|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 in the Charles Dickens story A Christmas Carol. The abused, underpaid clerk of Ebenezer Scrooge, Cratchit has come to symbolise poor working conditions, especially long working hours.
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 provide his family with a proper Christmas dinner.
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. In the former vision, Cratchit is portrayed as a loving husband and father who is forgiving enough to defend Scrooge to his wife; in short, he is everything Scrooge is not. In the latter vision, Cratchit is seen mourning his son Tiny Tim, who has recently died; Cratchit could not afford to give the sickly boy proper care on his low salary. On Christmas Day Scrooge, who has seen the error of his ways, donates a turkey to Cratchit's family and gives him a raise.
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 is desperately ill, and walks with a crutch.
Notable actors who portrayed Bob Cratchit
The role of Bob Cratchit has been performed (live action, voiced or animated) by, among others:
- 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
- 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