He is present in all branches of the Garfield franchise excluding a few video games. Arbuckle is the second most common in the Garfield comic strip, appearing almost every day. He and Garfield provide most of the dialogue on a regular basis, though he uses speech bubbles, instead of thought bubbles.
He has a very large family, mostly consisting of uncles and aunts. Jim Davis revealed that he has based much of himself into Jon, such as that him and Arbuckle share a same birthday, is also a cartoonist and among other things.
Double Act with Garfield
Garfield and Jon play an odd pair who are comedic or unusual. Garfield is often, but is not always normal, while Jon has very awkward habits, usually related to curing his boredom, speaking random aspects of philosophy, ruining or complaining about his chances of getting a date, or complaining about unfortunate events. In most comics, Garfield will provide a punchline that's usually supposed to be the primary sentence of the comic, however Jon uncommonly delivers the primary sentence, if the strip was more about Garfield performing a solo act.
Jon manages to make enough money to keep Garfield with food -- with no easy feat. Jon, as well as Garfield, often get bored, usually coming up with "fun" ways to cure boredom, such as buying new socks, clipping toenails, or playing "Guess the Burp" with Garfield.
Jon is an easy prank target for Garfield, either played when he's is awake or asleep. A recurring gag in The Garfield Show is Jon being afraid of mice usually screaming at the sight of them. However in the comic strip, he chases mice and urges Garfield to catch them.
Since Garfield is capable of eating large quantities of food, Arbuckle has put Garfield on several diets over the years. Jon is shown to be harsh during diets, seen as he won't allow Garfield to go off his diet. Jon has at least dieted with Garfield twice.
In The Garfield Show, Jon has been tricked by Garfield commonly of times. This usually makes Jon feel bad and gives in into giving Garfield food. Sometimes, Jon has threatened not to feed Garfield unless he does a certain task.
Jim Davis stated in the book: 20 Years and Still Kicking, featuring his annotations on several comic strips and background history, that his reading audience has always demanded comic sequences where Garfield has to go through a diet, or else they complain.
Jon has messy brown hair, and is commonly shown wearing his signature blue top, dark blue pants and brown shoes. In older appearances, he wore black pants.
Arbuckle has been portrayed as a nerdy and clumsy man. He is extremely pathetic when it comes to dating and coolness, constantly striking out when trying to get dates with women. This has been partly due to ridiculous pick-up lines and loud flashy outfits. Jon is the primary fodder and conversation partner to Garfield and is the often victim of his jokes. In Garfield and Friends, he is extremely gullible, usually when faced with unscrupulous salesmen. He has, however, has had some moments of brilliance, for instance, putting out decoy Christmas presents, taking out the kitchen light bulb, nailing Garfield into bed, spraying Garfield with a shaken soda can (which was shaken by Garfield), sawing a hole in a table and Garfield's bed to trick Garfield, so it assumed that he simply does not choose to think most of the time. Jon whines a lot, (according to Garfield), and there's evidence to prove it.
In The Garfield Show, Jon is often spiteful towards Garfield and Odie when he punishes them (most likely due to the misery they put him through). Jon doesn't seem to stop Drusilla and Minerva (excluding Very Very Long Night) from playing dress up with Garfield and Odie.
Arbuckle has been called countless names over the years (most being in high school).
- Bean Brain
- Clown boy
- Carp Face (His school friend Wheezer calls him this, it is also his nickname in his yearbook)
- Geek Boy
- Dork Boy
- Lame brain