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Overview

Nermal is a major character in the Garfield franchise.

History

He first appeared in the comic strip on September 3, 1979, and his latest appearance was on August 23, 2020. He has also appeared in the television shows Garfield and Friends and The Garfield Show, as well as in the straight-to-DVD movies Garfield Gets Real, Garfield's Fun Fest, and Garfield's Pet Force. He also had an appearance in Garfield: The Movie, although he looked completely different from the kitten in the comic strip. Nermal is known as Garfield's main and direct nemesis in the Garfield franchise.

Nermal's Gender

Some fans have mistaken Nermal for a female kitten because of his eyelashes, his seemingly feminine personality, and the feminine-sounding tone of his voice on Garfield and Friends. Jim Davis often gives younger characters eyelashes, including Garfield himself in the "Garfield" segment of Garfield: His 9 Lives and Orson at the beginning of the U.S. Acres comic strip.

In Garfield and Friends, Nermal's voice was provided by Desirée Goyette. Starting with Garfield Gets Real, he is voiced by Jason Marsden, thereby breaking the confusion. He was also voiced by David Eigenberg in Garfield: The Movie.

The Latin American dub of Garfield and Friends had Nermal renamed Telma, and his gender changed to female. After season one, "Telma" was changed back to Nermal. Despite this, Nermal's gender only changed back to male near the end of the series.

Personality

Nermal is a cute Grey Tabby cat whom Garfield is jealous of. Although he can be nice on occasion, Nermal regularly and often intentionally annoys Garfield and sometimes Odie, which usually results in Garfield trying to ship him to Abu Dhabi. Nermal often comes in unannounced (and usually on Garfield's birthday), much to Garfield's dismay. Nermal acts as a smart-aleck towards Garfield (much like Arlene). There also are times where Nermal seems to be almost as arrogant as Garfield, possibly even more so. 

When he first appeared, it was stated that he was owned by Jon's parents, which was never mentioned again (nor is he seen on Jon's parents' farm). When he appears, it is usually because Jon has to babysit him. According to "Change of Mind", Nermal's owners leave him at Jon's house "every so often."

Nermal shares a few physical features with Garfield. He revels in his cuteness and proudly proclaims himself as the cutest kitten in the world. Nermal can be quite devious at times like when he tricked Garfield into thinking there was a shark in his water bowl by swimming in it with a shark fin. Nermal also takes great pleasure in irritating Garfield in spite of Garfield being bigger and stronger than him (Garfield told the audience that Nermal might not live to see his next birthday on one such occasion). Nermal is shown to secretly look up to Garfield and sees him as his best friend, despite Garfield mistreating him.

In The Garfield Show, Nermal often acts smug to Garfield and sometimes blackmails him into being nice to him, playing with him or getting him and Odie kicked out of the house for his mess, possibly due to years of Garfield being mean to him. He is also much more arrogant, narcissistic and selfish than in previous incarnations.

In the Garfield Originals episode "Beware of Nermal", Nermal is shown constantly trying to annoy or harass Garfield in many ways, including putting a bomb behind him. All of Nermal's attempts fail by Garfield's awareness, and he ends up getting hurt or humiliated in the end.

Alter Egos

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Abnermal is the superhero version of Nermal. Unlike the rest of the team, Abnermal quickly takes to his superpowers and is overjoyed to be a hero. Abnermal's abilities include his Pester Power, the ability to create force fields, and a body temperature of absolute zero that allows him to freeze anything he touches and project ice blasts. In the movie, he is given super speed.

Ramone

Ramone is an alter-ego disguise made by Nermal to win the Fun Fest by dancing with Arlene. Garfield eventually exposes his identity while fighting over who gets to dance with Arlene, resulting in a disqualification.

In "The Superhero Apprentice", he, along with Hercules, become supervillains in order to get revenge on The Caped Avenger.

Several other kittens that greatly resemble Nermal are seen at the end of "The Art of Being Uncute", all of them having won their local cutest cat competitions and winning trips to Greenland, and all of them seemed to want to annoy Garfield.

Trivia

  • Nermal has appeared 149 times in the comics as of the 11th of October 2017, the 13th most.
  • There is a running gag where Garfield throws Nermal through the door. In Garfield and Friends and The Garfield Show, Garfield often plots to mail him to Abu Dhabi. In The Garfield Show, Garfield ties Nermal to a rocket and blasts him into empty space many times.
  • In the Garfield and Friends episode "Kitten and the Council", Nermal gives his full name as "Nermal Cat".
  • In Garfield's Cyber Safety Adventures, Nermal attends Kittyhawk Elementary School.

Television Appearances

Garfield and Friends

Season 1

Season 2

Season 3

Season 4

Season 5

Season 6

Season 7

The Garfield Show

Season 1

Season 2

Season 3

Season 4

Season 5

Appearances In Comics

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