Blondie (comic strip)

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.

One of the longest-running (first published 93 years ago in 1930) and most popular Newspaper Comics of all time, and still fairly funny even after all this time, Blondie stars Dagwood Bumstead, a bog-standard salaryman with a strange haircut, one button on his shirt, and a love of monstrous sandwiches. He is happily married to Blondie, who runs a popular delicatessen and catering establishment. Their children are Alexander, who mimics his father in terms of hairstyle, and Cookie, who resembles her mother. The household is rounded out by the family dog, Daisy. Other recurring characters are Mean Boss J.C. Dithers, Mouthy Kid Elmo, neighbors Herb and Tootsie Woodley, the mailman, Dagwood's car pool, and the chef at the local diner. Pretty much a Slice of Life comic at this point, the characters have stuck at the same age since the 1940s.

Dagwood was originally heir to the Bumstead Locomotive fortune, but was disowned when he married a flapper (originally known as Blondie Boopadoop) whom his family saw as below his class. He has since worked hard at J.C. Dithers & Company (currently[when?] as the construction company's office manager) to support his family.

80 years have severely eroded the original Fish Out of Water aspect of his character.

Derivative works include a series of comedy films (and long-running radio series) starring Arthur Lake and Penny Singleton, two single-season sitcoms (produced in 1957 and 1968), and an animated TV special.

Not to be confused with the band.

Blondie (comic strip) is the Trope Namer for:
Tropes used in Blondie (comic strip) include:
  • Acceptable Feminine Goals: Blondie and her next door neighbor/friend eventually became "career women" by starting a catering business, so most of the work they do is cooking.
  • Alliterative Name: Blondie Bumstead, née Boopadoop.
  • Anime Hair: Dagwood.
  • Aside Glance: Daisy often does this.
  • Big Eater: Dagwood, again.
  • Character Title: Obviously, although it's really Dagwood, and not Blondie herself, who is the actual lead character.
  • Comic Book Time: While the Bumsteads and other characters have remained the same since the 1940s, their house and office have moved forward (albeit slowly and incrementally) with the passage of time.
    • Even Blondie's job title changed, from housewife to caterer in the early 1990s.
  • Crossover: One strip in 2005 celebrated the Bumsteads' 60th anniversary with appearances by characters from other King Features comics, such as old favorites Hagar the Horrible, Hi and Lois, The Wizard of Id, BC and Beetle Bailey and relative newcomers such as Mutts, Zits, and Get Fuzzy.
  • Defictionalization: Very large sandwiches are now known as "Dagwoods" in some parts of the United States.
  • Does This Make Me Look Fat?: Dagwood responds by asking whether she meant from the waist up or from the waist down.
  • Drop-In Character: Elmo, a neighborhood kid who frequently drops by when Dagwood is trying to take a nap.
    • An old running gag, less commonly used these days, involved Dagwood trying to take a bath and having various characters walking in on him while he was in the tub.
  • George Jetson Job Security
  • Girl of the Week, and Boy of the Week as well: Alexander's and Cookie's dates never show up more than once.
  • Gold Digger: The reason Dagwood's parents disowned him was partly because they believed Blondie was this. In the very beginning, she was.
  • Greasy Spoon: Lou's Diner, which Dagwood often frequents on his lunch break.
  • Hear Me the Money: An episode of the 1950s TV adaptation showed that Dagwood can riffle a packet of bills beside his ear, make noises like an adding machine, and then announce a cash value with over-the-top precision. Perhaps this helps explain why Mr. Dithers hasn't permanently fired him.
  • Henpecked Husband: Dithers
  • Hot Mom: Blondie.
  • Identical Stranger: While not really noted as such in-universe, Dagwood's neighbor Herb Woodley and the mailman Mr. Beasley look almost exactly alike.
  • Inter Class Romance: The original strip was about the well-to-do Dagwood marrying the distinctly lower class Blondie against his parent's wishes. He was cut off and had to get a real job. The strip gradually morphed into the Dom Com it has been for most of its run.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Dithers
  • Massive Multiplayer Crossover: This Strip. All for the sake of a Milestone Celebration, even!
  • Mean Boss: Mr. Dithers fits this trope to a T. He's not above literally kicking Dagwood's ass.
  • Midnight Snack: A favorite habit of Dagwood.
  • Milestone Celebration: The 75th anniversary of the strip, which involved a Massive Multiplayer Crossover of various other comic strips.
  • Morning Routine: Common gag.
  • The Napoleon: Dithers is considerably shorter than Dagwood.
  • Not a Morning Person: Dagwood.
  • Orphaned Punchline: In one of the Sunday Strips, Elmo tells Dagwood a joke that ends with "And so he says "Well, where's the stork?", with Dagwood expressing shock that Elmo actually recited that joke, claiming that, had he told that joke to his dad, he would spank Dagwood so hard that he'd have to sit on a quarter to tell whether it was heads or tails. In the ending strip, Dagwood decides to tell his wife the joke, which begins with "This stork goes over to a dance club..."
  • Retool: You know, at the start of the strip back in the 1930s, Dagwood was the heir to an industrial fortune, and Blondie a common gutterslut. When they got married a few years in, Dagwood was disowned, and forced to get a job for the first time in his life. That's why he's always late to work, takes naps until noon -- pretty much every running gag derives from Dagwood being used to a life of leisure and excess. Also, his haircut was apparently a pop culture reference at the time. Blondie's flapper origins and Dagwood's lost fortune don't really come up anymore, as the strip turned into the print equivalent of a family sitcom.
  • Running Gag: Several:
    • Dagwood smashing into the mailman as he runs out of the door late for work.
    • Dagwood's massive sandwiches.
    • Dagwood's naps on the couch (noticing a trend, here?)
  • Slasher Smile: When Dagwood was upset with Blondie for unknown reasons in one strip, he invokes this trope when attempting to deny that he was still upset with her.
  • Standardized Sitcom Housing
  • Suppressed Mammaries: It's implied that Blondie hid her rather large breasts during her flapper days.
  • Sweater Girl: Blondie, often.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Dagwood sandwiches, natch.
  • Ugly Guy, Hot Wife: Dagwood and Blondie, of course, but also neighbors/best friends Herb and Tootsie. Tootsie is basically Blondie with dark hair. The Bumstead kids are an unmarried example of Ugly Brother, Hot Sister.
    • Although in the world of the comic itself, Dagwood is actually considered rather good-looking, if a little dated in his style of dress.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: Dagwood and Herb
  • World of Ham: In the 1950s and 1960s, this strip's Sunday strips could take any situation, no matter how trivial, to ridiculous levels of histrionism and Melodrama.