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A Handy Graph Shows the Cost of Raising Calvin (& Hobbes)

A Handy Graph Shows the Cost of Raising Calvin (& Hobbes)

Calvin & Hobbes got into more trouble than pretty much anyone. They were creative in their shenanigans, and it made for some excellent reading, but there’s no doubt that the hijinks caused by the mischievous tiger and child would have been expensive if they were real. Luckily, there are people out there who will do things like calculate the exact cost of all the damage done by Calvin and give those number-nerds among us a solid breakdown of the whole $15,995.50 that would have been racked up over the course of Bill Watterson‘s books.

While the publication where Matthew J. Michel published his findings may be fictional, the data analysis he applied to the popular comic that ran from 1985 to 1995 is pretty spot on. Using The Complete Calvin & Hobbes Collection to do his research, Michel noted every instance of property damage over the course of a decade of raising Calvin. He then researched home repair prices, clothing replacements (at J.Crew because Calvin’s mom seemed with the times in terms of fashion), and other things that would have needed replacement on Amazon. The total is near to $16k and inspired the following graphic breakdown of the years this writer was reading Calvin & Hobbes with a religious devotion every morning:

Cost of Calvinvia Matthew Michel

Michel found that the most extravagant costs that drove up Calvin’s bill were associated with water damage. For instance, he flooded the house and built a snowman in his bedroom during the first year the comic was in print. Interestingly, he caused more than half of the damage in the first years of publication and got less destructive over time.

We can’t help but wonder what kind of damage a modern day Calvin would inflict on his poor parents. Snowmen staged with iPhones to their snowy ears? Laptops turned into dashboards of starships and smashed to bits? What kind of trouble do you think a 21st century Calvin could get into? Tell us in the comments below!

Feature Image via Calvin&HobbesWikia


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  1. LAB says:

    $16K seems a little light.  Replacing those wagons that hurtle off cliffs, presumed hospital room visits… 

  2. yolktern says:

    16k isn’t actually that bad….espc when the father is a Patent Attny

  3. MAx says:

    Way to take the fun out of one of my favorite comics

    • Illusion-XIII says:

      How does knowing a number make them any less fun?  If your ability to enjoy one of the greatest comic strips in history (if not the greatest) is that tenuous, you might want to seek some help for that.

  4. Maria says:

    Have such fond childhood memories of my mom  reading Calvin & Hobbes to all us kids. Making us all howl with laughter. So, what would the guy’s be up to today? Well, I can totally see them using iPads as snowshoes. Or whooshing down a hill using a flat screen tv as a snow sledge because, well why not?. They would for certainly  use Tivo in a interact outer space fantasy adventure until it explodes.  

  5. Dylan says:

    Seeing as Calvin never ages we can also take an assumption that the 10 years of comics is probably more along the lines of 1 or 2 years in the universe of the comic book.. making that 15+ grand even more insane 

  6. This is only property damage.   what about healthcare costs.   Calvin caused damage to himself many times.

    • Daryk says:

      Most of the damage short of broken limbs would have been dealt with at home, I think.  Like his dad always said, “It builds character.”