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I hate Mondays.
~ Garfield's catchphrase

Garfield is the titular main protagonist of the Garfield comic strips, animated series, and two live-action movies. He is one of the most well-recognized and beloved comic strip characters in the United States, alongside Snoopy and Charlie Brown.

History

Garfield was born June 19, 1978, in the kitchen of Mamma Leoni's Italian Restaurant and loved Lasagna the day he was born. Ever since then, it has always been his favorite food. According to his grandfather, he was born five pounds six ounces. (He was out of town at the time, and when Garfield asks how, his grandfather said he heard the scream), surprisingly enough, he managed to fit in a tiny bed. Later in his life, Garfield accidentally runs across his mother again one Christmas Eve, and meets his other grandfather for the first time. On June 18, 1978, when Jon came to the store, he had to choose between Garfield, an iguana, and a pet rock.

In his cartoon appearances, Garfield usually causes mischief in every episode. In June 1983, comic strips introduced Amoeba Man, one of Garfield's alter-egos, yet he was only shown in six strips. In February 2010, another alter ego was introduced called Super Garfield, and his sidekick Odie boy. Amoeba Man, and Super Garfield are only two of his few imaginary alter egos though, his most common one being the Caped Avenger. And for a very short period of time, Garfield would fall prey to various dogs e.g. Bungee Dog, Warm up dog etc. Which would squish him in any direction. It is also given that Garfield uses the "sandbox" on occasion, such as in one 1978 strip, he says he hates commercials because they're too short for a trip to the sandbox. It was revealed on October 27, 1979, that he doesn’t like raisins. He is 8 years old (Pet[1]Matchers).

His birthday is June 19, 1978, the day the first Garfield strip was published. Interestingly, on Garfield's 25th anniversary in 2003, several strips were featured with him interacting with the version of him from 1978. Garfield frequently gets into many adventures, such as getting stuck in roll-up shades, sparring with mice, and getting locked up in animal shelters. In 2005, Garfield and Jon appeared in several comic strips of Blondie in honor of their 75th anniversary. Garfield got excited because he didn't have to think. There was an earlier Blondie crossover on the Garfield strip published April 1, 1997.

Garfield was one of the cartoon characters featured in the anti-smoking propaganda film Cartoon All-Stars to the Rescue, although he was used without the permission of his creator Jim Davis yet his voice actor Lorenzo Music still participated.

Personality

Garfield is an anthropomorphic orange tabby cat. He loves eating (especially lasagna and pizza is second place), and sleeping. He is teased about being overweight. He is also selfish. For example in one strip his owner Jon stubs his toe and Garfield comforts him, however he says "It's not like it happened to me." In one Garfield and Friends episode, it is shown that there are three things that Garfield will not eat: snails, raisins, and fruitcakes. He is friends with Odie, but torments him occasionally, along with Jon. Garfield is very protective of Jon and he looks out for him as a friend.He hates Mondays, and is often struck by bad luck in Monday comic strips. He is also jealous of a gray tabby kitten named Nermal, often trying to mail him to Abu Dhabi (however, interestingly enough, every time he always uses insufficient postage). Garfield is a nice guy mostly he gets along with anyone. Garfield has a teddy bear around him, Pooky, who Garfield very much likes for never talking back at him.

He enjoys performing at the wooden fence next to Jon's house in the middle of the night, although he is usually critically panned. He can't stand spiders, though he occasionally talks with to without swatting them. He also will play with a window shade but frequently gets rolled up in it. Another favorite pastime is to hang on the screen door usually getting squished when the door opens. Although he doesn't chase mice (unless bribed to do so), he is often seen trying to eat birds (which he more often than not succeeds in). He frequently destroys Jon's curtains, chair, and ferns, as well as the flowerbeds of Jon and their neighbor, Mrs. Feeny.

He detests being taken to the vet. In one strip sequence in 1986, their home address is revealed that Garfield, Jon and Odie live in 711 Maple Street. However, in Garfield in Paradise, Garfield's fantasy dream had a cat named Mike say that he's from "Lost Wages" (Vegas), Nevada (this was a fantasy), and in a Garfield and Friends episode of the second season, Jon is running from a Chicago airport. In the TV special Garfield Gets a Life, Jon's car is revealed to have an Indiana vehicle registration plate at the end of the episode, indicating that they live in Indiana. In Garfield Goes Hollywood, while Jon, Odie and Garfield are on Pet Search, the announcer says that they're from Muncie, Indiana. This is possibly because Jim Davis is from Indiana, and Paws, Inc. is located in Muncie.

Garfield has a very active imagination. In the comic strips he often pretends to be a shark, an amoeba, a vampire, an alligator, a vulture or the Caped Avenger (a superhero cat, and his most well-known alter ego) but these alter egos usually annoy Jon. Garfield also likes to pretend that his teddy bear Pooky is alive, although a few strips indicate that Pooky actually is alive. In one Garfield and Friends episode he was shown to have a great imagination when he imagined himself, by use of a cardboard box, as being in a plane, racecar and life-raft floating on the open sea, in that order and was shown on many other occasions to have a vivid imagination. In the Garfield and Friends episode "D.J. Jon," Garfield is shown to dislike disk jockeys. In the life-raft, he pictured Odie as a sandwich. He was also depicted with an imagination in other episodes, including one episode inspired by monster movies where he eventually chases away Jon's date, and in the special Garfield's Feline Fantasies.

He also once said in the episode The Hound of The Arbuckles that he prefers to use his imagination for dreams rather than reading books. The reason being shown in an episode where he reads Robinson Curosue and gets so into the book that he has a hard time snapping himself out of the fantasy, much like Orson from US Acres. Although this does not happen when he reads to others, like when he read Odie "Goldilocks and the Three Bears".

Garfield "speaks" through thought bubbles, and even though other animals save Odie can understand him, Jon generally cannot (although Jon is quite frequently shown having what looks like a conversation with Garfield's thoughts and has often guessed Garfield's thoughts verbatim). At rare moments, Jon's reaction imply he's hearing Garfield's thoughts and understand what he is thinking and what he goes through life and he even declares that in one strip. Sometimes, after Jon states what he believes Garfield to be thinking (that he wants food), Garfield corrects him by stating that, for example, his car's on fire.

However in The TV series Garfield and Friends Jon (and other humans) hear Garfield's thoughts much more frequently, even having conversations with them if Jon seems to be "listening." Certain episodes, such as a lecture about Odie, shows the human audience hearing everything Garfield thinks.

Powers and abilities

Telepathy: Garfield seems to have telepathic powers, as he enters Odie's thoughts and changes them, seen Odie's idea in the form of a thought bubble and manipulates Jon's thoughts to make a memory of Garfield in Jon's mind say he wants lasagna.

Resiliency:  Garfield has a very elastic body, being able to stretch his arms to take a cookie at a great distance, change the size of his belly to make a gigantic arm to take Jon and change his muscle mass to look much more muscular for a short while. 

Invocation of rain by sneezing: Garfield can invoke a little rain by sneezing, as Jon says in his book.

Limited levitation: Garfield seems able to stay suspended in the air for a short moment, as he drops the tree on which he was suspended, remains in the air while nothing holds him back, rubs his arms and re-attaches himself to the tree.

Cloning: Garfield was somehow to able to recreate 2 duplicates of himself to confuse Jon. 

Ultra-speed: Many times, Garfield can run extremely fast - mostly in pursuit of food. 

High strength: Garfield has great strength, being able to throw Jon from a great distance with a single kick.

Claws: Garfield has very sharp claws that he can use as weapons or help climb. These claws are able to severely damage Jon and cut bread into slices very quickly and efficiently. In one comic, Garfield used his claws to slash a donut truck's tires and pilfer / consume the entire truck's supply. 

Hunting and fighting skills: Garfield is a great stealth hunter and a formidable fighter, capable of effectively hunting birds and fighting well, especially with the factor he managed to beat even with Kung-Fu's skills (he says he practises "fasting and violence"), although he is often badly beaten by dogs.

High repartee: Garfield has a great repartee, capable of striking back at the most calmly murdered Jon in the world.

Advanced appetite: Garfield has an immense appetite and can be even unlimited, being able to devour all the provisions of a kitchen and swallow dozens or even hundreds of baskets of bread and still be able to continue. The comic strip states that a Garfield pizza can feed at least 20 people and that Garfield can eat 10,000 maple bacon donuts in one day. 

Name

Jim Davis has named Garfield after his grandfather, James Garfield Davis, who was named after president James A. Garfield. According to an interview with Jim Davis in the second Garfield compilation book, Garfield Gains Weight, the name "Garfield" makes him think of "...a fat cat...or a St. Bernard...or a neat line of thermal underwear." Due to the enormous popularity of the strip, many families have named their cats "Garfield" after the famous cat himself.

Relationships

Friends
Enemies
  • Nermal (usually)
  • Harry (sometimes)
  • Happy Chapman
  • Wendell
  • Lord Dargis
  • Rottweiler
  • Hercules
  • Herman Post
  • Al
  • Pete
  • Aunt Ivy
  • Dr. Whipple
  • Nathan
  • Drusilla and Minerva
  • Vacirella
  • Neferkitty
  • Aunt Esther
  • Dr. Pyscho
  • Berlina Bellissima
  • Angel
  • Spencer Spendington
  • Mayor Grafton
  • Dirk Dinkum
  • Buckley
  • Shero
  • Abigail (formerly)
  • Winona (formerly)

Trivia

  • In an interview, Bill Murray stated that he took the role of Garfield because he originally thought the script was written by Joel Coen of the Coen brothers. It wasn't until the recording process, and watching dailies, that he realized that it was written by Joel Cohen, not the same person that he was thinking of.
  • Jack Nicholson and Dan Aykroyd were considered to voice Garfield for the 2004 live-action movie version of Garfield.

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