|A Christmas Carol character|
|First appearance||A Christmas Carol 1843|
|Created by||Charles Dickens|
|Spouse(s)||Mrs. Cratchit (named Emily in some adaptations)|
an unnamed son (named Matthew in some adaptations),
an unnamed daughter,
Robert "Bob" Cratchit is a fictional character who is the abused, underpaid clerk of Ebenezer Scrooge in the Charles Dickens story A Christmas Carol. The character has come to symbolize poor working conditions, especially long working hours. He is not, as some people may depict, the nephew of Ebenezer Scrooge.
In the story, Cratchit is first seen at work, where he copies letters by hand in an underheated "dismal little cell", "a sort of tank". He is repeatedly described as "ugly" and clothes himself in a tattered white comforter, since he cannot afford a coat. Cratchit is treated poorly by Scrooge and given a weekly salary of "but fifteen bob", insufficient to feed his family a proper Christmas dinner. Nevertheless, he remains loyal to his employer, even in face of the protestations of his wife, who for years has watched her husband work faithfully for the neglectful and stingy Mr. Scrooge.
Scrooge invisibly visits Cratchit and his family in their small Camden Town home on Christmas Day as well as on a future Christmas. He is accompanied on these visits by the Ghost of Christmas Present and the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come, respectively. It is partly through concern for the plight of Cratchit's youngest son, the frail and crippled Tiny Tim, that Scrooge makes the transformation from miser to philanthropist, offering Cratchit a raise and "discussion of his affairs".
Seven members of Cratchit's family are mentioned in the original story, four 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 milliner's.
- 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.
- An unnamed younger son, named Matthew in some adaptations.
- An unnamed younger daughter, named Lucy in some adaptations.
- Timothy "Tiny Tim" Cratchit. He appears to be crippled in the plays.
Notable actors who portrayed Bob Cratchit
The role of Bob Cratchit has been performed (live action, voiced or animated) by, among others:
- Donald Calthrop jin 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
- Mervyn Johns in the 1951 film Scrooge
- Jack Cassidy in the 1962 animated television movie Mr. Magoo's Christmas Carol
- David Collings in the 1970 film Scrooge
- 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
- 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
- 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