The Six Most Miserable Marriages in Comic-Strip History
You’ve got to wonder what’s in it for Blondie. She’s a beautiful career woman, while Dagwood, her husband, is a lazy, sandwich-chomping oaf whose bizarre hairdo and dead black eyes make him look almost like an insect. Yet, somehow, they make it work and have been a happy couple in newspaper comic strips for almost a century.
But not every comic-strip couple is like Blondie and Dagwood. Here are six absolutely miserable funny-papers marriages, ranging from the slightly snarky to what is probably the most abusive couple that was ever played for laughs.
George and Martha Wilson from ‘Dennis the Menace’
The next door neighbors in the Dennis the Menace comic strip, George and Martha Wilson don’t have any kind of deep-seated hatred for each other. They’re just an older couple that seems to have settled into a marriage with a healthy amount of snark. Their neighbor Dennis, however, is their biggest source of friction, as Martha dotes on the yellow-haired scamp while George sees him for the sociopath-in-the-making that he really is.
Stanley and Harriet Parker from ‘The Better Half’
The Better Half ran from 1956 until 2014. It centered around Stanley and Harriet Parker, a long-married couple that has a noticeable degree of resentment of each other. They’re not the most aggressively miserable couple in comic strips, but they’re not above insulting each other either.
Hägar and Helga from ‘Hägar the Horrible’
When Hägar the viking isn’t conquering other lands, he’s contending with a stereotypical nagging wife named Helga. She’s bossy and sometimes insulting, but there’s the occasional strip where they show some love for one another.
The Wizard and Blanch from ‘The Wizard of Id’
The Wizard of Id is yet another comic that embraced the nagging wife stereotype. They embraced it so whole-heartedly, in fact, that Blanch’s official in-comic character description was “a domineering, meddlesome nag.” Given that it started in 1964, The Wizard of Id is certainly a product of its time. Which, yikes…
Leroy and Loretta Lockhorn from ‘The Lockhorns’
The Wizard of Id has his magic and Hägar has his viking adventures, but The Lockhorns is entirely about the miserable marriage of Leroy and Loretta. What’s refreshing about The Lockhorns, though, is that it’s not about a nagging wife that the audience is supposed to hate, as both Leroy and Loretta are evenly matched in their mutual disdain, which makes them perfect for each other (the comic above with the punchline “Too much cyanide?” is a particularly funny example).
Andy and Florrie Capp from ‘Andy Capp’
The British strip Andy Capp has been running since 1957. It’s about a hard-drinking unemployed guy who regularly flirts with other women and, um, beats his wife. His wife Flo, however, gets her licks in too, as she’s one of the reasons the angry housewife with a rolling pin became a popular comedic image. The Capps easily have the most horrible, abusive marriage in comics, making the Lockhorns look like Dagwood and Blondie by comparison.