Character » Hobbes appears in 960 issues.

    To most he is a stuffed tiger, but to Calvin, his best friend, Hobbes is a real sophisticated tiger who loves tuna. Hobbes has the more moral integrity of the two, and encourages Calvin to seek happiness from virtue instead of pranks - although he pulls off some pranks himself.

    Short summary describing this character.

    Hobbes last edited by Abra_Kapocus on 10/11/23 11:19PM View full history

    Hobbes is one of the main characters in Calvin & Hobbes series by Bill Watterson. He is a stuffed tiger which becomes 'real' when he's alone with Calvin, his six years old little friend. Bill Waterson says that the concept of Hobbes being a stuffed tiger to everyone else besides Calvin is because we all don't see the world the exact same way, and he literally portrays it in his comic strips.


    On the very first Calvin and Hobbes strip Calvin rigged a trap with a tuna fish sandwich so he could capture his very own tiger. However, it is later shown that Hobbes has belonged to Calvin since he was a baby, remembering that Calvin would often burp up.


    Hobbes initially did not appear in Calvin and Hobbes at all. In fact, years before his character was decided, a bear who looked remarkably like him appeared in a different comic strip that Bill Watterson had written, called ‘Critters.’ After the strip was rejected outright and never saw print, Watterson liked the personality of the unnamed bear, and decided to use him in a different strip that he was shopping around to different newspapers called ‘Marvin and Hobbes.’

    The name Hobbes was chosen for the character, because his nature as a predatory wild animal made Watterson think of the philosophy of Thomas Hobbes, who invented the concept of survival of the fittest. In order to fit in with the new comic, Hobbes was changed from being a real animal to being a stuffed toy. This would allow him to accompany the human main character and exist in the human world as a part of the boy’s imagination. Also, the character was changed from a bear to a tiger, because it was decided that since Marvin was an unusual kid, he would have an unusual animal companion.

    Besides any of that, most of Hobbes’ personality, appearance and antics were not inspired by actual tigers, but by somebody a little bit closer to home. Watterson based most of the character of Hobbes on his pet cat at the time, a siamese named Sprite. Because of Sprite’s influence, Hobbes was made into an endearing mix of a wild big cat and a domestic house cat.

    Throughout the course of the strip, it’s never made clear whether or not Hobbes is a figment of Calvin’s imagination, or if he is truly a magical toy that actually comes alive. According to Watterson, he intentionally left this ambiguous in order to add a touch of wonder and mystery to the comic. However, he himself believes that Hobbes really does come to life when nobody but Calvin is looking.

    Character Evolution


    Hobbes can be considered the perfect foil to Calvin’s petulant personality. Where Calvin is brash, brazen, impulsive and emotional, Hobbes is observant, insightful, collected and intellectual. He tries to see things from a logical perspective, trying to get the best results from anything he and Calvin undertake. More often than not, Calvin completely overrules Hobbes’ advice, no matter how sound it is, much to the tiger’s chagrin.

    It can be surmised that Hobbes is sort of like the conscience and voice of reason that Calvin lacks. Or perhaps he is a personification of the common sense that Calvin desperately needs. In either case, he is the part of his best friend that is missing. The logos to Calvin’s pathos. This is often seen how whenever Calvin gets an idea, the only time that he never carries out his plans is when Hobbes points out how it logically cannot work, such as how when Calvin was eager to throw the world’s biggest snowball at somebody, Hobbes pointed out that there was no way for Calvin to possibly lift it.

    Hobbes’ logical and analytical personality has also led to him halting more than Calvin’s hare-brained schemes. When Calvin made up a joke about a who is told to heel and answers ‘it takes one to know one,’ Hobbes wondered where the dog had learned to talk, ruining the joke. At another time when Calvin drew a cartoon of a snowman in a snowcar who remarked how the engine has frozen, Hobbes pointed out how an engine made of snow wouldn’t run at all, making Calvin scrap the cartoon.

    Despite being the more logical and more responsible of the two, Hobbes is definitely still a wild animal at his heart. He relishes the chance to pounce on Calvin at any opportunity, seeing it as good fun and great exercise. Also, he has shown territorial behavior, throwing Calvin out of his part of the room when he has intruded on it, and has even fought Calvin for his breakfast. Most frightening of all has been how Hobbes has waited for Calvin to get sick and weak before attacking and possibly eating him.

    Hobbes strikes the balance between being a loyal companion and a predator. Regardless if he is either, he is always Calvin’s best friend and wouldn’t give that up for anything.


    There are two different versions of Hobbes that appear in the comic strip. The first is the version a stuffed tiger who is no bigger than Calvin is. This is the way everyone else sees Hobbes. The other is the version that Calvin sees, a real tiger with a bipedal posture who stands twice Calvin’s height.

    In his earliest appearances, Hobbes had black pads on his front paws, but they were removed later on in the strip. This was done not only to lessen the visual interruptions that they caused on Hobbes’ model, but it also helped to convey the idea that he was more human-like than the average tiger. This also helped with the ambiguity of the reality of his character, portraying him as either a fantastic being who really came alive, or perhaps a figment of Calvin’s imagination which he perceived as being more real than the real world.

    Besides a few minor details, Hobbes’ physical appearance changed very little over the course of the comic’s run.


    Hobbes has two sides of characteristics; the way Calvin views him, and they way everyone else sees him.

    No Caption Provided

    Stuffed Tiger- Appearing to be just an everyday stuffed tiger. This causes confusion when Calvin treats him as a real tiger.

    No Caption Provided

    Real Tiger- This version of Hobbes is more lively and more entertaining to be around. Calvin sees him as a tall (to Calvin at least) fuzzy orange tiger. He moves horizontal, when walking, and vertical, when pouncing.

    Hobbes originally had pads on his front paws but they caused a distraction, Bill had to take them out of his artwork.

    To this day, it is unknown why Hobbes appears real to Calvin and stuffed to everyone else - the most popular theories are that he is either a magical stuffed toy that only comes to life when nobody but Calvin is around or that his realness is a figment of Calvin's imagination. Watterson never revealed why, and it is still debated to this day.

    Skills & Abilities

    As a wild animal, Hobbes is shown to have a skill set that differs from Calvin’s. However, he does display some rather human-like tendencies.


    Being a tiger, Hobbes is naturally quite an athlete. He is able to jump farther, run faster, and move heavier objects than the average human is able to. This is often demonstrated during the games he and Calvin play.


    Between him and Calvin, Hobbes is believed to be the better artist. If only marginally. He is often called upon to draw illustrations for school projects or to draw maps and charts for other activities that the kids engage in.

    Stealth & Ambush

    Hobbes is a master of sneak attacks. No matter what, he is able to get the drop on Calvin and pounce him like he’s a hapless antelope.


    Hobbes is Calvin's best friend, they are inseparable. They go sledding together, have snowball fights, and run a club. Calvin couldn't wish for a better friend. He is more humble and less egotistical than Calvin.

    Hobbes also interacts with Calvin's neighbor, Susie. When Susie can only see him as a stuffed animal she occasionally talks to him (she doesn't believe he is a real tiger). Apparently Hobbes likes Susie, gravely annoying Calvin. Hobbes has a sense of style, and is a sela-described charmer with panache. He has a gift for rustic description. As Calvin's lieutenant of G.R.O.S.S., he has a penchant for being kidnapped by Slimy girlS, notably Rosalyn & Susie. This allows Calvin to be Susie's enemy (and friend through imaginary Hobbes) in the neighborhood, but friends with her at school.


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