Tyrannosaurus Rex is a species of carnivorous theropod dinosaur from the late Cretaceous. It appeared in ten Sunday strips, five weekday strips, two pieces of original artwork and was mentioned in a few more comics.
Tyrannosaurus Rex is the most frequently seen dinosaur in Calvin and Hobbes; the second most frequently seen is Allosaurus. This is due to both dinosaurs, particularly the former, being popular culture icons for their size and alleged ferocity.
The Calvin and Hobbes Lazy Sunday BookTyrannosaurus made a non-canonical appearance on a piece of original artwork featured on the back cover of The Calvin and Hobbes Lazy Sunday Book. In it, the dinosaur was moving around a ceratopsid, possibly running away but more likely stalking it as prey. This scenario recalls the alter ego's 3/13 1988 appearance, as just "Calvin".
In this appearance, Tyrannosaurus was colored brownish-green with light underside and cheeks. It had a compact body, which appeared to lead to a thick tail, short, wide legs and powerful arms. Its head was very large for its body, and was able to rise straight up out of its body instead of protruding forward. Its overall stance, however, was in turn accurate. The neck also appeared ringed. Its brow rose backwards over yellow eyes. The arms were, accurate to science, two-fingered.
Only regular appearance/There's Treasure EverywhereTyrannosaurus Rex, outside of its alter ego and unnamed forms, appeared in a single Sunday strip. In it, Calvin played with dinosaur and military toys, imaging a herd of Chasmosaurus, a form of ceratopsid, standing on edge due to being threatened by "Tyrannosaurs in F-14s". At least one jet had kill markings of ceratopsids painted on the front, explaining the Chasmosaurus' distress.
In this appearance, Tyrannosaurus was colored a dull, light green. Its posture inside the plane appeared accurate to science, and so it would have had to be approximately man-sized. The cockpit normally seats two, however, so it may have been slightly larger with one seat removed. The head had a broader upper than lower jaw, and the teeth were curved inwards, hinting that they would not stick out from the mouth. It bore small patches on its torso.The scenario was reprinted, slightly altered, as non-canonical original artwork on the back cover of There's Treasure Everywhere (the artwork has since become an internet meme for its perceived "awesomeness"). At least one jet had changed appearance, changing the larger wings to a swept-back design and moving them to the back, at the expense of the smaller ones. The jet also appeared much stouter, although this may have been due to a forced perspective illusion.
In this spin-off appearance, Tyrannosaurus was a darker, brownish shade of green. Its posture had changed since its last appearance, and the dinosaur took on a more humanlike stance. As a result, its neck grew considerably and was highly flexible. The appearance of its tail, though, is still unknown; it may have fit, curved, under the instrument panel.
Calvin the Tyrannosaur/Tyrannosaurus
Calvin the Tyrannosaur and Tyrannosaurus (Rex) are recurring alter egos of Calvin's.
Calvin the Tyrannosaur
3/13 1988Calvin the Tyrannosaur (identified as just "Calvin") first appeared in this 1988 Sunday strip, which is known for an error in its coloring. In it, Calvin's alter ego slaughtered a Triceratops in order to eat it. At first, it snapped, ripped and crushed savagely, but after some reflexion, began eating at a slower pace, utensils in hand, "mortified that someone might see [it]". Calvin the Tyrannosaur was here analogous to Calvin's poor table manners.
In this appearance, Calvin the Tyrannosaur was colored greyish-beige, with a lighter underside. Its body was parallel to the ground, in a stance supported by the fossil record. It had a smoothly sloping, somewhat conical head, subtle brow, a sagging throat and red eyes. Its teeth were exposed like a crocodile's. It bore patches on its torso and legs. Its arms were thick and had two fingers.
8/14 1988Calvin the Tyrannosaur (identified as "Calvin, the Tyrannosaurus") reappeared in another 1988 Sunday strip. In it, the seven-ton alter ego was widely feared by other dinosaurs, which fled upon his arrival. As a result, it was forced to tackle large prey, an endeavour that, according to Calvin, ultimately caused the Tyrannosaurus' extinction. Calvin the Tyrannosaur was here analogous to Calvin attacking his mother while acting out a dinosaur fantasy.
In this appearance, Calvin the Tyrannosaur's color scheme was greyish-mauve. It had a longer, less conical snout, more flexible neck, larger cheeks and a pointed brow. It gained a ridge of bumps on its back. Its arms had thinned, and appeared less muscular.
Third appearanceCalvin the Tyrannosaur (identified as "Calvin, the Mighty Tyrannosaur") appeared one last time in this Sunday strip. In it, the dinosaur reveled in the aftermath of a kill. Letting out a "triumphant roar", in tune with Tyrannosaurus' 12/9/1987 appearance, it indulged its appetite – reinforced by the struggle with its prey – in "a disgusting spectacle of savage gluttony". Calvin the Tyrannosaur was here analogous to Calvin eating the sweets he had obtained at Halloween, while trick-or-treating in a dinosaur costume.
In this appearance, Calvin the Tyrannosaur was colored dark bluish-grey, with black stripes atop its neck and tail. Its thigh muscles were very large, taking up half of the torso's length. It had a roughly sloping snout, no prominent brow and red eyes. Judging by its dentition, its teeth probably fit inside its mouth instead of being bared, crocodilian-style as in its previous appearances. Its arms were more visibly jointed, and their thickness tapered down from the body to the fingers, as in a human arm.
4/29 1986Tyrannosaurus, the alter ego, first appeared in this 1986 weekday strip. In it, the alter ego anachronistically devoured a group of cavemen; judging by the climate, it was probably the cavemen who were out of their time period. Tyrannosaurus was here analogous to Calvin noisily dropping popcorn into his mouth, possibly during a dinosaur fantasy.
In this appearance, Tyrannosaurus had a light underbelly and a dark back. It stood upright, contrary to scientific belief that it walked parallel to the ground. It had a crocodilian snout with a thick, arching brow and a sagging throat. It bore patches on its torso. Its arms were alternatively two- and three-fingered, depending on the panel.
Note: This is the first appearance of any dinosaur in Calvin and Hobbes.
10/12 1986Tyrannosaurus reappeared in this 1986 Sunday strip. In it, Tyrannosaurus attacked a "saber-toothed tiger", established as the giant dinosaur's sole adversary. The dinosaur's attempt failed, and it "tore like heck" to avoid his enemy. This attack was a work of complete fiction, depicting the saber-toothed cat (the actual term for the inaccurately named "saber-toothed tigers") as larger than its actual size and placing it in the same time frame as the dinosaurs. Tyrannosaurus was here analogous to Hobbes chasing Calvin for disturbing him in his sleep: at the time, Calvin was enacting a dinosaur fantasy.
In this appearance, Tyrannosaurus was light purple. Its body had thickened over its last appearance. Its head still bared teeth out of a closed jaw, but the snout had widened and its brow had thinned, making it less crocodilian. Its patches had given way to rough, scratch-like markings. Its underside was ringed, and possibly striped, or otherwise heavily shaded. The arms were longer, three-fingered and heavily jointed, and resembled those of an Allosaurus.
5/17 1987Tyrannosaurus reappeared again in this 1987 Sunday strip. In it, Calvin experienced an unexplained transformation in an art museum, which turned him into a tyrannosaur that devoured a security guard. Calvin's parents were present at the time, but their outcome was unspecified. However, at least some of the other patrons (identified as "wealthy benefactors") were said to have been "trampled", possibly to death. The alter ego seemed to enjoy the destruction, and vowed to ruin the town's Symphony Hall in the same way. Tyrannosaurus was here analogous to Calvin distracting himself at the art museum, after a visit to the Natural History Museum, by taking in a dinosaur fantasy.
In this appearance, Tyrannosaurus looked not unlike 3/13 1988's Calvin the Tyrannosaur. Its color was inconsistent within the strip, but matched the latter's in one panel. Its finger count alternated between two and three, depending on the panel.
12/9 1987Tyrannosaurus reappeared once again in this 1987 weekday strip. In it, the alter ego boasted of its combat abilities, which put to use its purported (inaccurate in reality) twenty tons of mass. To illustrate its claim, the dinosaur took down a ceratopsid and roared in triumph. Tyrannosaurus (specifically, his "triumphant roar") was here analogous to Calvin yelling in the library, presumably during a dinosaur fantasy.
In this appearance, Tyrannosaurus had a very stout, thick neck and head. Its finger count was once again alternate.
8/31 1988Tyrannosaurus reappeared yet again in this 1988 weekday strip. In it, the alter ego existed in the present day, much like the 5/17 1987 Tyrannosaurus. The setting, however, was not an art museum but a grocery store. Once more, only a single victim was seen, and the dinosaur seemed to enjoy the destruction, emphasizing it in its narration. Tyrannosaurus was here analogous to Calvin destructively enacting a dinosaur fantasy at the grocery store.
In this appearance, Tyrannosaurus had a pointed brow, and a longer, thicker neck than in its previous appearance. Its formerly featureless skin now bore bumps, patches and scratch marks, and its finger count had dropped to a scientifically accurate two.
11/19 1988Tyrannosaurus reappeared once more in this 1988 weekday strip. In it, the reptile stalked a coastline, boasting of its ability to invoke terror, due to its mass and speed (it was said to "run faster than a charging rhino"). However, it was silenced upon hearing the "blood-curling roar" of its mother. These two Tyrannosaurus were here analogous to Calvin and his mother, the later berating the former for the noisy footfalls he made while acting out a dinosaur fantasy. A similar situation had occured in Calvin the Tyrannosaur's 8/14 1988 appearance.
In this appearance, Tyrannosaurus was a light color on his body, and a dark color on his tail. Its head had an even more pointed brow, and the rough slope had given way to a gradual tapering of length and width. Its skin became plainer, bearing subtler versions of the features from 8/31 1988. However, its spine became more prominent.
Tyrannosaurus reappeared once again in this 1989 Sunday strip. In it, a Tyrannosaurus suddenly appeared in the recess court of Calvin's school. It began to feed on the children, first those on top of the slide, then those which had been lined up by staff to hide in the school. Once it had emptied the playground, the dinosaur roared triumphantly to celebrate its dominion; The alter ego expressed the same appetite for rampaging and inducing panic as in its 5/17 1987 and 8/31 1988 appearances. Tyrannosaurus was here analogous to Calvin staying on the playground during class to partake in a dinosaur fantasy.
In this appearance, Tyrannosaurus was colored brown, with light and dark patches on different parts of its body. Its torso was round and compact, in contrast to the longer, thinner body of its previous appearances. Its lower jaw had shrunk since its last appearance, and the brow had lost its point. The bumps on its neck had disappeared.
Eighth appearanceTyrannosaurus reappeared one last time in this Sunday strip, featuring the poem "Eighty Million Years Ago". In it, the alter ego attacked a town in search of humans to eat. The resulting death count was high, as the destruction and panic caused by the dinosaur killed more than just those who were eaten. Unlike in previous strips, though, the alter ego seemed more interested in feeding than going on a rampage. Tyrannosaurus was here analogous to Calvin narrating a dinosaur fantasy in rhyme.
In this appearance, Tyrannosaurus was colored green, with black stripes on its neck and tail, a gray head and red eyes with blue bags. The body regained its more traditional shape, in contrast to the pod-like, compact torso of its previous appearace. Its neck had gained in flexibility, and along with the head, sacrificed thickness to length. A row of bumps also appeared on the snout. The patches reappeared, this time colored blue and placed on the torso.
A few Calvin and Hobbes strips contain unidentified dinosaurs that are probably Tyrannosaurus Rex, judging by the size of the arms and the resemblance to other depictions of T. rex in the comic.
2/6 1987The unidentified Tyrannosaurus alter ego first appeared in this 1987 weekday strip. In it, Calvin took part in a dinosaur fantasy as he was coming to dinner. His mother then joked that "no dinosaurs are allowed at the dinner table", but the alter ego was resigned to dine and sat down, utensils in hand. Calvin justified this behavior by stating that "dinosaurs eat anywhere they want".
In this appearance, Tyrannosaurus was lightly colored. Its body was long, and capable of sitting up with knees bent, like a human. Its broad, triangular head protruded in a humanlike fashion, with the neck jointed at the bottom and not the back, as in most animals. Its eyes and nostrils faced forward instead of out, to further the human resemblance. The teeth were bared out with the mouth closed. It bore patches, larger ones on its torso, smaller ones on the legs. Its arms appeared triple-jointed and three-fingered.
2/7 1988Tyrannosaurus reappeared in this 1988 Sunday strip. In it, hoping to fool Susie, Calvin shaped snow with his boots to make dinosaur footprints. Susie saw through Calvin's attempt, frustrating Calvin as his work had become useless. Immersed in his fantasy, he pictured himself as a Tyrannosaurus throwing a snowball, no doubt analogous to himself attacking Susie in such a fashion.
In this appearance, Tyrannosaurus was colored greyish-purple, with a mauve underside. Its legs were short to make its humanlike posture credible. The snout was short and its eyes moved forward on its head, as well as changing back to facing outward. It had a scaly pattern on the base of its tail's underside. Its arms became two-fingered.
Third appearanceTyrannosaurus reappeared again in this 1989 Sunday strip. In it, Calvin built a crowd of tiny snowmen in order to rampage over them while acting out a dinosaur fantasy as a Tyrannosaurus.
In this appearance, Tyrannosaurus was colored green with a dark yellow underside. Its neck was long and flexible, and the head realistic. Its back bore three rows of bumps and its upper thighs featured some spots.
Fourth appearanceTyrannosaurus reappeared yet again in this Sunday strip. In it, Calvin noisily acted out a dinosaur fantasy in his classroom, in which a Tyrannosaurus terrified several other dinosaurs.
In this appearance, Tyrannosaurus was colored grey in two out of three panels where it appeared; the blue color scheme to the left is probably a stylistic shading effect. Its body and head were somewhat slimmer than in many other appearances.
Fifth appearanceTyrannosaurus reappeared once more in this Sunday strip. In it, Calvin attacked Susie with a snowball while acting out a dinosaur fantasy.
In this appearance, Tyrannosaurus was colored olive-green once more, and again had a less chunky build than in its other realistic incarnations. It eyes were red and its brow recessed.
Sixth appearanceTyrannosaurus reappeared once again, identified as just "Calvin", in this Sunday strip. In it, Calvin acted out a dinosaur fantasy home at lunch, in which he was a Tyrannosaurus and his food was of prehistoric origin. As a result, he pictured his mother purchasing two tons of tenderloin Triceratops meat to make his sandwich. Despite the size of the purchase, Calvin's lunch remained human-sized.
Note: Although identified as "Calvin" and probably a Tyrannosaurus, the alter ego's taxon was not officially stated, and therefore qualifies as unnamed instead of Calvin the Tyrannosaur.
In this appearance, Tyrannosaurus was colored a light greyish-green on the body, a darker green on the head and striped on the neck and tail. In line with the dinosaur comics of the time, this one featured a realistic Tyrannosaurus, although its posture was modified to be more humanlike. Its brow was heavily pointed, its lower jaw slim, its teeth curved inwards and its cheeks prominent. It had orange eyes.
Note: On the image to the right, the legend indicates color and an outline added by the editor that were cut off in the original comic by a previous panel.