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Sale stand

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Calvin's sale stands are a running gag in which Calvin sets up a booth (usually made from a cardboard box) to sell some product, much in the same way as many children run lemonade stands. Calvin has used many different ideas over the years to try to earn money, but they were all unsuccessful.


This booth retailed insurance at 50¢ apiece. When Susie Derkins made light of it, asking who would buy insurance from him, Calvin shot windows to break them and get some sales

Family Car

Calvin, upon realizing that he lacked money, put up the family car for sale. The price was unspecified, but said to be low, and certainly less than the car's value given Calvin's nebulous conception of money and the economy.

Calvin's Curative Elixir and Pitcher of Plague


The follow-up


The elixir

Calvin presented a solution called "Calvin's Curative Elixir" to Hobbes. However, the latter argued that it was not a curative elixir of any kind, observing that it was just water from the drainage ditch that had leaves in it. Calvin tried to convince Hobbes to let him sell it by saying that it was "fortified with chlorophyll", but Hobbes managed to convince him to change the name, and soon he was selling "Pitcher of Plague: Calvin's Debilitating Disease Drink" and charging a dollar not to have any.



The first...


...and second lemonade stands

Calvin has put up two lemonade stands over the years. The first time he sold it for five dollars a glass—during winter. He claimed that it had "all-natural refrigeration", which albeit true was no selling point. Another time, he was selling a single glass for an outrageous $15, and his concoction was really just a lemon dropped in a pitcher of unsantitary sludge. Susie Derkins tried to tell Calvin about this, while Calvin attempted to justify the product and pricing through economical phenomena.

Great Ideas


Full price


1/4 price

Calvin once sold great ideas (at first at $1 each, later reduced to 25 cents). Only Calvin's mother bought one, and the idea Calvin gave her was "Buy some more!". Susie and Hobbes came across the stand, but did not transact, however, after Calvin insulted Susie by saying "Yeah, well go soak your head!", Calvin yells "Hey, that'll be one dollar!"

Suicide Drink

In one panel of a Sunday strip showing a summer day for Calvin and Hobbes, the two are shown sitting at the box with a pitcher filled with sludge, much like with the Pitcher of Plague. The box read "Suicide Drink 25 cents". There was no dialog in this strip. As it lasted only a fraction of Calvin's day, the business must have been short-lived.

A swift kick in the butt

This was Calvin's least successful business. H
e didn't sell one, and seemed fairly surprised that it wasn't successful, since he thought everyone he knew needed one.

Author's commentary

Bill Watterson featured this strip in the Tenth Anniversary Collection, commenting "People will pay for what they want, but not for what they need."

Scientific names

This booth retailed striking and imaginative names for scientific phenomena at a dollar apiece. Calvin started this up out of disappointment regarding the dull names scientists gave to their discoveries. The business was, like so many, a failure.

Candid opinions

Calvin made a "Candid Opinions" booth. He did not list the price of his candid opinions, and gave one out free to Susie, so the candid opinions may not have had to be bought.


Once, Calvin set up a booth labeled simply "Life 5¢". The catch of the booth is that once the transaction is complete, the buyer receives nothing but Calvin telling the person that he ripped them off and exclaiming "That's life!".

Frank Appraisal of Your Looks

Calvin once made a "Frank Appraisal of Your Looks 50¢" booth. Perhaps disillusioned by all his failed businesses, instead of selling any, he gave out numerous free samples.


Calvin made a "Happiness 10¢" booth, which offered a water balloon in one's "kisser". When Hobbes asked, "Whose happiness is this?", Calvin replied, "Who went to all this trouble?!?"

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