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Calvin and Hobbes avoids parody of specific figures and products, but has nevertheless made a number of references to corporations and media.

Media

  • Astro Boy – In the 2/23 through 2/28 1987 story arc, Calvin gets Hobbes to model his hair; once done, the tiger claims that his new haircut looks like "Astro Boy".
  • At the Movies – In one comic, Calvin's father criticizes his son's cartoon show, and Calvin, annoyed, calls him "The Gene Siskel of Saturday morning TV".
  • Batman – In 8/9 through 8/12 1989 story arc, Calvin cajoles his mother into buy dinosaur-related merchandise from the Natural History Museum gift shop by saying it is educational; afterwards, Hobbes contemplates whether they "can get any Batman junk that way". In the 10/7 through 11/4 1989 story arc, Calvin does a report on bats for school; Miss Wormwood comments that his "scientific illustration" looks like he traced the Batman logo and added fangs. In a single weekday strip where Calvin suggested the idea of a politically invested superhero, Hobbes derisively exclaimed "Quick! To the Bat-Fax!". Finally, Calvin drew an unseen flip-book animation which featured a T-Rex crashing the Batmobile.
  • Bambi – In a weekday strip, Calvin is practicing a cute expression in front of a mirror to sweet-talk his mother into buying him a flamethrower; Hobbes comments that doing the "Bambi eyes" (which is technically an expression for adorable, cute, and puffy eyes) will be of no avail. In another strip, Calvin explains the world overpopulation issue by means a role-reversal story where deer attack men in their "natural environment" (workplaces). One of these deer calls his cohort "Bamb".
  • Bedtime for Bonzo – In the 12/1 through 12/6 1986 story arc, Rosalyn sends Calvin to bed early after some darts are fired at her, and cries out "All right, kid! Bedtime for Bonzo!!"
  • Bible – Calvin occasionally alludes to biblical events and characters, such as the Horsemen of the Apocalypse when creating a clay statue.
  • Bill Watterson's early cartoons – Several characters in Calvin and Hobbes are superficially based on Bill Watterson's political cartoons as well as those he wrote on campus: two women very similar to Calvin's mother and Rosalyn appear in these caricatures, and two college classmates of Bill's (Tom Chestnutt and Asa Tunney) make cameo appearances in the strip.
  • Blob, The – In a Sunday strip, following a souring experience with the natural world, Calvin heads to his house to rejoin his TV set; Hobbes states that The Blob is on at 3:00.
  • Conan the Barbarian - In the 6/13 through 2/29 1988 camping story arc, Calvin's mother gets disgusted at the prospect of fishing in the morning. When Calvin enquires why his family even went camping, his mother tells him to ask his father, whom she refers to as "Conan the Barbarian".
  • Dear Abby – In a single strip, Calvin's father "surprised" his son with the news that it was time for his bath. Calvin did not take it well, and sarcastically commented that letters to Dear Abby lamenting elders' isolation from their grandchildren "really crack [him] up".
  • Dick and Jane – Calvin wrote an advanced paper on Dick and Jane for school.
  • Elephant Man, The – In the 8/11 through 8/14 1986 story arc, Calvin tries to get his face stuck in a grotesque grimace after his mom sarcastically tells him about it. At the diner table, in order to avoid causing disgust, he covers his face with a hood and exclaims "Elephant Man!".
  • Encyclopædia Britannica – In one comic, Calvin's father tells his son that he was once a grub. Calvin's mother tells her son otherwise, inciting Calvin to tell his father "You should get your stories straight with Mom, Mr. Brittanica!".
  • Fantastic Four – In the 8/8 through 8/17 1988 story arc, Calvin attempts to fix the dripping bathroom faucet; when Hobbes doubts if he can actually do so, Calvin calls him "Dr. Doom", the principal antagonist in Fantastic Four. It is possible, however, that Bill Watterson was unaware of Dr. Doom's existence and simply came up with the name himself.
  • Fiddler on the Roof – In a single Sunday strip, where Hobbes is unmasked as the perpetrator of a phony love letter from Susie to Calvin, the tiger begins to sing "Matchmaker, matchmaker, make me a match...".
  • Fiend Without a Face – In the 4/20 through 4/23 1987 story arc, Calvin prepares an oral report on the human brain. Asked about what he already knew, he replied that he saw an old movie where a human brain on life support had mutated, escaped and begun to terrorize the populace.
  • Frankenstein – In a single weekday strip, Calvin narrates a fantasy where he is brought to life by a power surge. Much like in the 1931 film adaptation, the narrator exclaims "He's alive!". Also, Calvin's 1/27/1989 snowman brings to mind the scenario of the novel.
  • Frosty the Snowman – In the 12/31/90 through 1/19/91 story arc, Calvin ponders how to get rid of killer snowmen; Hobbes chimes in, wondering how “they managed to kill Frosty”.
  • Get Smart – Calvin's "Box of Secrecy" is most likely a spoof of the "Cone of Silence".
  • Godzilla/Godzilla vs. Megalon – In a weekday strip, Calvin built structures in his sandbox that represented downtown Tokyo. He then smashed then, explaining that it was Godzilla causing the destruction. Also, in a Sunday strip, Calvin attacked his mother while pretending to be a sea monster; he referred to her as his "ancient arch-rival Megalon". Megalon is an actual antagonist of Godzilla, seen in "Godzilla vs. Megalon".
  • Goldilocks and the Three Bears – In a Sunday strip, Calvin insisted that his father read him Hobbes's bedtime story, which was a morbid derivative of Goldilocks and the Three Bears. It was referenced one more time in the strip; see "Three Little Pigs" below.
  • GQ – See "Miami Vice" below.
  • Hamlet – In a Sunday strip, Calvin's dinner came to life and enunciated its misery by reciting part of the famous Shakespeare monologue, "To be or not to be?", from Hamlet. Afterwards, it began singing Feelings.
  • Hope Springs Eternal – Breaking the fourth wall, Hobbes derided Calvin's procrastination by stating "Denial springs eternal".
  • Jeopardy! – At school, Calvin tried to avoid a quiz by saying "I'll take 'Outer Planets' for $100."
  • Jurassic Park – Various strips featuring different dinosaurs seem to reference or lampoon some of the shots from the movie in several panels.
  • Krazy Kat – In a Sunday strip where Calvin fantasizes about a Tyrannosaurus attacking an art museum, Calvin's parents are seen admiring a background from a Krazy Kat comic.
  • Lassie – In one strip, Calvin makes a weak pun in which crossing Lassie with a cantaloupe results in a "Melon-Collie baby" (putting a pun on the word "melancholy").
  • Lawrence of Arabia – In the 5/11 through 5/21 1987 story arc, Hobbes wraps a towel - which forms a turban - around Calvin's head to hide his butchered haircut. He then asserts that it provides "sort of a Lawrence of Arabia look".
  • Looney Tunes – Elmer Fudd’s voice can be heard in several strips where Calvin and Hobbes are watching TV. In one strip, he can be heard yelling off-screen “Ooh, you wascawwy wabbit!”. Also, Calvin once called himself "The Acme of evolution", referring to the omnipotent Acme Corporation in Looney Tunes.
  • Metamorphosis, The – In one strip, Calvin wakes up to find he has turned into a giant slug. This setup and the tone of his narration are similar to that in Kafka's The Metamorphosis. Also, in the 2/8 through 2/20 1988 story arc, when Calvin realizes he doesn't have to go to school as an owl, the same thing applies to Gregor Samsa in the book when he realizes he can't go to work anymore as a giant bug. In another reference to Kafka's body of work, Hobbes once claimed that a good night kiss prevents one from having "Kafka dreams".
  • Miami Vice – When Hobbes was grooming himself for a night at the restaurant, Calvin advised him to adopt the "Don Johnson fuzzy look", in reference to Johnson's appearance in Miami Vice. When Hobbes was finished, Calvin also said that his apperance was "right out of 'GQ'".
  • Mickey Mouse - In the 9/29 through 10/1 1986 story arc, Hobbes copies Calvin and tries to act "cool". To dress the part, he dons Mickey Mouse's trademark red pants with yellow buttons.
  • National GeographicHobbes watches National Geographic animal specials on television and possibly reads the magazine as well. Also, he contemplated getting into the publication along with Calvin for the joint discovery of the Calvinosaurus skeleton, as well as for the pictures Calvin had taken in the Jurassic.
  • New Yorker, The – In the 5/2 through 6/6 1992 story arc, Hobbes considered sending his story about the time-traveling Calvin to The New Yorker.
  • New York Times, The – In one comic, Calvin inquired about the praise his bedtime story had received, and asked his father if The New York Times recommended it.
  • Nude Descending a Staircase, No. 2 – Calvin paid tribute to this painting in two weekday strips. In one, Calvin escaped his bath and called for attention while going down the stairs. In another, he built a snowman atop a short flight of stairs.
  • Oliver Twist – When Calvin loudly complained about his outdated TV setup, his father sarcastically gave his son a copy of the book, saying he might identify with it.
  • Pinocchio – In a weekday strip, when Calvin failed to obtain a million dollars after wishing upon a star, he cursed Jiminy Cricket's name. In the 3/26 through 4/12 1990 story arc, Calvin lies to his mother about his behavior toward Rosalyn, and Hobbes comments "Nice try, Pinocchio".
  • Robinson Crusoe – Calvin foresaw he and Hobbes becoming "modern Robinson Crusoes" aftr they got lost in the woods.
  • Sherlock Holmes – In the 2/6 through 2/18 1989 story arc, when Calvin made the obvious discovery that he was getting a babysitter, his mother sarcastically said "Brilliant, Holmes".
  • Silver Bells – Calvin sang part of the song in mid-November, anticipating Christmas.
  • Song of the South – In the 2/8 through 2/20 1988 story arc, Calvin becomes an owl and, due to the Transmogrifier Gun overheating, is stuck as one. When he realizes he won't have to go to school in owl form, he starts merrily singing a few bars of the song "Zip-a Dee-Doo-Dah".
  • Star-Spangled Banner, The – In the 9/14 through 9/30 story arc, Calvin tries to ignore Hobbes during a fight. To cover up his voice, he begins singing the U.S. national anthem.
  • Star Trek – In a Sunday strip where Calvin loses at checkers, he accuses Hobbes of performing an underhand "mind-meld". Also, in the 6/15 through 6/20 1987 story arc, Calvin instructs his flying carpet to enter "Warp Factor Five".
  • Superman – In several strips, Calvin audibly hums some kind of tune, meant to be Stupendous Man's theme. It is unknown how the tune goes, though both times, the number of notes does seem to fit into John Williams' score for the original Superman films. In a Sunday strip, Stupendous Man turned back time by pushing the earth in the opposite direction of its rotation. In a weekday strip, Calvin, pretending to be a superhero, trips on his cape and struggles on the ground while crying out "Kryptonite! Kryptonite!".
  • Tarzan – In a weekday strip, Calvin sails out over the water on a rope swing and does the Tarzan yell. As he lets go, he looks down at the water and hurriedly grabs the rope back. As he comes back to shore, Hobbes calls him Tarzan. In another weekday strip, Calvin walks up to Susie in his underwear and calls himself "Tarzan, king of the jungle".
  • Three Little Pigs – In one strip, for his bedtime story, Calvin pitched a crossover in which the characters of Three Little Pigs, Goldilocks and the Three Bears, Hansel and Gretel and Little Red Riding Hood would each meet a gruesome fate.
  • Time – In the 6/25 to 7/7 1990 story arc, Calvin anticipated that his pictures of dinosaurs would get him into Time Magazine.
  • Wall Street Journal, The – Calvin's father reads this publication, and Calvin once read it to use against his father.
  • Winnie the Pooh – Hobbes is similar in some regards to Winnie the Pooh character Tigger. In several Sunday strips, Calvin madly chases him while he whoops "Whoo-hoo-hoo!", a catchphrase of Tigger's. Also, in the 5/17 through 5/22 1993 story arc, when Calvin tells Hobbes about his disgusting project, Hobbes flees while exclaiming "Toodle-Doo", another Tigger trademark.
  • Wonder Woman - Calvin's statement at show and tell that his mother changes out of her normal clothes into a patriotic leotard, knee-high boots and a cape is reference to the standard attire of superheroines, but is most likely a remark for Wonder Woman, who is best associated with her leotard.
  • ZZ Top – In a weekday strip, Calvin endeavors to grow a beard "like the guys in ZZ Top," as the band is famous for their long beards.

Registered trademarks of corporations

  • Oreo – In the story arc where Calvin locks Rosalyn outside, Hobbes mentions Oreos after he and Calvin are in bed. In a Sunday strip, when Calvin is a fly, he spreads filth and contamination on an Oreo cookie.
  • Kodak – In one story arc, when Calvin's family went camping on Itchy Island, Calvin's dad wished to take pictures. After his wife and son declined, Calvin's dad said, "The next time I see one of those smarmy Kodak commercials, I'm going to put an axe through the TV."
  • Barbie - In the baseball story arc, Moe finds out Calvin didn't sign up for baseball. He bullies Calvin by saying he'd rather play with dolls instead, and when Calvin says he was not playing with dolls, Moe says, "Sure you weren't! Let me see your Barbie doll, you sissy wimp!"

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