calvin to bed earlier than usual, prompting Calvin to get back at her with a prank. He goes downstairs pretending to have heard a thump from outside and asks her to check.
      You'd Expect: Rosalyn, knowing Calvin's a little terror for her to put up with, to see through his trick and send him back to his bedroom.
      Instead: She goes outside to investigate and doesn't realize she had been duped until Calvin locks her outside.
      Luckily: Eventually, Calvin's parents let Rosalyn back into the house whereupon his mother scolds him in that locking Rosalyn outside could've put him in danger.
  • In the baseball arc, Calvin finds out the boys had recently begun playing baseball at recess. In a rare case of civil interaction, he confides in Susie his dislike of organized sports and later signs up under protest when Moe teases him. At home, Calvin's father tries to convince him to see value in the sport but he still continues to object.
    You'd Expect: Calvin's father to properly teach him how baseball works and offer some basic tips (e.g. that players are out after three strikes, one should never catch their own team's ball etc.).
    Instead: He simply does a practice run without actually teaching him anything which results in Calvin getting a nosebleed on his first try, upsetting him further. At recess the following day, he introduces himself to Mr. Lockjaw, the coach, who recognizes he had signed up late.
    You'd Then Expect: Mr. Lockjaw to brief Calvin on how baseball works and what he's expected to do for the team, especially since he's a six-year-old with no athletic experience and had just signed up for the sport.
    Instead: He doesn't instruct Calvin either and just sends him out to play left field. Sure enough, Calvin is bored and perplexed as to what he should do until someone calls for a left-fielder to catch the ball. He does so by mistake and ends up getting his own team out which results in the boys openly berating and insulting him for it, one of them even going so far as to ask the coach if he can hit Calvin with a baseball bat.
    You'd Then Expect: Mr. Lockjaw to demand the boys stop harassing Calvin and/or threaten to cancel recess baseball if it persists.
    Instead: He does nothing about it and when Calvin tells him he wants to quit, he calls him a "quitter", thus both he and the boys get away with it.
    Afterwards: Calvin is understandably dejected following the incident. However, it does result in him and Hobbes creating Calvinball which goes on to become one of the more beloved parts of the comic strip.
  • In a Sunday strip, Calvin and Hobbes are camping in the backyard when Calvin's dad goes to check on them. Calvin and Hobbes are reading a scary story, and they both are frightened by noises outside the tent.
    You'd Expect: Calvin's dad to say something to extent of "Calvin? It's me, your father." before opening the tent.
    Instead: He unzips the tent without a word. Calvin and Hobbes mistake him for the monster in the story, shine their flashlight in his face, knock down the tent and run to their house. While Calvin clings to his mother and Hobbes, his father can only let out an exasperated scream of "WHERE'S THAT KID?!"


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