Bob Cratchit is a fictional character in the Charles Dickens 1843 novella A Christmas Carol. The abused, underpaid clerk of Ebenezer Scrooge (and possibly Jacob Marley, when he was alive), Cratchit has come to symbolize the poor working conditions, especially long working hours and low pay, endured by many working-class people in the early Victorian era.
|A Christmas Carol character|
|First appearance||A Christmas Carol 1843|
|Created by||Charles Dickens|
|Spouse||Mrs. Cratchit (named Emily in some adaptations)|
an unnamed son (named Matthew in some adaptations)
an unnamed daughter (named Lucy or Gillian in some adaptions)
In the novellaEdit
When Cratchit timidly asks Scrooge for Christmas Day off work so he can be with his family, Scrooge at first threatens to dock his pay, but reluctantly agrees on the condition that Cratchit comes to work early the day after Christmas.
Cratchit and his family live in poverty because Scrooge is too miserly to pay him a decent wage. Cratchit's son, Tiny Tim, is crippled and sick; according to the Ghost of Christmas Present, Tim will die because the family is too poor to give him the treatment he needs. While Cratchit's family curses Scrooge for his stinginess, however, Cratchit says he feels sorry for his employer, and insists that they toast his health.
After Scrooge changes his ways on Christmas Day, he anonymously sends a Christmas turkey to Cratchit for his family's dinner. The next day Scrooge states that he will increase Cratchit's salary immediately and promises to help his struggling family.
Seven members of Cratchit's family are mentioned in the original story, five of whom are named:
- Mrs. Cratchit, Bob Cratchit's wife, who is named Emily in some adaptations.
- Martha Cratchit, the eldest daughter, who works as an apprentice at a milliners.
- Belinda Cratchit, the second daughter.
- Peter Cratchit, the heir, for whom his father is arranging employment at the weekly rate of five shillings and sixpence.
- Timothy "Tiny Tim" Cratchit. The youngest child, he is desperately ill and walks with a crutch.
- Charles S. Ogle in the 1910 film A Christmas Carol
- Donald Calthrop in the 1935 film Scrooge. Calthrop bore a remarkable resemblance to Cratchit as illustrated in the original published edition of A Christmas Carol.
- Gene Lockhart in the 1938 film A Christmas Carol
- Patrick Whyte in the 1949 television film The Christmas Carol
- Mervyn Johns in the 1951 film Scrooge
- Bob Sweeney in the 1954 television film A Christmas Carol
- Martyn Green in the 1956 television film The Stingiest Man in Town
- Daws Butler in the 1958 parody record "Green Chri$tma$"
- Jack Cassidy in the 1962 animated television movie Mr. Magoo's Christmas Carol
- David Collings in the 1970 film Scrooge
- Melvyn Hayes in the 1971 animated short film A Christmas Carol
- Clive Merrison in the 1977 television movie A Christmas Carol
- Sonny Melendrez in the 1978 animated television movie The Stingiest Man in Town
- Rich Little impersonating Paul Lynde as Cratchit in the 1978 television movie Rich Little's Christmas Carol
- Mel Blanc (as Porky Pig) in the 1979 animated short film Bugs Bunny's Christmas Carol
- R.H. Thomson (as Thatcher) in the 1979 television film An American Christmas Carol
- Wayne Allwine (as Mickey Mouse) in the 1983 animated film Mickey's Christmas Carol
- David Warner in the 1984 television movie A Christmas Carol
- Alfre Woodard (as Grace Cooley) in the 1988 film Scrooged
- Steve Whitmire (as Kermit the Frog) in the 1992 film The Muppet Christmas Carol
- Frank Welker (as Barney Rubble) in A Flintstones Christmas Carol, 1994
- Wendy Crewson (as Roberta Cratchit) in the 1995 television film Ebbie
- Michael York in the 1997 animated film A Christmas Carol
- Albert Schultz in the 1998 television movie Ebenezer
- Richard E. Grant in the 1999 television movie A Christmas Carol
- Brian McNamara in the 2000 television movie A Diva's Christmas Carol. Here Bob's character is merged with Scrooge's fiancée Belle.
- Rhys Ifans in the 2001 animated version Christmas Carol: The Movie
- Phil Vischer (as Bob the Tomato) in An Easter Carol, 2004
- Bob Bergen (as Porky Pig in a similar but not identical role) in the 2006 video Bah, Humduck! A Looney Tunes Christmas
- Gary Oldman in the 2009 animated version A Christmas Carol
- Kandyse McClure as Catherine Beadnell in Barbie in a Christmas Carol
- Joe Alwyn in the 2019 miniseries A Christmas Carol