Alice (Dilbert)

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Alice
Dilbert character
Alice icon.gif
Created by Scott Adams
Portrayed by Alison Martin (Dilbert's Desktop Games)
Kathy Griffin (TV series, uncredited)
Information
Species Human
Gender Female
Nationality American

Alice is an engineer from the Dilbert comic strip. She is one of Dilbert's co-workers in the department. She has long curly hair, which transformed into a large and distinctive triangular hairstyle when the character became a regular. Her character was based on a former colleague of cartoonist Scott Adams.[1]

Early versions[edit]

Before Alice became a fictional regular character, there were a variety of generic fluffy haired women at Dilbert's Company. Many of them had bit parts and were only used one or two times. The name Alice was used at least once, in a series of strips where she was forced to give birth at the office. Some of these characters had personalities very similar to the later Alice; these characters eventually disappeared when Alice began to be featured regularly. Like the Pointy-Haired Boss, Alice's hairstyle became more distinct over time. More recent female bit parts have smooth, semicircle hair. The first time that Alice could be seen with her typical pink suit and curly triangle hair was on August 25, 1992.[2] In the summer of 2010, Alice's regular work uniform changed from her trademark pink suit to a white turtleneck and a black skirt.

Problems and successes experienced[edit]

Alice is generally depicted as being one of the hardest-working engineers in the comic. However, she is rarely rewarded for her hard work, although she was for a time the highest paid engineer in the company.[3] At another time she was feted for receiving her fourteenth patent.[4] She stands in contrast with Wally, who does no work and receives nearly the same reward. Alice also suffers all the problems of being a female engineer. She has no tolerance for the discrimination she experiences. However, she also has little sympathy for other women who claim to be the victim of such discrimination when in fact they refuse to work as hard as she does. The revelations about her being the highest paid engineer at the company and the party for her fourteenth patent were responses to complaints from female co-workers about how they could not get ahead at the company.

Alice is fractionally more successful in her social life than fellow employees. She has dated numerous times, although Dilbert alluded to her having a family when Catbert created a family friendly policy,[5] and she used to date a one-eyed carpenter.[6] She was almost into a committed relationship with an emotionally supportive man but turned him down at the last minute, as she decided it would be more cost-effective to train monkeys to do the same work. It was also implied that she had a child,[7] but the idea was eventually phased out. She later dated a robotic copy of the boss that was meant to spew encouragement on the employees when the real PHB was too lazy to do so. In the Dilbert TV Series, Alice enters an abusive relationship with the testing supervisor, Bob Bastard, in which Bob asks her for her clothes, her shoes, and her car. They break up when she sees him slurping his coffee and commenting on how rewarding it is to know that Alice hates it when he does so.

Alice's violent nature[edit]

Alice has a short temper. Her anger is frequently expressed in physical violence, most often manifested in the form of her "Fist of Death". In the comic strip she has, among other things, kicked an Elbonian into his own hat,[8] stuffed Asok into his shirt sleeve and punched him into the ceiling, drop-kicked a computer off the building (killing a major customer),[9] rigged a paper shredder to kill the department's resident "sadistic nut",[10] ripped out a man's heart through his throat and sold it on the Internet (and later said he "kinda" gave her permission to do so by messing up one of her projects and then saying "it's better to seek forgiveness than to ask for permission"),[11] accidentally crushed a man walking by her cubicle by throwing her computer over the wall,[12] punched her fist clear through a co-worker's head when he wanted to ask a question at the end of an unusually long meeting,[13] and once sling-shot a man with his suspenders so hard he traveled forward in time.[14] Adams once said that he tries to have her kill about one person a year. According to Catbert, she has not been fired for this because she "Did not discriminate, sexually harass, steal or take drugs" (he then gave her an award for her "cost-saving idea").[15] Perhaps the best example of Alice's destructive nature is her brief encounter with Dilbert's creation, the Antimatter Dilbert. When the Antimatter Dilbert explained to her that only a thin coating of "matterscreen" kept him from being annihilated by matter, Alice's immediate reaction was to test this, throwing her hot coffee onto him, whereupon the Antimatter Dilbert was indeed annihilated.[16] Alice has mentioned that she is a Navy SEAL.[17]

On the television series, there are many instances of Alice attacking Wally, such as pounding his head down into his chest cavity, using him to clean up a coffee spill, stuffing him bodily into a copier, and punching a hole through a conference table so she could yank him face first onto it by grabbing his tie.

Alice has also thrown the Pointy-Haired Boss a fairly long distance as a result of her annual performance review. After threatening to yank him out of his cheap suit and hurl his naked body down the hall, Dilbert and Wally noted that her distance improves every year.[18] She occasionally claims to have superpowers.[19] She has also caused the head of the Inappropriate Comment Pig-Boy to explode by using curse words learned from her former boyfriend, the one-eyed carpenter.[6] When the company moved to a high-crime neighborhood to save costs, she took it upon herself to mug the company's executives to make them re-consider their decision.[20]

In a comic that ran in December 2003 she was diagnosed with Carpal Punchel syndrome and was forced to stop using her "Fist of Death" for two weeks (replacing it with the only-slightly menacing "Foot of Death".)[21]

Occasionally, other coworkers would use her anger to their or the company's advantage. Once, Wally got her to bend a metal bar into a u-shape by telling Alice it was an award he got for "being male".[22] Also once, Dilbert called her to his cubicle to subtlely get her to make a colleague in the cubicle next to him stop whistling.[23] In one 2008 strip series involving the company building killer robots, Dogbert used his rumor-spreading technique to tell Alice the robots said her hair was unfashionable and she was overpaid, and thus she punched all the robots to death with her "fist of death".[24]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Dilbert Character Inspired by SDSM&T Alum
  2. ^ http://dilbert.com/strips/comic/1992-08-25/
  3. ^ Strip on March 16, 1998: http://dilbert.com/strips/comic/1998-03-16/
  4. ^ Strip on March 18, 1998: http://dilbert.com/strips/comic/1998-03-18/
  5. ^ Strip on April 22, 1997: http://dilbert.com/strips/comic/1997-04-22/
  6. ^ a b Strip on September 2, 2001: http://dilbert.com/strips/comic/2001-09-02/
  7. ^ Strip on April 23, 1997: http://dilbert.com/strips/comic/1997-04-23/
  8. ^ Strip on March 28, 1995: http://dilbert.com/strips/comic/1995-03-28/
  9. ^ Strips on May 5, 2001 (http://dilbert.com/strips/comic/2001-05-05/) and May 7, 2001 (http://dilbert.com/strips/comic/2001-05-07/)
  10. ^ Strip on January 5, 1999: http://dilbert.com/strips/comic/1999-01-05/
  11. ^ Strip on May 31, 2004: http://dilbert.com/strips/comic/2004-05-31/
  12. ^ Strip on June 4, 1998: http://dilbert.com/strips/comic/1998-06-04/
  13. ^ Strip on April 23, 2007: http://dilbert.com/strips/comic/2007-04-23/
  14. ^ Strip on November 16, 1995: http://dilbert.com/strips/comic/1995-11-16/
  15. ^ Strip on June 2, 1999: http://dilbert.com/strips/comic/1999-06-02/
  16. ^ Strip on July 4, 2008: http://www.dilbert.com/strips/comic/2008-07-04/
  17. ^ Strip on August 4, 2000: http://dilbert.com/strips/comic/2000-08-04/
  18. ^ Strip on March 24, 1996: http://dilbert.com/strips/comic/1996-03-24/
  19. ^ Strip on August 25, 1996: http://dilbert.com/strips/comic/1996-08-25/
  20. ^ Strips on March 11 (http://dilbert.com/strips/comic/2005-03-11/), 12 (http://dilbert.com/strips/comic/2005-03-12/), 14 (http://dilbert.com/strips/comic/2005-03-14/), and 15(http://dilbert.com/strips/comic/2005-03-15/), 2005
  21. ^ Strip on December 5, 2003: http://dilbert.com/strips/comic/2003-12-05/
  22. ^ Strip on July 23, 2003: http://dilbert.com/strips/comic/2003-07-23/
  23. ^ Strip on June 17, 2007: http://dilbert.com/strips/comic/2007-06-17/
  24. ^ Strip on November 14, 2008: http://dilbert.com/strips/comic/2008-11-14/

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