Hobbes' first appearance was on November 18, 1985, where Hobbes was portrayed hanging upside-down from a tree after falling for a tuna sandwich-baited trap laid out by his close friend and co-star of the strip, Calvin. Since then, Hobbes was seen in almost every strip, following Calvin on his adventures, such as trips to the Jurassic and sledding down dangerous slopes (Most of the time he does so quite reluctantly). The first thing he says in Calvin and Hobbes is "We're kind of stupid that way..." and the last is "It's like having a big white sheet of paper to draw on!"
By the time Bill Watterson wrote the Tenth Anniversary Book, he had changed his opinion about Calvin and Hobbes's first meeting, saying it was unnecessary and even detrimental to the feel of the strip. Much later, it is apparent in several strips that Hobbes and Calvin have known each other their whole lives, including when Calvin was an infant. This contradicted the first two strips, which show Calvin and Hobbes' first meeting. One strip especially shows Calvin claiming that he didn't remember much of his infancy. While Calvin starts going on and on about how he suspects he was being brainwashed when he was very, very young, and asking nobody in particular what he remembered that someone wanted him to forget, Hobbes says "I seem to recall that you spent most of the time burping up." However, Calvin did not supposedly get Hobbes until he was six years old, which he of course remembers. There is also a possibility that Hobbes was around before Calvin. In one early strip, Hobbes says "That's because she wanted another tiger, not you!", implying that Hobbes was around before Calvin was born. Also, in an earlier strip, Hobbes once muses about some advice his father gave him. The reality of this comment is open to debate.
Hobbes shared his final appearance with Calvin in the final strip published on the 31st of December 1995. For the most part, Calvin and Hobbes converse and play together, revealing what is ultimately a deep friendship. They also frequently argue or even fight with each other, though their disagreements are generally short-lived.
Interestingly, Hobbes almost never calls Calvin by his name. Instead, he simply uses pronouns when speaking to his human counterpart.
Whenever Calvin tries to do his homework, he asks Hobbes to do it for him, but Calvin doesn't notice how Hobbes gets questions wrong (for example, when he didn't know a subtraction problem, so he put in Atlanta, Georgia). Hobbes also teaches Calvin in his math homework, but his theories are wrong (like in one comic where Calvin asks Hobbes what 3+8 is, so Hobbes teaches Calvin, "Well, first you assign the value as X. X always means multiply, so you take the numerator [that's Latin for "number eighter"], and you put that number on the other side. Then you take 3 from the other side, so what times 3 equals 8? The answer, of course, is six.") This however, is most likely intentional. Hobbes still claims that his knowledge of "math theories" is from instinct.
Hobbes, unsurprisingly, always manages to score a retaliation at Calvin when he pulls a prank on him; for example, Calvin shooting him with a water pistol leads to Hobbes soaking Calvin with an inflated pool full of water. Calvin treats this as if Hobbes cannot take a joke.
Despite his terrible math skills, Hobbes is clearly smarter and wiser than Calvin. Also, while Calvin bursts out shouting what he dislikes, Hobbes takes a softer tone when discussing things he hates.
Several of the strip's running gags are centered on Hobbes.
The most famous is Hobbes himself, and the question of his reality. To everyone in the strip apart from Calvin (and Hobbes himself of course), Hobbes is just a little stuffed tiger. But with Calvin's wild imagination, Hobbes springs to life. Is Hobbes really a stuffed animal? Or is he actually alive and kicking? Oddly, Hobbes seems to be bigger when he appears in front of Calvin.
Bill Watterson stated that he believes Hobbes to only be an example of different perspectives. He is not a figment of Calvin's imagination, but neither is he a stuffed animal that magically comes to life.
Often Hobbes beats up Calvin with an energeticpounce-and-tackle attack, which leaves Calvin bruised and scraped up, but not seriously harmed (this is usually how Hobbes greets Calvin when he comes home from school or when he opens a can of tuna). Hobbes takes great pleasure in his demonstrations of feline prowess, while Calvin expresses keen frustration at his inability to stop the attacks or explain his injuries to his skeptical parents (not even with a picture he took, for his dad thought Calvin had thrown Hobbes into the view of the camera).
Another frequently recurring theme is Hobbes' love affair with tuna, until he decided to get the more "environmentally friendly" swordfish steaks. Hobbes also has a liking for salmon.
Hobbes also refers to the infamous "Noodle Incident" quite often, much to Calvin's dismay. Calvin is very defensive about it and gets mad when Hobbes makes a reference.
Hobbes is named after 17th century philosopher Thomas Hobbes, who had what Watterson described as "a dim view of human nature." Thomas Hobbes is famous for his claim that humans' natural state is one of war, and that "the life of man [is], solitary, poore, nasty, brutish, and short." Hobbes is much more rational and aware of consequences than Calvin, but seldom interferes with Calvin's troublemaking beyond a few oblique warnings. After all, Calvin will be the one to get in trouble for it, not Hobbes.
- Hobbes had a tendency of shortening words (ex: "Hobbes' Creek" becomes "Hobs Crk", "Waterloo" becomes "Wtrlo" and "Chicago" becomes "Chcgo")
- Hobbes' I.Q. is debatable. In some comics, he seems as if he was an utter genius. However, in the first strip, he contradicts this, saying "We're kind of stupid that way", in response to Calvin saying "Tigers'll do anything for a tuna fish sandwich". Also, in many other comics, especially in comics where Calvin has a math problem, he is as dumb as Calvin and makes up math formulas such as "Y as in Y do we care?". However, he may just be fooling Calvin, shown with his reaction to Calvin believing three dimes was less than a quarter: "I think you better study harder." Hobbes also seems to have some knowledge of more advanced mathematics, referring at one point to imaginary numbers whilst helping Calvin with his math homework; he, however, appears to have no actual understanding for what these terms are used, or, indeed, what they mean.
- That is actually the Hitmane Diagonal, which gives positive results to the addition problem. (ex: If Problem 8 + 4, the diagonal would be 12. The Diagonal does not help in finding the area."
- Hobbes, in most cases, is in love with Susie Derkins, but mainly girls in general.
- Hobbes is often so sarcastic to Calvin that he has to chase Hobbes madly with him 'Whoo hoo hoo hoo hoo!'-ing, most likely a reference to Tigger from "Winnie the Pooh." Also, in one strip, Hobbes says "Toodle-Doo" which could be another reference to Tigger, as that is something Tigger would say.
- Hobbes often causes Calvin some problems. The examples are as followed: the time he tied Calvin up willingly to a chair; when he scratched the floor in "defeat"; when Hobbes eats like an animal, spreading mess everywhere; the time when he beat up Calvin for his lunch.
- Hobbes is a specific breed of tiger - he is a Bengal Tiger.
- Hobbes has a father, the rest of his family is unknown
- Hobbes doesn't like Calvin's cardboard box. He doesn't want to be "transmogrified or duplicated or whatever".
- Unlike Calvin, Hobbes is not addicted to cartoons, or television altogether.
- Hobbes does not like Calvin's cereal, "Chocolate Frosted Sugar Bombs", for he says that it makes his heart skip.
- It is rumored that Calvin's parents put Hobbes in the trap as an "imaginary" friend.
- Hobbes likes to draw on Calvin's comic books.
- Hobbes always like to surprise Calvin while Calvin says "I'm Home!" and Hobbes does his famous pounce.
- It is unspecific when Hobbes and Calvin met. It appears as though they met after Hobbes was captured by Calvin in the first strip. A later strip contradicts this, with Hobbes remembering Calvin's behavior as an infant ("I seem to recall you spent most of your time burping up"), while another strip has him remember nothing about Calvin as a baby. It's also been said that Hobbes was just "a stuffed animal," given to little Calvin at his earliest age.
- Hobbes had once stated that he had a father.
- In comic strips where Hobbes drawings are included, Bill Watterson usually signed "& Hobbes" next to his signature. This would appear as & Hobs.
- He also seems to like watching television, as in multiple strips he is seen watching the animal programs on National Geographic.
- He likes to watch National Geographic.
- He was originally going to be voiced by Leonard Nimoy.
|Main Characters||Calvin • Hobbes • Susie Derkins • Calvin's mother • Calvin's father • Miss Wormwood • Andy • Socrates • Sherman • Moe • Dr. Brainstorm • Jack • Iron Calvin • Zoe • MTM|
|Secondary Characters||Principal Spittle • Galaxoid • Nebular • Mr. Bun • Spaceman Spiff • Stupendous Man • Tracer Bullet • Simon • Carol Derkins • Dark Calvin • Avery • Albert • Tyler Roseman • Magical Tiger • Rupert • Earl • Nivlac • Sebboh • Safari Al • Snow Goons • Dave|
|Minor Characters||Warry • Dopey Alien • Sally • Athlea • Future Counterparts • Dilophos • Derek • Mr. Johnson • Henry • JadaLeininger727 • Burnt Out Star • Dark Calvin's Demons • George • Tiger Eye|