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Tropes for Calvin and Hobbes: The Series, A - M:


  Socrates: In fact, we weren't even in the comic strip, so we probably shouldn't even be here.


 Hobbes: This is gonna be one of those moral shows, isn't it?

Calvin: Eh, we gotta have a few every once in a while.

  • And I Must Scream: Hobbes being captured by robots in "The Electronic Invasion".
    • Happens to Socrates during "Invasion" when his transmitter chip in his brain malfunctions, causing him to collapse to the floor in agony, much to Calvin and Hobbes' shock.
  • Anime Hair: Calvin's is lampshaded in the first episode by the narrator:

  No one knows why his hair does that. Is it static electricity? Is it hair gel? No, probably not.

    • It's also lampshaded by Sheila:
    • Dr. Brainstorm and Thunderstorm also have it.
  • Anti-Villain: Dr. Brainstorm is a Type I. Discussed in "Thunderstorm":

  Dr. Brainstorm: Because I want to be the heroic villain, okay? There's got to be at least one time where I'm the one who has a victory!

  Lenny: Uh, bad news, boss! It would appear that Dave blew up the navigation console, and Biff knocked off the steering wheel. And Jeff just broke a window!

    • From "Pranking the Ghosts":

 Andy: Where do you suppose that (a door) leads to?

Sherman: I dunno. Dungeon, torture room, bloodthirsty zombie, the mansion's balcony.

    • And from "SHEILA'S BACK!":
    • "Pharaoh Andrew":

  Sherman: (translating hieroglyphics) Let me see here, curse... curse... another curse... insurance guarantee... ah, here we go.

 Calvin: Engage Emergency Protocol #5557490!

MTM: Whatever.

    • And from "The Genius Hamster":

 Calvin: MTM, initiate emergency protocol number 2235!

MTM: I can't believe you can remember all these numbers.

 Dr. Brainstorm: Now if you'll excuse me, I have an idiot to kill!

Jack: You're committing suicide?

  Andy: Dear Andy, thank you for purchasing my test, blah blah blah... That's what it says. "Thank you for purchasing my test, blah, blah, blah".

  Socrates: (upon being questioned as to why Hobbes can't go inside his house) Uh... we're... stinky.

  • Blood Sport: The Death Zone in "The Five Calvins" functions something like this.
  • Bottle Episode: "Hypercube" has a handful of characters and about two locations, tops.
    • "Roughin' It" only has two characters, and seems rather shorter than the other episodes.
  • Bound and Gagged: Dr. Brainstorm in "The Yellowstone Monster".
    • Calvin's parents in "The Return of Dr. Brainstorm", though they were asleep the whole time.
  • Bragging Theme Tune:





  "You know, makeup, lipstick, whips; that sort of thing."

    • And from "A Day in Your Shoes":

 Calvin: Nice day today for a game of Calvin Ball.

Hobbes: Yep, the sun is shining, the grass is soft, the birds are singing, Dr Brainstorm and Sheila have a giant pile of inventions at either end of the field…

  • Breather Episode: "Roughin' It", given the insanity that goes on in the next episode [1].
    • Same with "Robot's Day Out".
  • Brilliant but Lazy: Calvin - he can create a large plethora of inventions, and yet he'd rather complain that just do his homework.
  • British Accents: The MTM gains one in Season 3.
  • But He Sounds Handsome: Calvin thinks his robotic duplicate isn't bad looking.
  • Burping Contest: Between Calvin and Klein in "The Insane Road Trip".
  • Call Back: "The Mighty School Escape" references two other instances where Calvin has tried to escape school.
    • The series as a whole tends to reference the original strips.
  • Calvin Ball: Given that the original strip was the Trope Namer, it's obviously included here as well.
  • Cassandra Truth: Calvin's parents react this way whenever Calvin describes his previous escapades.
    • So does Miss Wormwood when grading Calvin's report on Egypt (which he completed by going there himself).
  • Casual Danger Dialogue: From "Pharaoh Andrew":

 Calvin: How many people are in this pyramid?

MTM: Hmmm, let me see. Counting you, Hobbes, Socrates, Andy, that hamster and the five dead people following you down the hallway... ooooh... about ten.

  Calvin: What have you done? You scratched some paint off of the house! Do you have any idea how long it took Dad to paint this place?

    • Upon discovering an arm in a tree in "Tracer Bullet in Color!":

  Tiger Eye: (glancing at its watch) Wow! It's later than I thought..

  • Contemplate Our Navels: Despite being more action-packed than the comic strip, it still maintains a slight philosophical tone.
  • Continuity Nod: When Andy lists all the bad things that have happened to Socrates in "Personality Test":

  "Well, let's see. Your voice has been switched into that of a duck's, you've been electrocuted by the MTM, you've been trapped in the hypercube, a transmitter has been inserted into you, you've been ejected into the clou..."

  It was sort of roundish ship with red and blue wires running all across it. It had circular windows all around the front, and it had one of those escalators that futuristic ships have.

 Mom: Well, that's nice, but you don't need to broadcast it coast to coast! Just look for him (Hobbes) quietly.

Calvin: Of course! If I continue to shout for him to show up, he'll know where I am and get farther away from me! On the other hand, absolute silence means absolute secrecy! It's so crazy it just might work!

 Hobbes: (acting in a Stupendous Man movie) Stupendous Man, we need to stop The Evil And-EE from sucking out all the drinking drinkable drinking water that people drink!

Socrates: CUT! Hobbes, it's drinkable drinking water that's being drank by people.

    • Also, from "Personality Test":

  Socrates: Greetings, citizen! Can I interest you in a personality test that will perhaps test your very personality?

    • And from "Thunderstorm":

  Dr. Brainstorm: (defying the Enemy Mine trope) Oh, no. Oh no! No, no, no, no, no, no, no! Absolutely not! Negative! No way! Never! And in case you didn't pick on that, NO!

  • Development Hell: The remainder of Season Five, as well as a rumored Season Six, have yet to see the light of day. Apparently some of the stories are finished, but the writers aren't posting them for some reason. It's a little unclear as to whether or not they will ever be finished.
  • Different As Night and Day: Jacqueline and Jack. The former is considerably more active than the latter, though they both enjoy soda and lemonade.
  • Disney Death: Everyone but Hobbes in "RIP Calvin".
  • Dissimile: From "The Five Calvins":

  Spiff: Hmmm, a hall of mirrors. This is kind of like one of those things they have in fun houses. If fun houses had pieces of broken jagged glass all around and forcefully bring you to them, then sure. A fun house.

  MTM: And yet, this isn't half as dangerous as the time your Dad tried to fix the toaster.


Calvin: Well, where's the humor in that?

  Klein: (in a standup act) Another car goes sliding into the ditch, "WE'RE GONNA NEED MORE DONUTS!"

  Socrates: I've gotta start locking that thing.

    • The very next episode also lampshaded it:

  Andy: I wish you guys would knock before you barge into here to hide.

  Mom: Come on, dear. You can drown your sorrows in the cider.

  Jack: It's a long story and should probably be done with a flashback...

  • Flanderization: Averted with some characters, particularly with Andy, who actually gets more interesting as the series progresses.
  • Food Fight: In "Camp Blues", and mentioned to be one tactic Calvin uses to try and get out of school in "Chaos to My Ears".
  • Foreshadowing: Lampshaded in "The Return of Dr. Brainstorm":

  Calvin: Ya know Hobbes, it's times like this that I wish that Mom and Dad would go away for at least a day! Gee, that little phrase built the plot up didn't it? I get a kick out of messing with the readers [sic] mind.

    • There's also a pretty blatant example in "The Night of the Living Television II":

 Socrates: (after finding out that two villains had teamed up) Who teamed up? Rupert Chill and Dr. Brainstorm?

Calvin: No, we're saving that for next season.

 Calvin: Aren't people going to freak out when they see a robot here?

Someone at the party: Hey dude! Great costume!

Jack: Nope.

  • For Science!: The reason Dr. Brainstorm lets Jack swap places with Jacqueline in "A Day in Your Shoes".
  • Freak Lab Accident: Calvin's attempt to combine all his inventions ends up giving him their powers.
  • Frickin' Laser Beams: The MTM can fire them.
    • So can the Cybermen.
  • Future Loser: Future Socrates.
  • Futureshadowing: "Time Terror" shows statues of Calvin, Hobbes, Socrates, Andy, and Sherman labeled "Our World's Heroes".
  • The Generic Guy: Andy.
    • This actually becomes a plot point in "New Year, New Disasters": he's upset that he hasn't had many exciting experiences.
  • Genre Blind: Lampshaded in "Let Us Prank the Fool":

 Hobbes: Wait a minute... There's a can of tuna fish on the sidewalk? Should I be suspicious?


Hobbes: Nope.

 Mimi: Is this some kind of bust?

Tracer: Yes, it's very impressive, but we'd just like to ask some questions.

    • And from "Electronic Invasion":

 Calvin: Yeah, but now he's a bit more… I dunno… stupid bland. I mean, it's like we have to reteach him everything! Sherman said that last night he tried to brush his teeth with toilet paper!

Hobbes: Ick. I hate to think what he did with his toothbrush.

    • And from "Invasion":

 Calvin: Where're Rowan and King Stor?

Hobbes: We put them in the hypercube. Figured they'd be okay."

Calvin: You sure?

Hobbes: Yeah, they found an old Cosmo magazine. They'll be busy.

 Calvin: (trying to figure out if a Chain Letter is true to its word) Oh man, my problems are solved! Precious hamster will definitely know what to do!

Sherman: I don't know."

    • And from "Pharaoh Andrew":

 Calvin: [...] My report is an A plus guarantee.



  • Hall of Mirrors: Part of the Death Zone.
  • Hard Light: Retro's hologram.
  • Harmless Freezing: Dr. Brainstorm can even talk while frozen.
  • Halloween Episode: "Home Un-Alone", "Full Moon: Full Baloney!", "The Great Halloween Heist", "RIP Calvin", and "Pranking the Ghosts".
  • Haunted House: Dr. Brainstorm attempts to scare Calvin and co. with one in "The Great Halloween Heist".
    • Socrates' mansion (which has a rather gruesome backstory) is believed to be one in "Pranking the Ghosts".
  • The Hedonist: The main cast's future selves turn out to be this. They'll go to any lengths to find enjoyment. Any lengths.
  • Here We Go Again: "Calvin's Batman Adventure" ends with Calvin putting on a Superman suit, mirroring the opening.
  • High-Pressure Emotion: Calvin after Socrates releases several turkeys into the streets.
    • Dr. Brainstorm after his sister claims their mother loved her more.
  • He Went That Way!: Andy tells Susie this in "The Genius Hamster" after Calvin soaks her.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Socrates ends up falling into one of his own pranks in "An MTM Episode".
    • Happens again when Calvin tricks him with the classic "Your shoelace is untied" gag, resulting in him getting done up in a net covered in peanut butter.

 Sherman: I can't believe he fell for that.

Andy: It's worse. Socrates doesn't even wear shoes.

  • Horrible Camping Trip: "Camping on a Deserted Rock is FUN!" manages to be much more horrible than normal, even by Calvin and Hobbes' standards.
    • "It Will Build Character" is slightly better, though it does have a mountain lion.
  • Human Popsicle: The main cast is frozen in "Dr. Brain Chill", though there's no time traveling involved.
    • Thunderstorm was trapped in stasis for a good while.
  • Hypocritical Humor: Hobbes dismisses the "scaredy cat" sterotype right before being startled by Jack's sudden appearance.

 Sherman: (on Underdog) I'm just not in the mood to see another movie about talking animals.

Socrates: Hypocrite.

 Mom: Calvin, I really wish you'd stop trying to sneak boxes of cereal and cookies into the cart.

Calvin: Mom, stop doing that! You'll offend the groceries!

 Hobbes: Uh... Socrates?

Socrates: Yes, Hobbo?

Hobbes: Why'd you do that?

Socrates: Simple: to wind him up!

Hobbes glanced at Calvin, who was beet red and steam was leaking from his nostrils.

Hobbes: I think you did a little more than winding. I think you cranked him up.

 MTM: (referring to Sherman's project) Oh, don't do that. The box is too compacted. With the amount of energy you're pumping into it, it's going to burst at any second.

Sherman: I think I know what I'm doing. And besides, I don't take advice from media players!

MTM: It's going to explode on you.

Sherman: Shut up!

MTM: Very well.



MTM: I suppose this would be a bad 'I told you so' moment.

  "Designed to render unconscious and keep you smelling like pine for at least two hours."

  • Large Ham: The Brainstorm family, oh so much.
    • Calvin also has his moments, as demonstrated here:
    • Lampshaded in "Roughin' It":

 Hobbes: (doing a mosquito check) We're in the clear... supposedly.

Calvin: Good boy, Shatner.

 Calvin: (on the titular political campaign) I don't know about this… Maybe I shouldn't even be running in the first place! I don't even know the name of my school!

Hobbes: Your school has a name?"

    • Another one from "Hypercube":

 Calvin: (after repeatedly jumping in and out of hypercubes trying to get home) Am I the only one in the world with just one hypercube?

Hobbes: Yes. And I thank you for it.

  • Lemony Narrator: The narrator remarks "Gad! This show would be BORING if it was about Susie!" in the opening of "Calvin Gets Professional Help" (which revolves around Susie).
    • The narrator does this a lot. Among the more notable examples include this quip from "The Night of the Living Television II":

 The inventions began glowing a bright yellow, combined back into one, and then split up going after our four heroes.

And Sherman.

  Calvin: So let me get this straight, Socrates. We've spent this whole time wondering what you were doing, and all you were doing was obsessing over a stupid DVD?

    • And from "Pharaoh Andrew":

 Jark: I WILL DESTROY YOU! And I WILL take over the planet!

MTM: Did your mummy tell you that?

  • Let's Split Up, Gang!: "The Great Halloween Heist"
    • Calvin's possessed inventions also do this in "The Night of the Living Television II".
    • As do just Calvin and Hobbes in "Department Store Horrors".
    • And the whole group does it again in "Pranking the Ghosts".
  • Lightning Can Do Anything: Lightning from Calvin's failed attempt to combine his inventions gives him their powers.
  • Literal Cliff Hanger: Dad ends up in this situation on a mountain hike in "Gasping for Air". Calvin saves him using his box-plane thing.
    • Both of Calvin's parents find themselves in this in "The Insane Road Trip".
  • Literal Minded: From "Trader Bullet in Color!":

  Tracer: (narrating) That night, when I got home, I received a call from Mimi Dejour. She said she wanted to meet me at the club right away. Since I had no idea where the Club Right Away was, I suggested the Club Flamingo. She agreed.

 Socrates: "Everything is in place. Susie will be coming around that corner in 32 seconds. When she gets here, tell her you signed up, and I'll set the operation in motion."

(Socrates leaves)

Calvin: How did he...

Hobbes: He plans every prank out, mathematically.

Calvin: Oh.

  • Love Triangle: Calvin, Andy, and Maria in "Insanity is in the Air".
  • Mad Scientist: Dr. Brainstorm.
  • Magic Mirror: One acts as a gateway to a Mirror Universe in "Mirror rorriM", thanks to one of Dr. Brainstorm's inventions.
  • Make Me Wanna Shout: The Scream Horn.
    • Also, the "Stupendous Scream" in "Wild Movie".
    • One of Brainstorm's trademark shouts in "Thunderstorm" actually knocks Jack off his feet.
    • Deconstructed in "Hear My Voice", when Calvin's constant screeching results in laryngitis.
  • Make Wrong What Once Went Right: Calvin's plot to eliminate turkeys from Thanksgiving in "Calvin, Hobbes, and the Pilgrims" ends up killing most of the Pilgrims and making ducks the holiday's bird instead.
  • Mass Hypnosis: Most anyone who is even lightly associated with Calvin is brainwashed by Sheila in "The Alien Huntress".
  • Medium Awareness: Now has its own page! Also notable, as it's the first work to have one.
  • Metaphorgotten: Socrates' sign for Calvin in "CALVIN FOR PRESIDENT!":





    • And from "Let Us Prank the Fool":

  MTM: Mark my words, time is a great healer... unless you've got a rash, in which case you're better off with ointment.

 Hobbes: (after mentioning The Bible) And speaking of the bible-

Calvin: Be careful. We've got censors. (gestures to the camera)

  "We probably ticked off so many people by saying that."


  1. "The Alien Huntress"
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