Jonathan Quentin "Jon" Arbuckle (b. July 28, 1950) is the tritagonist of the Garfield franchise.
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 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 with a black mullet, and is commonly shown wearing his signature powder blue polo top, dark blue pants and brown shoes. In older appearances, he wore black pants. In Garfield and Friends, he often wore brown pants with a darker blue shirt.
Over the years, Jon 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, lack of social skills, and loud flashy outfits. Jon is the primary fodder and conversation partner to Garfield and is the often victim of his jokes.
Jon is often shown to be very incompetent, doing things such as forcing both shoes onto one foot out of boredom, falling down the basement stairs after mistaking the basement door for the front door, and trying to use the electric can opener during a power outage. Once, Garfield ate Jon’s new fish and placed a potato in the fishbowl. Jon fed the “fish” for two weeks after that, before finally noticing it had been replaced with a potato. In Garfield and Friends, he is extremely gullible, usually when faced with unscrupulous salesmen, no matter how obvious the scams may be.
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 also tends to be immature at times. According to Garfield, he whines a lot, and there's evidence to prove it. He has been shown to read pop-up books (calling them “fascinating”), wear bunny footie pajamas in public, and own teddy bear boxers. Every year at Christmastime, he and Doc Boy still enjoy being read “Binky, the Clown Who Saved Christmas” by their father.
In The Garfield Show, Jon is often spiteful towards Garfield and Odie when he punishes them (most likely due to the misery they have put him through for years). Jon doesn't seem to stop Drusilla and Minerva from playing dress up with Garfield and Odie. However, in The Very, Very Long Night, he does forbid them from doing it, mainly because he was annoyed and trying to sleep.
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