Related: What is Hobbes?

In the comic strip Calvin and Hobbes, Calvin has a radically different point of view than any of his peers or the adults in the story. One notable example is Hobbes himself, whose status as a "real" or stuffed tiger is never resolved.

That being said, is Calvin an unreliable narrator? Or is this point ambiguous in the text?

  • 5
    About a unreliable as they come, I'd say.
    – Mick
    Commented Jul 24, 2020 at 7:26
  • 1
    @Mick Although in many cases it's hard to prove that Calvin's POV is objectively "false" (at least in the context of the text). Commented Jul 24, 2020 at 13:12

1 Answer 1


Per Bill Watterson

Calvin sees Hobbes one way, and everyone else sees Hobbes another way. I show two versions of reality, and each makes complete sense to the participant who sees it.

He is reliably telling what he experiences, and the reader is not given enough knowledge to tell whether he's deluding himself or experiencing something that others can't see. (Though we do notice that Calvin's father saw him tied to the chair, which Calvin could not have done to himself, which is at least some evidence toward Hobbes being real.)

  • 3
    So basically, he's a truthful narrator, but whether he's therefore reliable is left ambiguous? Commented Jul 24, 2020 at 14:39
  • Yes, pretty much.
    – Mary
    Commented Jul 24, 2020 at 22:01

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