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Garfield is the titular protagonist of the long-running franchise of the same name, created by Jim Davis.

In Garfield and Friends and The Garfield Show, Garfield's full name is frequently stated to be Garfield Cat.

Biography[]

Early life[]

Comics[]

Garfield was born on June 19, 1978[1] in the kitchen of Mamma Leoni's Italian Restaurant[2][3], weighing five pounds and six ounces (c. 2.4 kg). Later, Garfield would be sold to a pet shop, where Jon Arbuckle would have to choose between adopting Garfield and an iguana[4]. "I love cats. I wanted a cat... So what do I do? I go to the pet store and ask for a cat. What do they give me?... A lasagna with fur and fangs,"[5] Jon said in a comic strip from November 1978.

TV Specials[]

The television specials provide the most fleshed out details of Garfield's backstories, with elements found in Here Comes Garfield, Garfield on the Town and Garfield: His 9 Lives. Garfield was born on June 19, 1978 in a restaurant called "Luigi's", run by its eponymous cook. Garfield's appetite for Italian cuisine was developed immediately after eating a sheet of lasagna from a dropped pan. To avoid being run out of business, Luigi sold Garfield to a local pet shop.

While in the pet shop, in addition to meeting Odie for the first time, Garfield was adopted by Jon through a display of obvious desperation. Later on, Jon would adopt Odie as a companion for Garfield.

The Garfield Show[]

Garfield's adoption is briefly shown in "It's About Time".

The Garfield Movie (2024)[]

The Garfield Movie mostly divulges from the aforementioned backstories. Five years prior to the film's events, Garfield is born. His father, Victor, leaves him in an alleyway to go find food, but does not return. Garfield hungrily crosses the street to an Italian restaurant, where he finds Jon Arbuckle eating alone. Despite eating copious amounts in the restaurant, Jon and Garfield manage to exit without being noticed. Finally returning, Victor spots Jon and Garfield together. Realizing that Jon will provide his son a better life, he disappears. Jon decides to adopt Garfield in spite of his apartment's rules on pets.

Personality[]

Garfield is an overweight, bipedal orange tabby cat known for his laziness, sarcasm, arrogance, selfishness, and love for food, especially lasagna and other flour-based dishes. He dislikes raisins and sometimes anchovy pizza. [6] [7]

Garfield's weight is often joked about in the comic strip, particularly by an electronic scale he uses. He does not handle insults or commands from the talking scale RX-2 (or anyone else) well, usually responding with a witty comeback or a threat, even though he only communicates through thought bubbles.

Garfield lives with his nerdy and socially awkward owner Jon Arbuckle and Jon's not-so-bright pet dog Odie. Garfield enjoys mocking Jon and Odie for their actions. He seems to dislike Odie, often causing him physical harm or insulting him, like kicking him off tables. Despite Odie's occasional pranks and jokes about Garfield's weight and age, Odie never intentionally harms Garfield. Garfield frequently makes fun of Jon for his nerdy behavior, lack of success with women, and strange fashion sense.

Despite his selfishness and laziness, Garfield loves both Odie and Jon, as well as his teddy bear Pooky, who is often seen in his arms or nearby.

Garfield does not like Nermal, who often claims to be cuter than Garfield. He also dislikes how Jon gives Nermal more attention during his visits.

In the live-action Garfield films, Garfield enjoys dancing and listening to music.

In "The Garfield Show," Garfield is shown to be more caring towards his friends, though he still plays mean tricks on Odie and likes to prank Herman Post.

Physical appearance[]

Garfield Evoloution

Garfield's designs throughout the years.

Garfield is an overweight adult Persian tabby cat who has orange fur, notably large ears, large spherical cartoonish eyes with white sclera and black pupils, and a yellow muzzle featuring a small pink nose. His black stripes are prominently displayed on his ears, on the side of his cheeks, and on his back. Additionally, Garfield sports side whiskers on the top of his head. He is characterized by a plump body, short legs, and large feet, each bearing three toes.

Over the years, Garfield's appearance has changed greatly. In the strip's first few years, he was drawn more realistically and was much bigger before adopting a more cartoonish appearance and slimmed out/became smaller. He also became mostly bipedal, where in the strip's early days he walked like a normal cat on all fours. In the February 6, 1981 strip Garfield once noted a major difference between himself and most other cats is his possession of thumbs (the context being Garfield using his thumbs to hitchhike), having four digits on his front paws including his thumbs and three on his back paws (in comparison, real-life cats typically have five on their front paws and four on their back paws). Despite the changes, Garfield has always remained an orange tabby over the years.

Talking[]

Throughout the franchise, Garfield is known for having internal monologues that are converted into text via thought bubbles. In the Lorenzo Music era, his mouth was always closed, since it is established that he and the other animals cannot talk.

Human characters cannot usually hear what Garfield is saying, although, sometimes, humans can hear his thoughts, and Garfield can order things on the phone without a worry, but Garfield often establishes his inability to talk in the comic strips and in the cartoon shows.

Starting with the live-action films, Garfield's mouth now moves whenever he speaks, but humans cannot understand him.

In the DTV movies, Garfield is able to be understood by Jon and all the other humans.

In The Garfield Show, Garfield is portrayed with a moving mouth. Despite this, Jon is usually unable to hear his dialogue.

In The Garfield Movie, Garfield is portrayed yet again with a moving mouth, although Jon and the other human characters cannot hear his dialogue.

Intelligence[]

Garfield, the cat, has intelligence comparable to an average human. He can read and write and can use various basic electronics like TVs, telephones, voice recorders, and computers (using a mouse, not a touchpad). Garfield can understand humans, but he cannot speak to them. However, he can communicate with elephants, dogs, mice, other animals, aliens, mythical creatures, and the audience. He can write using a goose feather or by dipping his claws into ink. Additionally, Garfield can operate basic machinery in emergencies.

Food consumption[]

He orders an average of 50 boxes of his favorite food lasagna a week and eats extra on his birthday. He likes an arrangement of food containing wheat and is known to like Chinese food on occasion. He likes eggplants in lasagnas and pepperoni on pizzas. He usually eats by tossing lasagnas into the air and catching them. He sometimes uses a fork, albeit more rarely. He often orders a large pizza and rolls it up like a taco. He eats with more manners in "Against All Tides".

Although he has a large capacity for food consumption, he is sometimes shown to have nightmares if he eats too much before sleeping. Notably, two video games have been based on this concept, being Garfield's Nightmare and Garfield and His Nine Lives. A large number of comic strips, TV episodes, and TV specials have also been built around this fact.

Relationships[]

Garfield and Jon[]

While Garfield loves his owner Jon, this does not stop him from playing numerous practical jokes and other mischievous acts.

As an obsessive eater, Garfield frequently eats Jon's food when he is not looking. Even when Jon is vigilant, Garfield finds ingenious ways to take his food, such as cutting holes through the table. When Jon tries to negotiate with Garfield to stop him from eating his food, Garfield often ignores Jon's offers and eats the food anyway. Sometimes, Garfield even takes Jon's food and mixes it with his own cat food.

Garfield also pranks Jon in various ways. One common prank is locking Jon out of the house while he retrieves the mail, often so Garfield can eat all the prepared breakfast food. Other times, Garfield locks Jon out to amuse the neighbors, especially when Jon is outside in his bunny footy pajamas.

When Jon is asleep, Garfield goes to extreme measures to wake him up. This includes hopping on Jon's stomach, scaring him with monster masks, throwing his bed out the window, knocking him off the bed after playing the radio, acting like a drill sergeant with Odie playing the cymbals, or attempting to throttle him, as seen in some early comic strips.

Jon often suffers the consequences of Garfield's mischief toward others. When Garfield terrorizes the neighborhood by destroying flowerbeds, chasing girl scouts for their cookies, or harassing people, Jon receives numerous complaints from neighbors. Garfield views these complaint calls as a form of recognition or achievement.

In Garfield and Friends, the specials, and The Garfield Show, Jon and Garfield are good friends. Neighbors primarily complain about Garfield eating their food. Despite Garfield's antics, Jon and Garfield care about and protect each other.

Garfield and Odie[]

Garfield frequently harasses Odie, his house-mate. Garfield enjoys kicking Odie off the table when he is not looking. He also likes to trick Odie into performing a stupid act, like chasing non-existent objects or getting him to chase his tail around in circles with no end. Despite this, Garfield does care for Odie and his well being to the point where he would put his life on the line to ensure his safety.

In Garfield and Friends, the specials, and The Garfield Show, despite Garfield playing mean tricks on Odie, he does usually get along with him. They frequently have adventures together.

In the Garfield Show, Garfield does not harass Odie as much as he does in the comics, as his friendship with Odie is shown quite often when he is in danger. He also acts more generous with food towards him; after ordering pizzas whilst visiting Doc Boy's farm, Garfield openly shares a slice with Odie after being asked.

Garfield and spiders[]

Garfield often comes into contact with spiders, which almost always results with them being whacked with a rolled newspaper or stomped by his foot. This is often the result of the spider insulting Garfield, whether it be over his weight, his old age (usually around Garfield's upcoming birthdays), his life in general, or anything else. Other times, it is merely an act resulting from Garfield's general hatred towards spiders.

Occasionally, when Garfield flattens a spider with a magazine, he will leave the magazine out for Jon to read. When Jon opens the magazine, he finds a large, flattened out spider, causing him to scream in terror. The spiders occasionally win against Garfield by avoiding getting swatted or finding a way to annoy or harm him, such as ruining his selfie.

Garfield and Nermal[]

Garfield is often jealous of the treatment Nermal gets from many people, especially Jon. While not having any problem with him when having his peace and quiet undisturbed, Garfield will get very angry and annoyed when Nermal intentionally ruins it and will not have any problem with bullying or mailing him to Abu Dhabi him in return. Garfield still dislikes Nermal and wishes he would leave him alone. They get along if they needed to be, or if Garfield is in a good mood.

In the Garfield Show and the CGI movies, Garfield openly displays irritation with Nermal when he is there to intentionally annoy him and others. He once wore a mask of himself smiling to pretend to tolerate Nermal.[8]

Garfield and Arlene[]

Throughout the comic strips, Garfield and Arlene appear to be close. Garfield would attempt to make some moves on Arlene, such as kissing her or attempting to compliment her, which would end with Arlene injuring him vaguely. As the comic strips went on, it was hinted that they are a pair.

Garfield may have commitment issues with Arlene. In one comic strip, Garfield imagines a future of him and Arlene being married; he grows nervous when he imagines them having kittens and brushes the idea off.[9] In another strip, Arlene asks him from out of nowhere if it were legal for cats to get married. Garfield's face (except for his mouth) responds with a surprised and scared expression. When being asked by Arlene if he is okay, Garfield tells her that his brain is in pain.[10] Arlene also knows what to say to Garfield; when she randomly mentions tuna, Garfield smiles with her as he holds her paw, commenting on how much of a sweet talker she was.[11] He also does not wish to be too critical with Arlene, as when being asked if the gap in her teeth looks silly, Garfield tells her that she could never look silly.[12] Garfield also mentions that Arlene is cute when she is angry.

In the CGI movies, Garfield and Arlene act more romantically interested in one another. Arlene sometimes believes he could do better. She gets worried and frustrated when it seems like some other female cat is hitting on Garfield. Garfield is also shown to be afraid of losing Arlene to a better male cat. In Garfield's Fun Fest, he sees "Ramone" become Arlene's new dance partner, an offer that he had turned down, making Garfield grow jealous and worried. Following an unsuccessful journey for Freddy Frog's "funny water", he expects Arlene and his fans to forget about him. When he gets encouragement from Freddy himself, Garfield puts on the clothes and dances with Arlene while fighting with Ramone until exposing him as Nermal. Garfield then apologizes to Arlene, as this was more important than Fun Fest. They end up winning a perfect score and the two kiss.

Garfield Ecxo

Garfield as he appears in The Garfield Show

Garfield and plants[]

He likes to eat ferns and other types of flowers. Liz once said that the reason Garfield eats Jon's houseplants is due to the fact that he is so out of shape that plants are one of the few things that are easy for him to catch. Some strips feature common flowers talking to each other, only to be eaten by Garfield in the end.

Garfield and dogs[]

Besides kicking Odie off the table, when outside, Garfield enjoys teasing other dogs. They are usually chained up or smaller in size than him. He occasionally faces the misfortune of the chain or rope not being securely tied, (resulting in Garfield being chased and/or injured by the dog), or the dogs are not as small or weak as they seem. For example, the week of October 22, 2001, an obese blue dog in a superhero costume assumed various different guises (i.e, Bungee Dog[13], Slingshot Dog[14], etc.), resulting in Garfield getting harmed.

Others[]

Garfield likes to torment mailman Herman Post, although Herman occasionally gets the last laugh.

Garfield's other favorite victim to prank is Mrs. Feeny. He loves to prank her, and abuse her little dog. This makes her hate Garfield, often sending threatening letters to him. She goes to great lengths to try and keep him out of her garden as well, often to no avail.

Garfield can also be a rude slob, with almost no manners. Among the rude things he likes to do is burp very loudly. On two occasions[15], Garfield goes out of his way to burp louder than Jon does; when Jon states that not everything is a contest, Garfield replies "Said the loser."

On January 8, 2009, he displays a certificate announcing his election into the Bad Habit Hall of Fame. Afterward, he crumples up the certificate and tosses it behind him.[16]

Fact or Opinion (2)

New Olympic competition: bush diving.

Common elements of a Garfield comic[]

  • Garfield sitting on the couch, watching TV.
  • Garfield making fun of Jon and/or Odie.
  • Garfield swatting (a) spider(s).
  • Jon complaining about Garfield's refusal to chase mice.
  • Garfield harassing the neighbors, and Jon getting calls about it.
  • Garfield eating Lasagna.
    Self esteem (01)

    Garfield's second-favourite activity

  • Garfield eating ferns, either Jon's or Mrs. Feeny's.
  • Garfield performing on the fence.
  • Jon asking a girl out on a date, and Garfield making a witty comment.
  • Garfield insulting or making snarky, witty, sarcastic and sometimes downright mean comments about Jon's flaws.
  • Garfield hating Mondays.
  • Garfield kicking or pushing Odie off the table.
  • Garfield dating Arlene.
  • Nermal being a nuisance to Garfield and being mailed to Abu Dhabi.
  • Garfield pulling pranks on Herman Post.
  • Garfield Sleeping.
  • Garfield and Odie doing "Ask a Dog".
  • Odie's barking disturbing Garfield's eating and sleeping.
  • Birthday and age-related nightmares on the days before Garfield's birthday.
  • Garfield being sent to the nurse for being over-weight.
Garfields anatomy German

Garfield's anatomy (from a German book)

  • Diets
  • Garfield trying to cheat on his diets.
  • Garfield trying to fool RX-2, the talking scale.
  • Exaggerated signs that Garfield needs to go on a diet, such as the house sinking in or the floors becoming wavy or bouncy in one comic.
  • Garfield throwing Nermal through the door.
  • Garfield and his coffee addiction.
  • Garfield shedding.
  • Garfield complaining about Mondays.
  • Bad things happening to Garfield on Mondays.
  • Jon or Garfield being on the news.
  • Garfield taunting the neighborhood dogs.
  • Garfield and/or Jon ordering pizza.
  • Garfield eating birds (or at least trying to).
  • Garfield getting stuck in the blinds.
  • Garfield clawing furniture (or curtains).

Repeatedly used words[]

While Garfield does not have any catchphrases, he has some certain words or phrases he says on several occasions:

  • Nice touch: a phrase often said by Garfield on television.
  • I hate Mondays: famously, Mondays seem to hate Garfield even more than he hates them!
  • Rats: a word said when something goes wrong.
  • Big fat hairy deal: not said as much as the others, but has a video game by the same name.
  • Whoever [phrase] should be dragged out into the street and shot: said whenever he is angry at someone—most notably in certain Garfield and Friends episodes and animated specials. In an episode of The Garfield Show, "shot" was replaced with "beaten".
  • I'm standing on him: whenever Garfield appears taller than usual
  • We're bachelors, baby: A phrase Garfield started saying when Jon would be lazy about things like cleaning. First used after Liz became Jon's girlfriend.[17]
  • Feed me: said when he wants to be fed. (This is actually the second thing he said on his very first comic strip.)
  • Rat Fink daisies
  • This does not bode well (also said by Jon in the first comic strip of 2000.)
  • Pizza
  • No anchovies!
  • Lasagna
  • I'm not overweight. I'm undertall.
  • Hey, you're not exactly Ms. (phrase) yourself lady!: Not said as much as others but it is commonly said when he feels like he's being insulted
  • I hate ______. : used when something "disobeys" what Garfield wants it to do
  • The plot thickens: said when something funny happens with Jon (such as showing a scar to a police officer when he thought he was showing it to a nurse)[18] or Odie (such as being yelled at by Jon for supposedly trying to eat the last green jelly bean)[19]
  • Define "_______" : usually said when Garfield does not want to properly answer a question.
  • Yo no comprehendo, señor. : Used when Garfield tries to avoid a problem by speaking the Spanish translation for "I do not understand, sir".

Friends[]

Enemies[]

Likes[]

  • Lasagna
  • Pizza
  • Donuts
  • Chili dogs[23]
  • Eating
  • Sleeping
  • Playing mean tricks on Odie
  • Mailing Nermal to Abu Dhabi
  • Tormenting Jon
  • Scratching curtains and furniture
  • Diving in flowers
  • Eating Jon and Mrs. Feeny's flowers and plants
  • Harassing Herman
  • Pooky
  • Eating Jon's goldfish (or any other fish he brings home) and birds
  • Befriending mice
  • Coffee
  • Stalking and hunting birds out in the backyard, especially in the comics (formerly in The Garfield Show)[24]
  • Squashing spiders and insects and other arthropods
  • Burping loudly
  • Insulting dogs
  • Tormenting his neighbors, particularly Mrs. Feeny
  • Tormenting Mrs. Feeny's chihuahua
  • Performing in front of the audience
  • Stealing food from his neighbors, which was common in Garfield and Friends, particularly with Mr. Burnside
  • Causing Jon and his neighbor's misery
  • Watching television
  • Making the Laundromutt wash Odie
  • Emptying all of Vito's stock
  • Binky the Clown (sometimes)
  • Singing
  • Dancing

Dislikes[]

  • Mondays (especially Monday the 13th)
  • Raisins in any form, especially in cookies, muffins, and cupcakes
  • Spinach (occasionally)
  • Grapefruits
  • Irma's cooking
  • Dogs (except Odie)
  • Spiders
  • Flies
  • Mice (as food)
  • Nermal (only when he annoys him)
  • Getting vaccination shots from the vet
  • Rain
  • Garden sprinklers and accidentally encountering sprinkler heads
  • Birthdays ("It's really the aging that curdles my cheese"[25] or without any lasagna)
  • Birthday and age-related nightmares
  • Diets
  • Alarm clocks (they wake him up from his nap)
  • Splut Pies
  • Baths (this was only shown happening for the first couple of years)
  • Leashes
  • Some vegetables
  • People who know that he hates Mondays and people who like Mondays, especially Jon
  • February (sporadically in the '80s)
  • March's weather
  • Healthy foods
  • Exercise
  • Fleas
  • RX-2 taunting or insulting him
  • Jon's fashion sense and Christmas gift choices
  • Anybody calling him overweight, or taunting/insulting him for related reasons
  • Buttermilk
  • Folding chairs
  • Leg cramps
  • Jon threatening to never feed him again
  • Chores
  • Disc jockeys
  • Mimes
  • Drusilla and Minerva
  • Aunt Ivy
  • The Buddy Bears
  • Binky the Clown (sometimes)
  • Agent X
  • Mama Meany's Pizza Palace
  • Dr. Whipple
  • Virtualodeon[26]
  • Bullying

Appearances[]

Trivia[]

  • According to Jim Davis in a Denver Comic-Con interview, Jack Nicholson was considered as the voice of Garfield in the 2004 live-action film. He was the only one besides Bill Murray considered for the role; he was never contacted as Murray was immediately accepted.
  • In one comic strip, Garfield claims to dream in pizza toppings.
  • Garfield has often been shown to be capable of writing in English. However, he often states that he cannot read. Despite this, he has read English text on a few occasions.
  • In the April 25, 1983 strip, it is revealed that Garfield's favorite movie is "Old Yeller."
  • Garfield is said to weigh 5 pounds and 6 ounces (c. 2.4 kg) at birth, which was the actual birth weight of Jim Davis's son, James. Garfield's birth weight was supposedly from his ego, as said in Garfield's Guide to Everything.
  • In The January 23, 2007 strip, it is revealed that Garfield likes chili dogs
  • The foods Garfield will not eat are
    • Raisins (including anything that contains such)
    • Anchovies on pizza (occasionally)
    • Most healthy foods (particularly as part of a diet)
    • Yogurt (including anything that resembles it)
    • Jon's meatloaf (although he is sometimes shown eating it in The Garfield Show)
    • Snails
    • Fruitcake
    • Chicken salad sandwiches (especially ones with peanut butter)[27]
  • Garfield's 1978 design is shown in The Garfield Show on a picture frame in the living room.
  • Garfield was named after Jim Davis' grandfather, James Garfield Davis.
  • In the 2022 film Chip 'n Dale: Rescue Rangers, Garfield is briefly portrayed in a photograph as one of the bootlegged cartoon characters held by Sweet Pete and the Valley Gang. In the photo, Garfield’s body has been altered to have huge muscles, with Captain Putty mentioning that the altercations are too much for his body.
  • In the Professor Garfield origin story comic, Garfield's eyes are shown to be green.
  • As of 2024, Garfield is 46 years old.

References[]

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