Garfield’s Darkest Comic Is the Definition of Nightmare Fuel


Garfield’s comic strips are known for their light-hearted nature, but the character’s darkest story ever filled readers with existential dread.

While most readers might know Garfield as a reasonably light-hearted story about the interactions between the titular cat, his owner Jon, and their dog, one of Jim Davis’ darkest stories is pure nightmare fuel. Taking place over six strips, the comic tells a very dark story about loneliness, denial, time, and taking things for granted, as Garfield finds himself in an empty house in the future where his closest friends and family are long gone.

Garfield is a classic comic strip from cartoonist Jim Davis that first debuted in 1978 and currently runs in thousands of newspapers weekly. The Garfield comic, which is soon being adapted into a movie, stars the lasagna-loving Garfield, who hates Mondays and loves manipulating his owner Jon Arbuckle and his other pet, Odie. However, in one of Garfield’s darkest stories ever, the lovable cat learned about taking his family for granted as he was taken to a world where Odie and Jon were long gone, as readers were asked to think about how their conduct today might impact their futures. The comic strip was about as dark as it has ever gotten.


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In October 1989, Jim Davis decided to pen and illustrate one of the darkest Garfield stories ever. The comic strip opens with Garfield waking up feeling cold, as he notes where he is doesn’t feel like his home. Jon Arbuckle and Odie are long gone when he goes downstairs, as his old house has been boarded up and is for sale. Garfield can’t help but shake the feeling of being alone and discovers no one has lived at his former home for years. He imagines Jon and Odie returning, but that turns out to be a mirage. The situation forces Garfield to grasp his greatest fear, loneliness.

Garfield Learns A Lesson From His Darkest Comic Strip

The hallucination ends with Garfield realizing he’s taking life for granted and that his horrifying vision about time and loneliness showed him he needed to be nicer and appreciate Jon Arbuckle and Odie more than he has – because who knows when he won’t be with them anymore. The Garfield comic strip concludes with a text panel from Jim Davis stressing that the imagination is a powerful tool that can shape positive and negative memories depending on how you conduct yourself in the present. For Garfield, that means treating Jon and Odie better, which he does with a hug when he wakes up.

While the classic comic isn’t known for tackling darker themes, the six strips showed that even the Monday-hating Garfield understood how things could change if his time with Jon and Odie were suddenly cut short, creating a nightmare-like scenario for him. Thankfully for Garfield, he woke up from the dark reality and realized he had work to do to be better for his family. As a result, the comic remains one of the most bizarre yet poignant strips Jim Davis has ever done.

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