- This article is about the character. For the comic strip, see Jon (Comic Strip).
Jonathan (Jon) Q.Arbuckle (b. July 28, 1950) is the deuteragonist of the Garfield franchise, and was once the protagonist of the comic strip, Jon.
Garfield and Jon play an odd pair who are comedic or unusual. Garfield is often, but not always, normal. Jon, meanwhile, has very awkward habits, usually related to curing his boredom, speaking random aspects of philosophy, ruining or complaining about his chances of getting a date, or complaining about unfortunate events. In most comics, Garfield will provide a punchline that is usually supposed to be the primary sentence of the comic. Jon sometimes delivers the primary sentence in strips more about Garfield performing a solo act.
Jon manages to make enough money to keep Garfield with food, which is no easy feat. Jon, as well as Garfield, often get bored, usually coming up with "fun" ways to cure boredom, such as buying new socks, clipping toenails, or playing "Guess the Burp" with Garfield.
Jon is an easy prank target for Garfield, either played when he is awake or asleep. A recurring gag in The Garfield Show is Jon being afraid of mice usually screaming at the sight of them. In the comic strip, he chases mice and urges Garfield to catch them.
Since Garfield is capable of eating large quantities of food, Arbuckle has put Garfield on several diets over the years. Jon is shown to be harsh during diets, seen as he will not allow Garfield to go off his diet. Jon has at least dieted with Garfield twice.
In The Garfield Show, Jon has been tricked by Garfield commonly of times. This usually makes Jon feel bad and gives in into giving Garfield food. Sometimes, Jon has threatened not to feed Garfield unless he does a certain task.
In 20 Years & Still Kicking!: Garfield's Twentieth Anniversary Collection, Jim Davis stated in an annotation that his reading audience has always demanded comic sequences where Garfield has to go through a diet, or else they complain.
Jon is a Caucasian adult man with messy brown hair with a black mullet. While he wears shirts of different colors, he is most frequently seen in his signature powder blue polo top. He also wears dark blue pants (in older appearances, he wore black pants) and brown shoes. In Garfield and Friends, he often wore brown pants with a darker blue shirt.
Over the years, Jon has been portrayed as a nerdy, clumsy, and very pathetic man.
Prior to 2006 (when Jon and Liz finally became a couple), Jon constantly struck out when trying to get dates with women. This has been partly due to ridiculous pick-up lines, lack of social skills, and his entire wardrobe of incredibly ugly, flashy outfits. On Friday nights, when unable to get a date, he would invite Garfield to partake in his ridiculous Friday night "festivities" like "Connect the Freckles". Other times, he would merely stare at his phone, desperately waiting in vain for a woman to call him.
Even after forming a relationship with Liz, Jon still behaves pathetically. Under some unusual circumstances, Jon frequently embarrasses himself, and Liz, while out on dates: this often results in Jon getting permanently kicked out of the restaurant. Jon will often present Liz with a ridiculous idea of some sorts, or offer to play a tune on his accordion. Garfield will frequently turn to Liz and encourage her to "escape" while she still can. Jon does many other unintelligent activities, such as looking in an auto parts store for Liz's Christmas present.
Jon is also quite incompetent, such as by forcing both shoes onto one foot out of boredom, falling down the basement stairs after mistaking the basement door for the front door, and trying to use the electric can opener during a power outage. Once, Garfield ate Jon’s new fish and placed a potato in the fishbowl. Jon fed the “fish” for two weeks after that, before finally noticing it had been replaced with a potato. In Garfield and Friends, he is often gullible, usually when faced with unscrupulous salesmen, no matter how obvious the scams may be.
Jon is also considered to have bad taste in music. Despite the genre being "dead," he still likes to dance to disco music. He is also quite fond of polka and accordion music. Despite playing for years, Jon has proven himself to be a terrible accordion player. He is bad at singing, often getting his mouth forced and sealed closed by others, especially when out caroling around Christmas time.
Jon tends to be immature at times. According to Garfield, he whines a lot, which is sometimes demonstrated. He reads pop-up books (calling them “fascinating”), wears bunny footie pajamas (even when he goes out to get the mail and/or newspaper), and owns teddy bear boxers. In numerous strips he tends to be wishy-washy and has a hard time making simple decisions, such as deciding what ice cream flavor to get. Every year at Christmas time, he and Doc Boy still enjoy being read “Binky, the Clown Who Saved Christmas” by their father.
Jon has had occasional moments of brilliance, such as putting out decoy Christmas presents, taking out the kitchen light bulb, nailing Garfield into bed, spraying Garfield with a shaken soda can (which was shaken by Garfield), sawing a hole in a table and Garfield's bed to trick Garfield.
In The Garfield Show, Jon is a little more intelligent than his other incarnations. He can often be spiteful towards Garfield and Odie when he punishes them. Notably when they seem to be picking on Nermal, who is oblivious towards his true nature, when they are trying to get back at him for something that is offensive to them. While he mostly defends Nermal, it is shown that Jon also has his limits with him. In "Family Picture", Jon ended up tying Nermal (and his neighbor) with rope after the cat photobombed their picture too many times. Most of his punishments involve giving Garfield and/or Odie cat/dog food instead of food humans eat. When this happens, Jon will sometimes torment them by teasing them with his food. Jon does not seem to stop Drusilla and Minerva from playing dress up with Garfield and Odie, as he believes they enjoy it. In "Very Very Long Night", he forbids them from doing it, mainly because he was annoyed and trying to sleep.
Likes And Dislikes
- Writing comics
- Cooking and baking
- Going on dates with women (Liz exclusively since 2006)
- Dancing and singing
- Ordering Garfield to do chores and to not touch food he is not supposed to eat
- Sudoku puzzles
- Terrible costumes
- Calling Garfield "fat"
- Putting Garfield on a strict diet
- Taking Garfield to the vet
- Drusilla and Minerva
- Giving Garfield lasagna
- Liz Wilson
- Training Garfield to get rid of mice
- Threatening Garfield whenever he does something wrong
- Ordering Garfield food from restaurants
- Calling his brother Doc Boy
- Disco music
- Garfield trying to eat his meals or plants
- Garfield mistreating Odie
- Garfield trying to mail Nermal to Abu Dhabi
- Garfield scratching his furniture and his curtains
- Garfield refusing to eat mice
- Liz or any other women rejecting him
- Getting arrested
- His pets making a mess
- His pets misbehaving
- Garfield's antics
- RX-2 abusing Garfield's weight and insulting him
- Garfield's extreme weight
- His pets refusing to play with Drusilla and Minerva, due to their extreme hyperactivity
- Being called names
Arbuckle has been called countless names over the years (most being in high school).
- Bean Brain
- Clown boy
- Carp Face (His school friend Wheezer calls him this, it is also his nickname in his yearbook)
- Geek Boy
- Dork Boy
- Lame Brain
- City Slicker
- Sissy Boy