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Dennis Menace, nicknamed Dennis the Menace, is the main titular protagonist character of the Beano strip, Dennis the Menace and Gnasher. Badly behaved and visually rebellious, Dennis uses a wide range of pranks and weaponry in order to cause chaos and mayhem to those around him. He is trademarked by his scruffy, black hair and red & black jumper.
Despite his villainous behavior, some of his acts were for a good cause.
There are 2 Dennis the Menaces, Dennis Menace Sr. and Dennis Menace Jr.
Dennis is an uncontrollable schoolboy who takes pride in causing chaos and mayhem to those around him due to his intolerance for rules and order. Such traits have caused some artists and writers to consider him a villain, as in such strips, Dennis would often prove himself to be selfish and greedy, tending to disregard his friends in favour for treasures. His misbehaviour stems from what The Beano explains as an attempt to add excitement to an otherwise dull day.
Additionally, Dennis is often considered to be a loner, seeking no solace in anyone's company aside from his faithful pet dog Gnasher and his friends Curly and Pieface. Despite being a being quite mean, Dennis also has a bit of a soft side too, he cares deeply about Gnasher. Dennis has also sometimes to be shown as a hero. Feature-length strips in The Beano reveal that Dennis actually has a rivalling nature with The Bash Street Kids, often brawling and attempting to outwitthem.
Most notably, he seems to have a particular dislike for Danny the leader. He has, however, been shown to have a fairly stable friendship with Roger the Dodger and Minnie the Minx, enough so that the three have been seen to work together often. However, In the early days Dennis seem to dislike Minnie for her gender. Dennis has also been shown to be very heroic, having saved his town on occasion from potential disaster. The Beano Annual 2001–2002, both exemplified this in their stories in which Dennis defeated a race of 'Beanobots'.
Even though many strips depict Dennis as being fairly academically challenged, he is in fact extremely inventive and clever when it comes to mechanics. On occasion, it has been shown that Dennis can make from scratch his very own vehicles including a Menace Dune-Buggy, a working rocket, and other such things.
Dennis is a 10 year old boy who has scruffy black hair. He wears a red and black jumper, black shorts, and grey shoes.
Dennis Menace Sr.
- He Saved his ancestor's treasure from a thief named Montana.
- Saving Athena's dog from a tree.
Dennis Menace Jr.
- In "Seven Menace" He and his friends got their stuff back from the confiscation
- Saving a tiger
Dennis' Dad is the father of Dennis and Bea, the husband of Dennis' Mum, and the son of Gran. He first appeared in the first strip of Dennis the Menace. His real name was not given for many decades (although once it was cited as actually being "Dennis' Dad" in a letter by Dennis). However, according to the official Beano website, it was revealed that his real name is actually Dennis Menace Sr. He also appears in both Bea and Gnasher and Gnipper. In the 2012 revamp, he was redrawn to look more like Dennis. This was explained in 2015 as Dennis' Dad now being the grown-up version of the original Dennis the Menace, making the original Dad the new Dennis' grandfather.
Dennis' Mum is the mother of Dennis and Bea, the wife of Dennis' Dad, and the daughter-in-law of Gran. Her real name was also not given for decades (again in the same letter, it was stated that her actual name is "Dennis' Mum"). However, according to the official Beano website, it was revealed that her real name is actually Sandra Menace. In the 2012 revamp, she was redrawn to look more like a more modern woman. In 2021, the Beano hinted on Twitter that she might be the grown-up version of the original Minnie the Minx.
Bea Menace is Dennis' little sister, born in issue 2931, dated 19 September 1998. She has her own strip (Bea, originally Beaginnings) and sometimes appears in Dennis the Menace and Gnasher. Bea wears a stripy yellow and black vest, this is a pun on her name as the colours are the same as the colours on a Bumble bee. Originally, Dennis was scared that Bea was a girl, but then Dennis realised that Bea is a mini-Menace. Bea is a fun-loving tomboy. Bea could also have a flatulence problem as she constantly farts. Her farts are nicknamed "Bea Bombs".
Gran, originally Granny, is Dennis and Bea's 80-year-old grandmother. In the late 1980s/early 1990s, she got her own strip Go, Granny, Go! drawn by Brian Walker. This transformed her from the indulgent Gran who used the Demon Whacker when necessary to a very active elderly lady who enjoyed motorbikes, similar to Cuddles and Dimples's granny, partly because, by this time, characters in The Beano were no longer punished with the slipper. She also appeared regularly in the 2009 TV series, however, she is referred as Gran instead of Granny. According to the official Beano website, her real name is Catherine Menace.
Denise Menace is Dennis' cousin, who bears resemblance to Beryl the Peril and, although she also wears a red and black striped jumper. She is a bit like Minnie the Minx. She appeared in just a few stories, visiting along with her cat Santa Claws. She generally managed to out-menace Dennis, showing considerable fortitude against the Softies, and at the local boxing club. Santa Claws also appeared in a Roger the Dodger strip in the 2008 Beano Annual. She is a bit of a tomboy.
Dennis has historically had two main friends: Curly, who has strawberry-blonde, curly hair, was the first to appear, debuting months after the strip started in 1951. He is a menace like Dennis but is also the smart member of the group. Although Curly and Dennis get into many fights, they still remain the best of friends. Then there is Pieface (real name Kevin Peter Shepherd), whose favourite food is pies. Pieface is a menace like Dennis and Curly, but he is a bit more softer then they are. Pieface is also a bit odd. Dennis, Gnasher, Curly and Pieface were collectively called "The Menaces"; they were all in a band called Dennis and the Dinmakers. Pieface currently has his own strip in The Beano as well as his 'pet' Paul the Potato. They are both by Nigel Auchterlounie and Diego Jourdan.
Since the 2017 revamp of the Dennis feature, Curly was removed from the strip for an unknown reason. In his place as fellow Menaces are two girls, Rubidium Von Screwtop (from The Beano's 'Rubi's Screwtop Science' strip) and Jemima Jones (from the comic's 'JJ's Jokes' strip). Despite Dennis' perception of girls as soppy in earlier years (such as Minnie the Minx), he accepts Rubi and JJ as his friends. Rubi is a very tech-minded smart tomboy. JJ is a sporty tough, prankish tomboy. Curly could more recently be seen in the front page of the 2019 Beano annual, which contained every Beano character.
During the 1980s, a third boy known as Toad-Face McGurty was also one of Dennis' friends.
Dennis also seems to be friends with Roger the Dodger and Minnie the Minx. The three have often been shown working together. However, Dennis has also sometimes had a rivalry with them (especially Minnie). Dennis usually thinks that Minnie is soppy because she is a girl, but I reality, Minnie is actually quite tough, and is sometimes said that she is tougher than him. Most of the time, Minnie and Dennis are the best of friends and work well together. It’s even been hinted at times that the two of them have a crush on each other. Roger is crafty-looking and doesn’t go out of his way to cause chaos and mayhem as he likes dodging things. Minnie is a tough tomboy who enjoys minxing people.
While having a rivalry them in earlier strips, in later strips, Dennis has been known to be friends with The Bash Street Kids. In particular, he didn’t like the leader Danny, who is bossy and a bit lazy. However, the Bash Street Kids member Toots, who was originally the only female member of the Bash Street Kids (which made her a tomboy), has a crush on him. As she sent him a valentine once.
Dennis is most likely friends with Billy Whizz.
At times, Dennis shows a bit of dislike to Athena, but they get along well with each other. In the episode of the 2009 series called "Rock and Hard Place", Dennis saves her dog from a tree. In another episode of the 2009 series called "Athena's Party", Dennis finds her party boring at first and tries to make it more fun. She is angry but after Dennis starts the BMK race court and when her friends join in, she is still angry to the point she rides it and at first she got angry at Dennis, but after her friends start cheering, she realises that she had a fun time and shakes hands with him.
At times, Dennis shows a dislike to Angel Face as she's very sneaky. But they work together at times and they are quite good friends. Angel Face a tomboy.
- He is very smart.
- He has a crush on Minnie the Minx.
- There are some theories saying that he has ADHD or Autism, but the Beano have yet to confirm this.