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Garfield’s Odie Only Ever Spoke 2 Words, But They Were the Perfect Choice


Odie’s simplicity is what makes him funny, as shown through his only spoken line: “I’m hungry.”
Odie and Garfield have more in common than fans realize, with a secret bond apparent in their interactions.
Keeping Odie silent for over 40 years was the best decision, highlighting his happy-go-lucky yet empty-headed nature.

Odie the dog has only spoken once throughout Garfield‘s newspaper run, but the words chosen were actually a perfect choice. Odie has become known among Garfield fans as the perfect antithesis to Garfield. He’s active, carefree and never talks; unlike the lasagna-loving cat. This has made him one of the best and funniest characters in Jim Davis’ fan-favorite strip. Little do fans know, though, that Odie has actually spoken before, but only once since he was first introduced in 1978.

In the Garfield comic released on June 15, 1980, Garfield aggressively begins poking at Jon, telling him to feed him. Jon understandably gets frustrated by his cat’s behavior and begins to poke him back. This leads to an all-out poke war between the two, with Jon’s long-lost missing roommate Lyman watching from the end of the table. He quickly laughs off the interaction, proclaiming he’s glad to be a dog-person, only for Odie to poke him and say “I’m hungry.”

The fact that these are Odie’s only spoken words as of now is a hilarious turn for the character, since it’s pretty much what most people believe dogs have on their mind, aside from going outside for a walk.

Odie’s Only Spoken Line Confirms His Simplicity is What Makes Him Funny

Odie Thinking About What He's Thinking About

“This was finally the chance for fans to see what he was really thinking, and the answer they got was incredibly simple, making it comedy gold.”

The beauty of Odie’s character is just how simple he is. He works incredibly well as a silent character because it emphasizes his trait as a happy-go-lucky yet empty-headed companion to Garfield. Giving him the ability to talk would take away what makes him so special, as fans would know exactly what he’s thinking, rather than infer it based on body language. It’s a trait that absolutely annoys Garfield, and it’s where a lot of the humor of his character comes from.

However, the fact that he only spoke once, aside from the occasional “Bark” and other dog noises, makes it a great punchline in-and-of itself. It comes so far out of left field that readers can’t help but laugh at the sudden shift, especially since it would be the very last time he would ever talk. Plus, since his only thought ever was a simple “I’m hungry,” it only accentuates just how well he works as a silent character. This was finally the chance for fans to see what he was really thinking, and the answer they got was incredibly simple, making it comedy gold.

An image of a Garfield Comic Strip showing that Garfield is hungry Related

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Odie’s Only Words Show He and Garfield Aren’t So Different

Odie Kicking Garfield After He Kicked Him Multiple Times

Despite the two being radically different in mindset, Garfield and Odie have shown throughout the series that they actually have a lot of fondness for each other. This is because they ultimately share more in common than they realize. Each can have their own little tricks in mind to annoy the other, as well as enjoy going outside or eating together. The fact that the only time Odie ever spoke was essentially repeating what Garfield said to Jon shows that the two are far more like-minded than they’re letting on. They certainly won’t agree on everything, but they secretly have a bond that can’t be broken, even if they don’t realize it.

More than 40 years after Odie’s first words, Jim Davis has stuck to keeping Odie a silent character. This has overall been the best choice for him, since he works best seen and not heard. However, when Odie did finally get a chance to talk in a Garfield strip, he chose his words wisely in a perfect joke that showed fans why his simplicity makes him a great character.

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