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10 Funniest Calvin and Hobbes Comics About Food


10 Funniest Calvin and Hobbes Comics About Food


Summary

  • Calvin and Hobbes
    often featured humorous food-centric comics, showcasing Calvin’s creative culinary adventures and using dinner-time as a perfect opportunity to depict his interactions with his family.
  • The comic strips’s food jokes offer a great insight into Bill Watterson’s comedic mindset, which made
    Calvin and Hobbes
    a national success during its ten years of syndication, and beyond.
  • Through food-related humor, Calvin and Hobbes explored themes of friendship, family dynamics, and the joys and struggles of childhood.



Calvin and Hobbes is famous for great takes on a wide variety of subjects – from growing up, to reckoning with death, to food. Creator Bill Watterson often had something amusing to say on the last subject, whether that was Calvin grossing out Susie Derkins with lunchtime tales of suspicious meat, or Calvin trying to be nice and bringing his mom breakfast in bed.

Many Calvin and Hobbes comics dealt with food in one way or another, making it difficult to narrow down a list like this. The strips here represent a cross-section of the food-based humor that frequented Bill Watterson’s work, offering a unique insight into his comedic mindset.

Even when it dealt with difficult issues, Calvin and Hobbes always prioritized fun above all else. With a more lighthearted subject, such as trying to get Calvin to eat supper, Watterson was able to light-heartedly delve deeper into the world of the comic strip, delivering some of the best strips featuring characters like Calvin’s parents, and his friend Susie.


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10 Calvin Pops Off

First Published: May 2, 1986

Calvin and Hobbes make popcorn on the stove, without a lid on the pot. Kernels start popping everywhere.

In this strip, Calvin and Hobbes make some classic, stove-popped popcorn. However, leaving the lid off the pot creates chaos – which seems to be part of the intended recipe. It’s the latest in Calvin and Hobbes’s culinary experiments, as they can already compare it to the fun of exploding potatoes in the microwave. This strip came Calvin and Hobbes’ run, indicating early on that Calvin saves some special creativity for playing with his food.


A pot on the stove releases a barrage of popcorn kernels. Jason & Marcus are pleased with their experiment.

Notably, a similar gag happened in Bill Amend’s Foxtrot in 2018. Perhaps it might have been inspired by this classic Calvin and Hobbes strip, or simply a parallel arising from an experience he or his children did as kids. In any case, the fun of letting popcorn go haywire around the kitchen seems to be infectious to comic strip kids – but it all started with Calvin and Hobbes.

9 Calvin the Feminist

First Published: September 8, 1986

Calvin and Hobbes comic where Calvin convinces his mom to go out for dinner

Calvin’s parents are also both very creative, often employing various types of reverse psychology and white lies to get Calvin excited about activities he doesn’t like.


Here, Calvin learns a valuable lesson – how to talk someone into doing the thing you want them to do. Recognizing all the hard work his mom puts into their household, including all of the chores around every meal, he convinces her to go out for pizza. At dinner, she even repeats his points to Calvin’s dad.

Calvin’s mom suggesting her husband can make his own cereal comes back years later in another Calvin and Hobbes storyline. When Calvin’s mom is bedridden with an illness, Calvin and his dad try to pick up the slack around the house, including doing all the cooking. Calvin is at first surprised that his dad knows how to cook anything that’s not freshly-caught fish on a camping trip, and his dad retorts that he took care of himself for years before he married. However, he really only ate cereal and frozen waffles, which is what he fixes for the family.


8 Calvin’s Saturday Morning Routine

First Published: June 7, 1986

A pot on the stove releases a barrage of popcorn kernels. Jason & Marcus are pleased with their experiment.

For as much as Calvin’s parents struggle to get him to eat a variety of foods, they do at least concede on letting him eat sugary kids’ cereals for breakfast.

This strip details Calvin’s Saturday morning routine: waking up at 6am, devouring three bowls of Crunchy Sugar Bombs – a predecessor of Chocolate Frosted Sugar Bombs, his favorite –and watching non-stop cartoons until noon, after which he’s “incoherent and hyperactive.” In essence, Calvin lives every kid’s dream schedule on Saturday mornings in the 80’s and 90’s,


Hilariously, the punchline in the strip’s final panels reveal that this is more than just fun-and-games for Calvin. In fact, he has a sly ulterior motive: to keep his parents from having another child. By being so over-the-top and difficult to handle, Calvin seeks to ensure that his parents are too exhausted to add a sibling to the family.Does it work?” Hobbes asks, to which Calvin notes that he has “no brothers or sisters so far!”

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7 Calvin’s American Dream

First Published: April 7, 1986

In a Calvin and Hobbes strip, Calvin reveals the awful truth about being forced to eat lima beans.


For a long time, a common American refrain from parents struggling to get their kids to eat their vegetables has been to tell them that in other parts of the world, children are starving, so they should be thankful for the food they do have to eat. This comic kicks off in a similar vein: Calvin is facing front, like he’s breaking the fourth wall to speak directly to the reader.

He weaves a tale of a poor child across the world, trapped under tyranny and censorship, who dreams of someday coming to America. Only in the fourth panel does his righteous tirade hit the punchline: America has lima beans, which he hilariously cries out is “the awful truth about this place.”

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6 Calvin Is An Ideas Man

First Published: April 18, 1991

Calvin and Hobbes strip of Calvin grossing out Susie Derkins at lunch by stuffing his food into his chocolate milk.

The very first time new girl Susie Derkins asked to sit next to Calvin in the cafeteria, he told her to go away, then followed it up by trying to gross her out with disgusting stories about what his lunch was really made of. As the strip progressed, however, it seemed the two both enjoyed these insane moments of Calvin playing with his food: Susie kept sitting next to him, and Calvin started taking it personally when he chased her away. The latter can be seen here, as Calvin thinks himself a culinary genius for mushing up his food.


Despite their antagonistic relationship, Susie seems to be Calvin’s only friend, other than Hobbes. Calvin has gone to her birthday party, they’ve played house together (in one of Bill Watterson’s artistic variants in the comic), and Hobbes always wants to invite her to play Calvinball or join G.R.O.S.S. (Get Rid Of Slimy girlS). Susie also keeps hanging out with Calvin, even though she seems to regret it more often than not, making their friendship one of the great sources of gags in Calvin and Hobbes.

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5 Nutrition AND Entertainment

First Published: July 14, 1989

Calvin and Hobbes strip of Calvin grossing out Susie Derkins at lunch by stuffing his food into his chocolate milk.


Given Calvin’s love for sugary snacks, it may seem strange strange he wouldn’t be a big fan of ice cream cones. However, in this strip, he explains that his problem hasn’t been with the taste, but that they never seemed gross enough. His culinary creativity rears its head again here, as he finds new love for the treat by eating it in his own peculiar way – bottom first.

Not only does sucking the ice cream through the bottom of the cone make some “awful noises,” but as the ice cream melts, everything is a drippy mess at both ends. As this strip makes clear, Calvin wants his food to be delicious and entertaining.

4 Earth Boys Are Delicious

First Published: March 25, 1990

Calvin imagines his parents as secret aliens who have been raising him to eat


It’s strange to say that a Sunday comic about parents revealing themselves as aliens, planning to eat their son, is heartwarming, but that’s the magic of Calvin and Hobbes. While having a quiet family evening reading together, Calvin discovers his parents are actually aliens who have been raising him as food.

As they prepare Earth boy waffles – still the only thing Calvin’s dad can cook – he snaps awake, insisting he’s not tired. In a rare instance of his parents thinking he’s cute, they carry him to bed and point out the lines in Calvin’s face from where he fell asleep on his dad.

While Calvin and Hobbes is often timeless, a reference here might be unclear to younger readers. In the analog days of TV, if one didn’t have cable, they used a pair of antennas, cutely called “rabbit ears,” to get local station signals. In 2009, the US switched to entirely digital broadcast, which is received via a digital tuner, and rabbit ears went extinct.


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3 Reverse Psychology Backfires

First Published: June 1, 1986

Calvin's mom tricks him into eating dinner by saying she's making monkey brains.

Calvin’s mom smartly gets ahead of a dinner table war by telling Calvin that they’re having monkey heads for dinner. He has hated everything from meatloaf to lima beans to vegetables, leading her to try some reverse psychology and tells him they’re having something outlandish for them. She’s right in that he thinks they sound really gross and cool, and ultimately dives into his meal. What she didn’t expect was that Calvin’s dad wouldn’t pick up on the subterfuge, and would suddenly get very picky about what they’re eating.


Between their creativity and stubbornness, Calvin gets his personality honestly from his parents.

Calvin’s parents have tried this tactic more than a few times. In another comic, Calvin’s dad tells him he shouldn’t eat his dinner: it’s radioactive and could turn him into some sort of mutant. In yet another, when Calvin raises his hackles about eating a meal with rice mixed in, his mother leans over and says that the pieces of rice are just maggots, and to eat around them. That one again got Calvin to finish dinner, but had the unexpected downside of putting Calvin’s dad off of it.

2 Chocolate Frosted Sugar Bombs: Part of a Balanced Breakfast

First Published: February 28, 1989

Calvin explains his favorite breakfast cereal, Chocolate Frosted Sugar Bombs, to Hobbes


A classic, misleading, style of marketing for 80s and 90s kids’ cereals was to call them “part of a balanced breakfast” in commercials. The joke was that the cereal bowl would be surrounded by a bevy of healthier breakfast options like fruit, juice, and toast, which would still make a complete healthy meal if the cereal were removed. When Hobbes points out that Chocolate Frosted Sugar Bombs taste like eating a bowl of candy, Calvin tries to fight back with the same cereal marketing lines about vitamin fortification and complete breakfasts. However, he’s shaking from sugar overloadas he says it.


This strip is part of a longer story about another aspect of kids’ cereals from this time – overhyped toys. Calvin is eating cereal with such zest because Chocolate Frosted Sugar Bombs are advertising a battery-powered propellor beanie hat, purchased with cereal box tops. This first part of the story features Calvin trying to convince the rest of his family to eat his cereal. The second part, a few weeks later, features the arrival of the beanie, and disappointment for Calvin when he learns that it won’t allow him to fly, and then quickly breaks.

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1 Calvin’s Science Experiment, Thwarted

First Published: July 7, 1987

A Calvin and Hobbes strip where Calvin wonders just how bad rotten eggs smell.

Calvin and Hobbes
creator Bill Watterson is famous for his elaborate Sunday strips, where he would break the format of comic layouts to create
incredibly detailed worlds
. However, he also knew when it was best to instead employ minimalism, as seen here.


In this strip, Calvin, curious about how bad rotten eggs smell, walks off panel, and the reader is left looking at his mom’s back as she does dishes. Finally, she tells him, “Put ‘em back, Calvin,” still without cutting away. Rather than showing Calvin’s actions, readers see what it must be like to be Calvin’s mom during his antics.

With ten years of comics under its belt, there are so many more funny Calvin and Hobbes bits featuring Calvin playing with his food, or worrying about feeding Hobbes. Bill Watterson crafted an imaginative world about a rambunctious 6-year-old that touched the hearts and lives of readers around the world, both grossing them out when Calvin claims his lunch sandwich is squid eyeballs, or making them laugh as Calvin struggles to escape eating his vegetables. This is just an appetizer of the complete smorgasboard Calvin and Hobbes has to offer.


Calvin and Hobbes Poster

Calvin and Hobbes

Calvin and Hobbes was a satirical comic strip series that ran from 1985-1995, written, drawn, and colored by Bill Watterson. The series follows six-year-old Hobbes and his stuffed Tiger, Calvin, that examines their lives through a whimsical lens that tackles everyday comedic issues and real-world issues that people deal with.

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