The Garfield Mystery.
Hello I'm Lyman, you might not know me, but at the very beginning I was introduced as somebody Jon could share his ideas with. I was also the original owner of Odie. But as time went on Garfield's character evolved and Jon could share his ideas with Garfield, making me completely useless, hence I was written out. There were a few explanations about where I went like , "Don't look in Jon's basement" or "He joined the Peace Corps and was never heard from again." But there was finally an official explanation in an episode of "The Garfield Show." I won't leave any spoilers.
Everybody loves Garfield. In fact he's one of the most loved cartoon characters in comic history. But even the most loved cartoon characters can have flaws in them, minor flaws, but flaws nevertheless.
Here is one thing I've never understood about Garfield, it's been mentioned a few times in the comic strip and T.V shows that he can't talk. But if this is true then why does Jon seem to understand what Garfield is saying…no thinking? Yeh….have you ever noticed sometimes Garfield hears Jon perhaps a little too well?
To prove that Garfield can't talk…here's dialogue from a strip from 29th July 1980
You can see it from a comic vault on the Garfield website
Jon (Seeing his plate empty) :What did you do with my chicken, Garfield? (Shaking him) Speak up! (lets go of the cat) I'm sorry , Garfield. Sometimes I forget that you can't talk.
Garfield (in thoughts) : Forget this! (Gets ready to punch Jon)
What supports the fact that Garfield can't talk, is that his mouth doesn't move when we hear him "speak". And that his speech bubble is in "thought balloon style."
To prove that Jon and other animals seem to hear and understand Garfield, here are some other strips in dialogue which you can see on the Garfield website or you may have remembered reading.
Here's one from the 5th April 2000
Jon (seeing goldfish bowl empty): Garfield! You ate my goldfish!
Garfield (in thoughts) : Did not!
Jon (somehow able to hear him) : Did too!
Garfield (in thoughts): Did not!
Goldfish (in Garfield's belly and in thoughts as well): Did too!
If Garfield can't talk. How was Jon able to hear him say "Did not?" And he seems to make an angry face at hearing the goldfish's thoughts.
There's more. Here's dialogue from a Sunday strip from 6th September 1987
Garfield walks in to see Jon on the phone.
Jon (on phone): That's right Beverly, I will not go out with you tonight. Yes I know you're madly in love with me, but I have better things to do. Now….now Beverly, you know I hate it when you grovel. And stop sobbing uncontrollably.
Garfield grabs the phone only to hear…..
Voice on phone: At the sound of the tone, the time will be 10:00am.
Garfield (in thoughts) You monster, how dare you break that computer's heart?
Jon (somehow able to understand) : Oh shut up.
Why does Jon tell his cat to shut up if he can't talk and is only thinking his thoughts to him? Doesn't shut up imply that he was speaking and was told to be quiet?
And what about this strip on August 3th 1988?
Jon comes in his pajamas
Jon : Morning, Garfield, have a good sleep?
Garfield (in thoughts): It was a decent sleep, even a better than average sleep….
Jon's eyes widen as if able to hear Garfield's bizarre thought.
Garfield (continues in thoughts) : A sleep, perhaps that the uninitiated might think a first-rate sleep that we connoisseurs would consider.
Jon (face down in depression): I'm sorry I asked.
Why does Jon's eyes widen if Garfield is only thinking all what's in the second panel of the cartoon? And then gets depressed in the third panel?
And here's one on the 22nd of May 1995 that makes no sense at all….
Garfield walks into the kitchen to see Jon and Odie.
Garfield (waving a paw over Odie and thinks in thoughts to us): Dog, man's best friend. (And then waves a paw over Jon) Man, dog's best friend.
Garfield (angry and in loud thoughts) : YOU DESERVE EACH OTHER!
Jon and Odie both jump in fright as if Garfield is shouting to them, and Jon and Odie both have their backs turned to Garfield when he does his loud thoughts so there's no way they could read his facial expressions or anything.
I'm not even gonna bother. It just makes no sense at all.
There's a number of strips that show Jon able to understand Garfield, but that'll do for now. Another mystery is what's with the animals communicating with each other by their thoughts?
Here's dialogue from a comic strip with Garfield and Arlene. It was shown in newspapers on Sunday April 6th 1986.
Arlene (in thoughts to Garfield): I see you're still fat.
Garfield (also in thoughts) I see you've still got that space between your teeth.
Arlene (angry): At least I can close my mouth
Garfield (angry): I can go on a diet.
Arlene : You're not likely to go on a diet.
Garfield: You're not likely to close your mouth.
Arlene: Hey, why are we fighting like children? I'm Sorry.
Garfield: I'm sorry, too.
Arlene: So long Garfield.
Garfield: So long Arlene.
Garfield (quiet thoughts) : Beaver face.
Arlene (quiet thoughts) : Lard belly.
What's with that!? While it's debatable if Jon can hear Garfield. The animals seem to hear each other fine! And yes these are real comic strips, look for them in the comic vault on the Garfield web site using the dates I gave. And there are also numerous strips in Garfield that feature animals communicating with each other by their thoughts.
So do the animals in Garfield have the ability to communicate telepathically with each other? Is Jon a psychic or something? I don't know! It's a Garfield Mystery!