Herbie Popnecker

Herbie Popnecker
Examples of Recurring Themes

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Herbie, in disguise

Gary Perlman's Compilation and Observations of Herbie Popnecker (the Fat Fury)

Herbie Popnecker is unique among superheroes. Short and fat, he looks less like a superhero than any other, but he may be the most powerful.

Despite Herbie's fame, his money-worshiping father -- business bonehead and all-around idiot Pincus Popnecker, is unaware of Herbie's powers (powers Herbie tries to conceal from his parents) or the many villains Herbie faces -- often refers to Herbie as a "little fat nothing," especially when Herbie is sitting or sleeping or resting. Dad wishes that Herbie was a good student, a great athlete, or anything other than his unwanted son. Herbie shrugs off these criticisms, and sometimes Mom defends Herbie, although halfheartedly.

The Story Behind this Collection

This page started when I realized that Herbie sometimes bit his adversaries. I compiled a few examples, adding to them occasionally, and eventually, it turned into an obsession. It represents all the examples of Herbie's powers, recurring gags, and oddities that I could find. It is not complete for some areas (Herbie's speech comes to mind, and not just his catchphrase), so it gets expanded sometimes. Some compilations might even be controversial (the one on Jewish references comes to mind, as well as racial stereotypes). I hope that the compilations can be used for scholarly work -- Herbiology™ -- but flipping through for fun is fine. I have used the examples to provide an explanation for Herbie's fatness, to document why I think Richard Hughes might have been a fan of Jay Ward productions (e.g., Rocky & Bullwinkle), and to explain why Herbie revival attempts have failed.

Some categories here inspired by Bob Hughes' The Popnecker Papers: A Herbie History, Amazing Heroes #173, November 1989.

Catalog of Stories | Covers and Indicia from Issues | Splash Pages and Ending Panels of Stories | Calendar | Captionless | Errors | Ads | Herbie's Background | Evolution of Herbie | Herbie's Creators

Recurring Themes

Order themes by: Theme Category | Story Count | Example Count | When Created | When Updated | Theme Label | Theme Name

Recurring Story Subjects

1. Dad's Ideas

Herbie's dad, Pincus Popnecker, is a failed businessman with one terrible business idea after another. When Dad gets into trouble with his idea, he is bailed out by Herbie, makes a pile of money, and thinks that he is a business genius.

Created: 2004-10-15   Updated: 2012-05-16

Stories: 11   Examples: 24

Herbie Popnecker examples: Dad's Ideas

2. The Unknown

The Unknown is a mysterious world with ghosts, witches, spirits, and monsters in outer space, above the clouds on which it rests. Some of Herbie's lollipops come from the Unknown, and Herbie goes there to learn magic.

Created: 2005-03-09   Updated: 2012-05-15

Stories: 11   Examples: 18

Herbie Popnecker examples: The Unknown

3. Love

Herbie is a great lover, or so think all the women who swoon for him, and ask for a kiss, but that is just a running gag.

Created: 2011-12-31   Updated: 2012-05-16

Stories: 7   Examples: 19

Herbie Popnecker examples: Love

4. Sports

Herbie's dad wishes that Herbie would be an athlete instead of a little fat nothing.

Created: 2011-12-31   Updated: 2012-04-10

Stories: 19   Examples: 27

Herbie Popnecker examples: Sports

5. School

Herbie values education and attends school, but he is not a good student, in part because he is so unconventional. Other students make fun of Herbie, but he does not feel bullied by them. Herbie has a lot of empathy for his teachers, and helps them out.

Created: 2012-03-25   Updated: 2012-05-08

Stories: 10   Examples: 26

Herbie Popnecker examples: School

6. Patriotism

There are several stories in which Herbie fights for truth, justice, and the American way, often at the urging of high-level government officials, usually from the White House. Both Presidents Kennedy and Johnson ask Herbie for help, as does UN Secretary General U Thant. Herbie is that well-known.

Created: 2012-05-13   Updated: 2012-05-18

Stories: 13   Examples: 14

Herbie Popnecker examples: Patriotism

7. Villains/Adversaries

Herbie faced many adversaries, including some evil villains who stole lollipops. Almost all had silly names, just like other names.

Created: 2005-10-02   Updated: 2012-04-10

Stories: 35   Examples: 46

Herbie Popnecker examples: Villains/Adversaries

Herbie's Amazing Powers

1. Travels Back in Time

Herbie, with a special time-travel lollipop, rides the family grandfather clock back in time, often finding that history is not as historians have claimed. Herbie is just as famous and attractive to women in the past as in the present.

Created: 2004-10-19   Updated: 2012-05-15

Stories: 15   Examples: 27

Herbie Popnecker examples: Travels Back in Time

2. Lollipops

Herbie is always eating lollipops, even when sleeping. There are special lollipops for time-travel and bopping, and we learn that Herbie loses many of his powers without lollipops. Herbie is always on the look-out for hard-to-get cinnamon.

Created: 2004-11-10   Updated: 2012-06-19

Stories: 31   Examples: 66

Herbie Popnecker examples: Lollipops

3. Famous

Herbie is known to people and animals everywhere, throughout history, and he often uses that to his advantage. Presidents and royalty seek his help. He's always exchanging favors.

Created: 2004-10-07   Updated: 2012-05-16

Stories: 47   Examples: 85

Herbie Popnecker examples: Famous

4. Virtuous

Herbie has many virtues. He has a strong sense of honor, a respect for authority, and he is empathetic, loyal, patriotic, generous, modest, and even chivalrous. And from his efforts to cope with his dad's ideas, it's clear that he's loyal to his parents, for which he is rewarded by being called a little fat nothing.

Created: 2008-12-14   Updated: 2012-05-16

Stories: 31   Examples: 39

Herbie Popnecker examples: Virtuous

5. Thinking

Herbie, and others, are often wondering what to do in difficult situations. Herbie likes to think, arms behind his back, while walking on land, on or under the sea, or even in space. He knows he's GONNA do something because he's GOTTA do something.

Created: 2012-04-29   Updated: 2012-04-29

Stories: 26   Examples: 36

Herbie Popnecker examples: Thinking

6. Talks with Animals

Herbie helps and is helped by animals everywhere, throughout time, even in space! It helps that he can speak their language and knows them by name. They are constantly asking for his autograph.

Created: 2004-10-07   Updated: 2012-04-20

Stories: 39   Examples: 59

Herbie Popnecker examples: Talks with Animals

7. Hypnotic Eyes

Often, Herbie's hypnotic eyes are all he needs to overpower an adversary. One look and a surrender and confession follows. They may say "anything but that face", but it's the eyes.

Created: 2004-10-06   Updated: 2013-01-06

Stories: 20   Examples: 27

Herbie Popnecker examples: Hypnotic Eyes

8. Flying

Herbie fies by walking on air or in space in almost every story, and in those where he does not walk on air, he flies into the past in a grandfather clock or as a costume superhero as the Fat Fury.

Created: 2005-03-13   Updated: 2012-04-10

Stories: 49   Examples: 94

Herbie Popnecker examples: Flying

9. Falling

It's not an unusual power to be able to fall, unless you factor in Herbie's weight, but Herbie (and others) jump or fall into action butt first, often on a villain, resulting in squished adversaries.

Created: 2011-12-28   Updated: 2012-05-15

Stories: 12   Examples: 15

Herbie Popnecker examples: Falling

10. Travels in Space

Herbie walks and talks in space pretty much the same way he walks in air. He and others do not seem to need air, and can talk despite the vacuum. What else would you expect?

Created: 2004-11-12   Updated: 2012-04-10

Stories: 10   Examples: 13

Herbie Popnecker examples: Travels in Space

11. Travels Underground

Herbie can "fly" through the Earth, invariably ending up in Hades. He never flies all the way through to the other side, ending up in China. Flying through the Earth, we sometimes see geological layers like ones sometimes depicted in time-travel.

Created: 2004-11-06   Updated: 2012-04-11

Stories: 4   Examples: 5

Herbie Popnecker examples: Travels Underground

12. Travels in Water

Whether on land, in air, in space, underwater, or on water, Herbie walks the same way. How does he breath? Does he breath? What about the pressure? Where is the light coming from? He seems deep in thought, with his hands behind his back.

Created: 2004-11-06   Updated: 2012-04-10

Stories: 8   Examples: 9

Herbie Popnecker examples: Travels in Water

13. Travels Mysteriously

In addition to flying by walking, in space, underground, underwater, or just time travel, Herbie has other ways of getting around. He can run, ride a bike, push a train, ride a rocket, or a flaming comet, or a horse, or a flaming horse.

Created: 2005-03-14   Updated: 2012-04-24

Stories: 14   Examples: 18

Herbie Popnecker examples: Travels Mysteriously

14. Punching

Herbie did not punch anyone until he got his own comic. Before that, he used lollipops to bop. Sometimes, Herbie is squished by a double-fisted punch. But he can give it as good as he takes, especially in rapid flurries of powerful punches.

Created: 2004-11-13   Updated: 2012-04-11

Stories: 16   Examples: 27

Herbie Popnecker examples: Punching

15. Can't be Hurt

We don't know why, but Herbie can't be hurt (unless it's funny). Bullets bounce off him, punches have no effect, he can't be executed, and he's not affected by fire. In many cases, Herbie is unaware he has been attacked, and even when he is aware, you could not tell by his expression.

Created: 2004-10-21   Updated: 2013-01-01

Stories: 21   Examples: 32

Herbie Popnecker examples: Can't be Hurt

16. Breaking In, Out, and Through

Like in many cartoons, the shape of the hole in the wall matches what's gone through. Unlike most cartoons, Herbie often goes through walls butt first, sometimes falling.

Created: 2004-11-06   Updated: 2012-05-29

Stories: 15   Examples: 21

Herbie Popnecker examples: Breaking In, Out, and Through

17. Swinging Adversaries

Swinging is a great gag power, so humiliating to the swung, even though it must require considerable strength. The correct technique is by the feet for humans and by the tail or trunk for animals. Under no circumstances should a costume superhero (licensed or not) be swung by his plunger... undignified. After release, who knows where someone will land -- maybe a mountain-top.

Created: 2005-02-09   Updated: 2012-06-18

Stories: 14   Examples: 16

Herbie Popnecker examples: Swinging Adversaries

18. Strong

Despite having all he needs, Herbie seldom displays his superhuman strength.

Created: 2005-09-22   Updated: 2012-04-10

Stories: 9   Examples: 12

Herbie Popnecker examples: Strong

19. Invisible

Early on, it looked like invisibility would be a regular power, but it soon disappeared.

Created: 2004-11-07   Updated: 2012-04-10

Stories: 5   Examples: 6

Herbie Popnecker examples: Invisible

20. Magical Powers

Herbie uses magic in early stories, but then, not until the final few stories, when Herbie needs to learn magic because he has lost his lollipop-based powers.

Created: 2004-11-14   Updated: 2012-04-26

Stories: 12   Examples: 20

Herbie Popnecker examples: Magical Powers

21. Lightning Bolts

Herbie could harness the power of lightning, often directing it to someone's butt. CR-RAK!

Created: 2005-03-09   Updated: 2012-04-10

Stories: 6   Examples: 6

Herbie Popnecker examples: Lightning Bolts

22. Communicates Mysteriously

In addition to his odd speech patterns, his ability to talk to animals, or just his ability to stare down an opponent, Herbie had others ways to communicate.

Created: 2005-03-14   Updated: 2012-05-10

Stories: 8   Examples: 8

Herbie Popnecker examples: Communicates Mysteriously

23. Biting

Herbie sometimes bites his adversaries, and sometimes they bite him. It's not the only example of dental humor in Herbie comics, but buck-toothed characters do no biting, even though Herbie bites one.

Created: 2004-10-07   Updated: 2012-12-31

Stories: 14   Examples: 19

Herbie Popnecker examples: Biting

24. Assorted Powers

Herbie's powers are unlimited, in part because the types of magical lollipops is unlimited, and some of Herbie's attacks don't even require lollipops, for which he has handy items. With Herbie, anything is possible.

Created: 2012-03-24   Updated: 2012-04-18

Stories: 16   Examples: 20

Herbie Popnecker examples: Assorted Powers

Recurring Gags

1. Disguises

Despite having a unique physique, Herbie is able to use disguises to avoid recognition. It does not take much to fool all of the people all of the time. Herbie find many of his disguises in a chest of costumes labeled "DISGUISES". Herbie's most famous disguise, the Fat Fury, was created in Herbie #8a.

Created: 2004-11-09   Updated: 2012-12-31

Stories: 43   Examples: 83

Herbie Popnecker examples: Disguises

2. Deception

Sometimes Herbie and others used misdirection or absurdly bad attempts at deception, such as without the obligatory bad disguise. It helps that everyone, including Herbie, is unobservant.

Created: 2008-11-21   Updated: 2013-01-06

Stories: 14   Examples: 17

Herbie Popnecker examples: Deception

3. Lookalikes Galore

People from both sides of Herbie's family look like him, including his father and grandfather. Random people throughout history bear an uncanny resemblance. Some look-alikes look good to Herbie, but some are ugly to him.

Created: 2004-10-02   Updated: 2012-05-10

Stories: 21   Examples: 25

Herbie Popnecker examples: Lookalikes Galore

4. Baby Herbie

Sometimes by time travel, disguise, memory, imagination, or a fountain of youth, we get to see Herbie as a baby, looking just like him.

Created: 2004-11-12   Updated: 2012-04-10

Stories: 7   Examples: 8

Herbie Popnecker examples: Baby Herbie

5. Fat, Fat, Water Rat

Herbie's dad refers to his disappointing son as a little fat nothing, and it's hard not to notice Herbie's shape, a shape Herbie's father once had. But Herbie is never limited by his weight. As Herbie says, "So I'm fat. So what?"

Created: 2005-03-09   Updated: 2012-08-31

Stories: 28   Examples: 40

Herbie Popnecker examples: Fat, Fat, Water Rat

6. Nicknames

Herbie's father calls him a "little fat nothing," but Herbie has other nicknames. Some names are used maliciously by his foes, some adoringly by the women who can't resist him, and others, commenting on his fat.

Created: 2012-03-18   Updated: 2012-06-18

Stories: 36   Examples: 59

Herbie Popnecker examples: Nicknames

7. Silly Names

The villains and adversaries in Herbie stories tend to have silly names. Herbie himself is the son of Pincus Popnecker, a pretty silly name, even compared to Herbie's many silly nicknames.

Created: 2012-03-20   Updated: 2012-06-18

Stories: 25   Examples: 35

Herbie Popnecker examples: Silly Names

8. Short

While it's obvious that Herbie is absurdly fat, he is also incredibly short. During his evolution, Herbie got fatter and shorter, at times appearing to be well below three feet tall.

Created: 2012-03-07   Updated: 2012-05-07

Stories: 12   Examples: 14

Herbie Popnecker examples: Short

9. Women Swoon

Women find Herbie irresistible, despite his height, despite his weight, despite his face, despite his ineloquence. Maybe it's his savoir-faire.

Created: 2004-11-14   Updated: 2012-04-25

Stories: 24   Examples: 41

Herbie Popnecker examples: Women Swoon

10. Eating

Herbie was introduced as a fat boy who ate a lot, but in later issues, he is not often depicted as eating (except lollipops, of course).

Created: 2004-10-15   Updated: 2012-05-15

Stories: 19   Examples: 21

Herbie Popnecker examples: Eating

11. Sleeping

Herbie is often sleeping during the day, much to his father's dismay. Herbie sleeps with his glasses on, often with a lollipop in his mouth. Herbie can sleep while sitting, lying in a hammock, and even while eating.

Created: 2004-10-17   Updated: 2012-05-22

Stories: 25   Examples: 40

Herbie Popnecker examples: Sleeping

12. Sitting

Herbie often sits expressionless in a chair, with arms by his sides, doing nothing.

Created: 2012-03-04   Updated: 2012-05-10

Stories: 20   Examples: 26

Herbie Popnecker examples: Sitting

13. In the Hammock

Herbie rests in the hammock, often with a lollipop. Herbie naps in the hammock. Dad does not like to see Herbie in the hammock.

Created: 2012-03-19   Updated: 2012-04-10

Stories: 12   Examples: 14

Herbie Popnecker examples: In the Hammock

14. Sound-Effects

Like many comics, every Herbie story has sound effects, mostly silly, almost all with exclamation points. There are many sound effects with punching, things getting squished, butt jokes, breaking through walls, lolli-bopping, ...

Created: 2008-11-22   Updated: 2012-04-21

Stories: 51   Examples: 76

Herbie Popnecker examples: Sound-Effects

15. Butt Jokes

Butts are the butt of many visual jokes, usually with sound-effects. Sometimes, Herbie falls on adversaries, butt first, resulting in severe damage.

Created: 2005-02-05   Updated: 2012-05-15

Stories: 42   Examples: 75

Herbie Popnecker examples: Butt Jokes

16. Herbie is Unwanted

This is not the sad unwanted as in love or out of fear because of his powers like those eyes, this is the funny unwanted where people would like Herbie to be elsewhere.

Created: 2012-03-21   Updated: 2013-01-12

Stories: 19   Examples: 25

Herbie Popnecker examples: Herbie is Unwanted

17. Herbie is Surrounded

Only a well-coordinated attack can subdue Herbie, and Herbie can be overwhelmed (until he gets impatient) by adversaries coming from every direction. Other times, Herbie's attackers are defeated all at once.

Created: 2012-05-05   Updated: 2013-01-05

Stories: 7   Examples: 10

Herbie Popnecker examples: Herbie is Surrounded

18. Jewish References

Herbie stories have many Jewish references in character names, food, and manner of speaking. This may be attributable to the roots of the author of the stories.

Created: 2005-07-30   Updated: 2012-08-21

Stories: 17   Examples: 24

Herbie Popnecker examples: Jewish References

19. Shrugging

Often in response to Dad calling Herbie a "little fat nothing", Herbie's shrug is asking the reader for relief from his incomprehensible situation. Is this a Jewish expression?

Created: 2004-11-07   Updated: 2012-06-13

Stories: 26   Examples: 44

Herbie Popnecker examples: Shrugging

20. Tap-Tap

Herbie has to be stealthy to get so close that he can tap them to get their attention. Because he is about three feet tall, he only taps on the shoulder when flying. Herbie has other forms of non-verbal communication, including those eyes of his.

Created: 2011-12-26   Updated: 2013-01-06

Stories: 11   Examples: 16

Herbie Popnecker examples: Tap-Tap

21. Calm, Deadpan

While one could call Herbie calm, cool, and collected, one could also call him comically detached or clinically autistic, but he shows genuine empathy for others.

Created: 2004-10-05   Updated: 2012-06-18

Stories: 22   Examples: 29

Herbie Popnecker examples: Calm, Deadpan

22. Impatient/Busy/Rushed

When Herbie is ready to act, he doesn't like waiting around. Enough dilly-dallying, enough shilly-shallying, or just enough. If he's in a hurry to get somewhere, he might try alternative modes of transportation.

Created: 2008-12-14   Updated: 2013-01-05

Stories: 19   Examples: 22

Herbie Popnecker examples: Impatient/Busy/Rushed

23. Do it Myself

Herbie is a good guy and wants to help, but he does observe that he always has to take care of problems by himself. The only help Herbie seems to get is from animal friends.

Created: 2012-04-28   Updated: 2012-05-16

Stories: 17   Examples: 19

Herbie Popnecker examples: Do it Myself

24. Appreciates the Finer Things

Maybe it's from being famous and part of the reason that women swoon for him, or maybe it's related to his relationship with Professor Flipdome, Herbie is interested in and appreciates the quality of things.

Created: 2008-11-09   Updated: 2012-08-31

Stories: 29   Examples: 51

Herbie Popnecker examples: Appreciates the Finer Things

25. Methodical, Organized

Herbie keeps his lollipops well-organized and he can fight and argue methodically.

Created: 2012-02-29   Updated: 2012-06-18

Stories: 6   Examples: 7

Herbie Popnecker examples: Methodical, Organized

26. Breaking the 4th Wall

Like many cartoons, characters in Herbie comics break the 4th wall and refer to being in a comic and address the audience. Herbie went further by breaking the 4th wall of stories within the comic.

Created: 2005-03-13   Updated: 2013-01-05

Stories: 16   Examples: 22

Herbie Popnecker examples: Breaking the 4th Wall

27. Handy Items

Sometimes, Herbie just happens to have handy just what he needs. It doesn't matter where he is, the size of the item, or how unusual it would be to have it handy. Never mind where he got it from, either.

Created: 2004-11-12   Updated: 2012-04-25

Stories: 13   Examples: 13

Herbie Popnecker examples: Handy Items

28. Squishing

No one gets injured in Herbie comics, so to show how badly someone has been beaten, they appear to be compressed, flattened, squished like an accordion. Early on, people were squished by punching, but in later stories, Herbie would fall on villains and squish them with his butt.

Created: 2003-03-09   Updated: 2012-04-21

Stories: 11   Examples: 15

Herbie Popnecker examples: Squishing

29. Splashing

Splashing is usually the effect of landing in a liquid (butt first), or an insult from an animal. Sound-effects are required.

Created: 2008-11-24   Updated: 2012-04-10

Stories: 14   Examples: 17

Herbie Popnecker examples: Splashing

30. Coated

Herbie gets coated by various substances, sometimes by being splashed, but he always gets out, no worse for wear.

Created: 2012-05-10   Updated: 2012-05-10

Stories: 5   Examples: 7

Herbie Popnecker examples: Coated

31. Stopping by Sticking Out Feet

Herbie and others make sudden stops on land and in the air by sticking out their feet and leaning back SKREE-EEEE!

Created: 2008-11-20   Updated: 2012-04-10

Stories: 14   Examples: 14

Herbie Popnecker examples: Stopping by Sticking Out Feet

32. Boxer Shorts

Somehow, Herbie often ends up in his underwear in public, which always includes polka dot boxer shorts.

Created: 2004-11-11   Updated: 2012-04-10

Stories: 13   Examples: 17

Herbie Popnecker examples: Boxer Shorts

33. Stereotypes

They were different times back then. I don't think any of the stereotypes were mean-spirited, but there are examples of African, Native American (Indian), Eskimo, and Chinese stereotypes that today would probably not appear in print.

Created: 2011-12-25   Updated: 2012-05-16

Stories: 9   Examples: 12

Herbie Popnecker examples: Stereotypes

34. Buck Teeth

It's pretty clear that Herbie does not find buck-teeth objectionable. There is more dental humor in Herbie comics: biting.

Created: 2004-11-12   Updated: 2012-04-10

Stories: 10   Examples: 10

Herbie Popnecker examples: Buck Teeth

35. Fainting

Women faint, men faint, animals faint. Even Herbie faints. Oh yes, Dad... he faints, too. Fainting is usually combined with an exclamation.

Created: 2008-11-29   Updated: 2012-04-10

Stories: 9   Examples: 10

Herbie Popnecker examples: Fainting

36. Dad is a Masher

Pincus Popnecker loves his wife, but thinks he is quite a stud. Well, he wishes it were so. Women swoon, not for him, but for Herbie.

Created: 2008-10-23   Updated: 2013-01-06

Stories: 5   Examples: 9

Herbie Popnecker examples: Dad is a Masher

37. Dad is an Idiot

Sure, Dad has bad ideas, so we think Pincus Popnecker is an idiot, but characters in Herbie stories think so, too.

Created: 2011-12-29   Updated: 2013-01-06

Stories: 12   Examples: 15

Herbie Popnecker examples: Dad is an Idiot

38. Dad is Unobservant

Herbie's father, Pincus Popnecker, can never see through any of Herbie's disguises, or notice when Herbie is floating in air. Dad convinces himself that he is imagining the things that he thinks he sees Herbie doing.

Created: 2008-10-23   Updated: 2013-01-06

Stories: 6   Examples: 7

Herbie Popnecker examples: Dad is Unobservant

39. Mom Reacting

Dad is always complaining about Herbie being a little fat nothing, and Mom often has something to say. Usually at the start of a story or at the end, Mom tries to defend Herbie, or just calm down Dad.

Created: 2012-03-10   Updated: 2013-01-06

Stories: 13   Examples: 19

Herbie Popnecker examples: Mom Reacting

40. Money Mania

To Herbie's dad, money was synonymous with success, and nothing showed success better than a big pile of cash. And who has big piles of cash? Men with top hats.

Created: 2012-02-26   Updated: 2012-05-15

Stories: 8   Examples: 12

Herbie Popnecker examples: Money Mania

41. Herbie's Secret Powers

Although Herbie is famous around the world and throughout history, his parents are unaware of his powers. Herbie thinks that it is better that they not know, especially his Dad, Pincus Popnecker, who likes to think of Herbie as a little fat nothing.

Created: 2011-12-26   Updated: 2013-01-06

Stories: 6   Examples: 9

Herbie Popnecker examples: Herbie's Secret Powers

42. Herbie is Oblivious

While Dad is unobservant, Herbie can be completely unaware of what's going on around him, no matter how spectacular.

Created: 2011-12-28   Updated: 2012-04-11

Stories: 8   Examples: 9

Herbie Popnecker examples: Herbie is Oblivious

43. Animal Love

Several Herbie stories conclude with a main female character falling in love with someone (or something) unusual: a caveman, an alien, or an animal.

Created: 2004-11-12   Updated: 2012-06-18

Stories: 9   Examples: 11

Herbie Popnecker examples: Animal Love

44. Plunger Jokes

Herbie wears a plunger as a hat on his head when disguised as the Fat Fury. It never serves a useful purpose, except as a prop in a gag, usually with its own sound-effect, FWOINNNG!, as Fat Fury plunges into the ground.

Created: 2005-02-07   Updated: 2013-03-16

Stories: 6   Examples: 6

Herbie Popnecker examples: Plunger Jokes

45. Mountain Top Placement

Herbie puts his foes on mountain tops because it leaves them with no options. They are defeated non-violently.

Created: 2004-10-04   Updated: 2012-04-24

Stories: 3   Examples: 3

Herbie Popnecker examples: Mountain Top Placement

46. Two-Headed Adversaries

Two-headed creatures are the main villains in two stories, and a camel with two elephant heads makes it a trio. They all laugh like this: HAW-HAW-HAW!

Created: 2005-03-09   Updated: 2013-01-06

Stories: 7   Examples: 9

Herbie Popnecker examples: Two-Headed Adversaries

Speech Patterns

1. Little Fat Nothing

Herbie's father often refers to him as a "little fat nothing". Dad wonders why he should have such an undeserved lot in life as a son like Herbie.

Created: 2004-10-13   Updated: 2012-05-16

Stories: 28   Examples: 49

Herbie Popnecker examples: Little Fat Nothing

2. Bop you with this here lollipop

Herbie often bops his adversaries with special bopping lollipops, which makes bopping a power. But bopping led to his catchphrase rhetorical question "You want I should bop you with this here lollipop?" so maybe it's a gag speech pattern. Bopped bad guys would imitate Herbie's catchphrase, "He bopped me with this here lollipop!"

Created: 2004-10-16   Updated: 2012-05-18

Stories: 25   Examples: 35

Herbie Popnecker examples: Bop you with this here lollipop

3. Warnings and Threats

Herbie gives fair warning when he is about to take action. Usually, the threat and action both involve bopping with this here lollipop, but there are other cliché cases. Herbie either warns someone not to do something, or threatens what is going to happen.

Created: 2012-04-27   Updated: 2013-01-05

Stories: 10   Examples: 10

Herbie Popnecker examples: Warnings and Threats

4. Says 'WANNA...'

Herbie took many shortcuts in his speech, saying DUNNO, GIMME, GONNA, GOTTA, WANNA, and WOTTA.

Created: 2008-12-01   Updated: 2012-05-14

Stories: 27   Examples: 38

Herbie Popnecker examples: Says 'WANNA...'

5. Says 'TCH, TCH'

Herbie says "TCH, TCH" when he does not like what he sees. So do some others.

Created: 2008-12-01   Updated: 2012-06-18

Stories: 23   Examples: 30

Herbie Popnecker examples: Says 'TCH, TCH'

6. Says 'Something...?'

Herbie is a man of few words. Herbie uses unusual speech patterns, often leaving out subjects and objects or verbs. Rather than ask "Is something happening?" Herbie will just say "Something?" sometimes in response to an attack. It can indicate being oblivious to what is going on. Also popular: HUH?

Created: 2004-11-17   Updated: 2012-05-16

Stories: 11   Examples: 13

Herbie Popnecker examples: Says 'Something...?'

7. Says 'HO-HUM'

Herbie says "HO-HUM" when he's bored with what he thinks are mundane events.

Created: 2008-12-01   Updated: 2012-05-31

Stories: 9   Examples: 10

Herbie Popnecker examples: Says 'HO-HUM'

8. Says 'OH-OH'

Herbie says "OH-OH" when something has gone wrong.

Created: 2008-12-01   Updated: 2012-05-31

Stories: 10   Examples: 11

Herbie Popnecker examples: Says 'OH-OH'

9. Says 'Always Trouble'

Herbie sometimes uses the speech pattern "problem, always problem". He says that for problems he hates.

Created: 2008-12-01   Updated: 2012-04-11

Stories: 8   Examples: 9

Herbie Popnecker examples: Says 'Always Trouble'

10. Says-Schmez

Herbie uses some fancy-schmancy language to mock things. Is this speech pattern a Jewish reference?

Created: 2005-07-30   Updated: 2012-05-15

Stories: 11   Examples: 14

Herbie Popnecker examples: Says-Schmez

11. Says 'UH-UH'

When Herbie says "UH-UH", he means "No", or he is stammering. He'll also say "Nope."

Created: 2008-12-01   Updated: 2012-05-31

Stories: 15   Examples: 19

Herbie Popnecker examples: Says 'UH-UH'

12. Says 'Hate Something'

Herbie has a lot of dislikes, some very specific, such as fat jokes and some look-alikes. He doesn't seem to like wise guys, either.

Created: 2008-12-01   Updated: 2012-06-18

Stories: 11   Examples: 13

Herbie Popnecker examples: Says 'Hate Something'

13. Says 'Wise Guy'

A wise guy is someone who does something Herbie does not like, a jerk.

Created: 2008-12-01   Updated: 2012-05-31

Stories: 11   Examples: 14

Herbie Popnecker examples: Says 'Wise Guy'

14. Says 'Gangway!'

Sometimes someone yells "Gangway!" as they are trying to get away, usually from Herbie. Herbie never says "Gangway".

Created: 2012-03-23   Updated: 2013-01-04

Stories: 8   Examples: 9

Herbie Popnecker examples: Says 'Gangway!'

15. Says 'SIGH'

Herbie faces many challenges, and sometimes it gets him down. Dad, too, but those challenges are often self-inflicted. The SIGH is the most common way to express sadness, but the ultimate expression may be WOE, in a black speech balloon.

Created: 2012-12-23   Updated: 2012-12-28

Stories: 14   Examples: 14

Herbie Popnecker examples: Says 'SIGH'

16. Says 'WOE'

Herbie faces many challenges, and sometimes it gets him down. Dad, too, but those challenges are often self-inflicted. The SIGH is the most common way to express sadness, but the ultimate expression may be WOE, in a black speech balloon.

Created: 2012-12-23   Updated: 2012-12-28

Stories: 4   Examples: 4

Herbie Popnecker examples: Says 'WOE'

17. Says 'SEE?'

Like in gangster movies from the 1940s, people in Herbie comics end their statements with a demanding "SEE?"

Created: 2012-12-24   Updated: 2012-12-28

Stories: 18   Examples: 20

Herbie Popnecker examples: Says 'SEE?'

18. Says 'BY GEORGE'

BY GEORGE can express wonderment, but it is usually affirmative emphasis by Dad.

Created: 2012-12-24   Updated: 2012-12-30

Stories: 9   Examples: 12

Herbie Popnecker examples: Says 'BY GEORGE'

19. Says 'YESSIR'

Although YESSIR can be used to express agreement, it is used in Herbie comics to express affirmation.

Created: 2012-12-24   Updated: 2012-12-28

Stories: 16   Examples: 22

Herbie Popnecker examples: Says 'YESSIR'

20. Says 'AH-HH'

Despite his deadpan disposition, Herbie is a bon vivant who experiences pleasure, and expresses it with AH-HH.

Created: 2012-12-25   Updated: 2012-12-28

Stories: 17   Examples: 23

Herbie Popnecker examples: Says 'AH-HH'

21. Says 'WHAT THE...'

When Herbie's around, things happen that cannot be explained, and all there is to say is WHAT THE...

Created: 2012-12-25   Updated: 2013-01-01

Stories: 6   Examples: 8

Herbie Popnecker examples: Says 'WHAT THE...'

22. Says 'WELL, I'LL BE...'

WELL, I'LL BE... is a combination of WELL and I'LL BE, both expressions of surprise.

Created: 2012-12-25   Updated: 2013-01-01

Stories: 8   Examples: 8

Herbie Popnecker examples: Says 'WELL, I'LL BE...'

23. Says 'URP!'

The most common expression of surprise in Herbie comics may be it's most unique, because URP does not even appear in Wiktionary.

Created: 2012-12-26   Updated: 2013-01-06

Stories: 17   Examples: 21

Herbie Popnecker examples: Says 'URP!'

24. Says 'YIPE!'

Almost too conventional, YIPE is said by just about every character to express surprise.

Created: 2012-12-26   Updated: 2013-01-01

Stories: 18   Examples: 22

Herbie Popnecker examples: Says 'YIPE!'

25. Says 'YI!'

Missing from Wiktionary, YI might be an abbreviated YIPE, mainly blurted out by adversaries when they are surprised.

Created: 2012-12-26   Updated: 2013-01-06

Stories: 9   Examples: 10

Herbie Popnecker examples: Says 'YI!'

26. Says 'YOWP!'

People yell YOWP! when they are surprised suddenly, often followed by fear.

Created: 2013-01-01   Updated: 2013-01-02

Stories: 12   Examples: 14

Herbie Popnecker examples: Says 'YOWP!'

27. Says 'OH, WELL...'

Usually said by Herbie in resignation to the situation, OH, WELL might sum up Herbie's reaction to every outcome.

Created: 2012-12-27   Updated: 2012-12-28

Stories: 10   Examples: 10

Herbie Popnecker examples: Says 'OH, WELL...'

28. Says 'UGH'

UGH is most often used to express disgust (sounds like yech), but it is also used to show effort, and as stereotypical speech.

Created: 2012-12-27   Updated: 2013-01-01

Stories: 18   Examples: 21

Herbie Popnecker examples: Says 'UGH'

29. Says 'WHEW'

After a difficult situation, Herbie and others will express relief with WHEW!

Created: 2012-12-27   Updated: 2013-01-01

Stories: 8   Examples: 9

Herbie Popnecker examples: Says 'WHEW'

30. Says 'GR-RR'

In Herbie comics, people and animals say GR-RR with varying ferocity, depending on their anger.

Created: 2012-12-28   Updated: 2013-01-02

Stories: 16   Examples: 20

Herbie Popnecker examples: Says 'GR-RR'

31. Says 'DURN'

There are several variations of DURN (e.g., GOLDURN, GOLDURNIT) to express anger.

Created: 2012-12-28   Updated: 2013-01-02

Stories: 10   Examples: 11

Herbie Popnecker examples: Says 'DURN'

32. Says 'OOF'

When making a big effort, Herbie and others may say UGH, OOF, PUFF or PANT.

Created: 2012-12-29   Updated: 2013-01-11

Stories: 21   Examples: 28

Herbie Popnecker examples: Says 'OOF'

33. Says 'PUFF' + 'PANT'

When working hard or out of breath, Herbie and others PUFF and PANT.

Created: 2012-12-29   Updated: 2013-01-01

Stories: 15   Examples: 21

Herbie Popnecker examples: Says 'PUFF' + 'PANT'

34. Says 'HA-HA'

HA-HA is the most commonly used laugh, most often by villains. YA-HA-HA is especially evil, invoking fear.

Created: 2012-12-30   Updated: 2012-12-30

Stories: 23   Examples: 40

Herbie Popnecker examples: Says 'HA-HA'

35. Says 'HO-HO'

HO-HO is a mean-spirited laugh used by villains.

Created: 2012-12-30   Updated: 2012-12-30

Stories: 7   Examples: 11

Herbie Popnecker examples: Says 'HO-HO'

36. Says 'HEH-HEH'

HEH-HEH is a sneaky or nervous laugh.

Created: 2012-12-30   Updated: 2013-01-04

Stories: 14   Examples: 21

Herbie Popnecker examples: Says 'HEH-HEH'

37. Says 'HAW-HAW'

HAW-HAW is a laugh used by the most disdainful of villains.

Created: 2012-12-30   Updated: 2012-12-31

Stories: 17   Examples: 24

Herbie Popnecker examples: Says 'HAW-HAW'

38. Says 'YUK-YUK'

YUK-YUK is a self-congratulatory laugh used along with HAW-HAW and sometimes HO-HO by villains.

Created: 2012-12-30   Updated: 2012-12-30

Stories: 4   Examples: 5

Herbie Popnecker examples: Says 'YUK-YUK'

39. Says 'HURRAH'

HURRAH is a cry of happiness that usually comes from cheering fans in a crowd, but occasionally, Dad yells it to cheer for himself and even Herbie. Needless to say, Dad's spirit is soon crushed.

Created: 2012-12-31   Updated: 2013-01-01

Stories: 11   Examples: 18

Herbie Popnecker examples: Says 'HURRAH'

40. Says 'OUCH'

No one really gets hurt in Herbie stories, but some do feel pain, which is expressed in several ways, mostly YEE-OWW! Nobody ever actually says anything as mundane as OUCH.

Created: 2012-12-31   Updated: 2013-01-06

Stories: 26   Examples: 44

Herbie Popnecker examples: Says 'OUCH'

41. Says 'ULP'

ULP! is a shortened form of GULP. Even Herbie uses it when a situation looks bad, with exclamation points!

Created: 2013-01-02   Updated: 2013-01-06

Stories: 22   Examples: 27

Herbie Popnecker examples: Says 'ULP'

42. Says 'HELP'

Villains and Dad often yell "HELP!" in fear of life and limb. Stuttering H-HELP! is common.

Created: 2013-01-03   Updated: 2013-01-06

Stories: 30   Examples: 50

Herbie Popnecker examples: Says 'HELP'

43. Says 'GULP'

GULP, and the stuttering form, G-GULP, are the most common expressions of fear in Herbie comics, most often uttered by Dad, villains, and male characters, but also heard from Herbie as an expression of surprise.

Created: 2013-01-04   Updated: 2013-01-06

Stories: 42   Examples: 72

Herbie Popnecker examples: Says 'GULP'

44. Says 'AWAY'

When Fat Fury flies into action, he exclaims AWAY! AWAY-YY! Often, something goes wrong right after he says it, such as a plunger problem.

Created: 2013-01-06   Updated: 2013-01-12

Stories: 7   Examples: 14

Herbie Popnecker examples: Says 'AWAY'

Miscellaneous Collections

1. Comic Cover Pages

All covers in the 1950s to 1960s were by Ogden Whitney unless otherwise noted. Seven were by Kurt Schaffenberger.

Created: 2005-10-12   Updated: 2012-04-26

Examples: 42

Herbie Popnecker examples: Comic Cover Pages

2. Thumbnails of Covers

All covers in the 1950s to 1960s were by Ogden Whitney unless otherwise noted. Seven were by Kurt Schaffenberger.

Created: 2005-10-13   Updated: 2012-04-25

Examples: 42

Herbie Popnecker examples: Thumbnails of Covers

3. Publication Indicia

The indicia of a publication includes the official name of the publication, its publication date, information regarding editorial governance of the publication (from Wikipedia).

Created: 2005-11-17   Updated: 2012-05-02

Examples: 29

Herbie Popnecker examples: Publication Indicia

4. Story Splash Pages

This page shows the "splash pages" from the first page of all 52 Herbie stories. There are five stories from Forbidden Worlds + 46 stories from 23 Herbie comics + 3 non-Hughes/Whitney stories from the 1990s + a cameo appearance in Unknown Worlds #20 in 1962.

Created: 2005-10-13   Updated: 2012-08-31

Examples: 55

Herbie Popnecker examples: Story Splash Pages

5. Story-Ending Panels

Herbie stories end with a final panel or two, often with one or more recurring themes, and almost always with Herbie. This page shows the ending panels from all 52 Herbie stories.

Created: 2012-01-20   Updated: 2012-06-18

Examples: 52

Herbie Popnecker examples: Story-Ending Panels

6. Calendar Examples

These examples show Herbie in different seasons and dates.

Created: 2008-12-18   Updated: 2012-12-29

Examples: 29

Herbie Popnecker examples: Calendar Examples

7. Uncaptioned Panels

Test your knowledge of Herbie by guessing the original captions. Or add your own.

Created: 2012-02-21   Updated: 2013-02-18

Examples: 18

Herbie Popnecker examples: Uncaptioned Panels

8. Easy Knowledge Quiz

Here is an easy quiz to test your familiarity with basic Herbiology™.

Created: 2013-01-11   Updated: 2013-03-16

Examples: 10

Herbie Popnecker examples: Easy Knowledge Quiz

9. Intermediate Knowledge Quiz

Test your Herbiology™ knowledge of these Herbie lookalikes.

Created: 2013-01-14   Updated: 2013-03-16

Examples: 10

Herbie Popnecker examples: Intermediate Knowledge Quiz

10. Errors

Errors in Herbie comics included animals appearing out of their natural habitats, typos, and factual errors, often accompanied by letters to the editor.

Created: 2005-10-12   Updated: 2012-05-29

Examples: 16

Herbie Popnecker examples: Errors

11. Advertisements

Herbie ads ran in other ACG comics such as Forbidden Worlds (FW), Adventures into the Unknown (AITU), and Unknown Worlds (UW). Herbie ads in Herbie comics gave a preview of the next issue.

Created: 2012-02-17   Updated: 2013-01-14

Examples: 17

Herbie Popnecker examples: Advertisements

12. Background

Herbie's backstory is revealed throughout the Herbie series, sometimes as an offhand remark. This page describes Herbie's early life, lollipop powers, and the origin of the Fat Fury.

Created: 2012-03-11   Updated: 2012-08-31

Examples: 14

Herbie Popnecker examples: Background

13. Evolution of Herbie

Herbie First appeared in Forbidden Worlds in 1958, but did not get his own comic until 1964. Even by 1964, he was still evolving. His shape changed, even between the two stories in Herbie #1. His speech changed. Even his face changed. And so did the humor in Herbie stories.

Created: 2012-03-03   Updated: 2012-08-31

Examples: 27

Herbie Popnecker examples: Evolution of Herbie

14. Herbie's Creators

Herbie was developed by Richard E. Hughes, who wrote the Herbie stories under the pseudonym Shane O'Shea, and Ogden Whitney, who did the artwork.

Created: 2012-03-16   Updated: 2012-04-27

Examples: 6

Herbie Popnecker examples: Herbie's Creators

15. Publications about Herbie

Articles published about Herbie Comics, creators Richard E. Hughes and Ogden Whitney, and maybe more.

Created: 2013-02-17   Updated: 2013-03-17

Examples: 9

Herbie Popnecker examples: Publications about Herbie

16. Similarities with Jay Ward Productions

There are many similarities between Herbie comics and Jay Ward productions like Rocky & Bullwinkle. Herbie and Boris Badenov both wear disguises. Herbie and Mr. Peabody both travel back in time to debunk history. Fractured fairy tales, famous on Rocky and Bullwinkle, are occasionally the setting for a Herbie story. Even animal love appears in Herbie comics and in Dudley Do-Right cartoons.

Created: 2012-04-20   Updated: 2012-09-01

Examples: 44

Herbie Popnecker examples: Similarities with Jay Ward Productions

Order themes by: Theme Category | Story Count | Example Count | When Created | When Updated | Theme Label | Theme Name

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