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Sam, as he appears in The Big Sleep
Sam, an anthropomorphic dog, is one of the two titular characters in the Sam & Max franchise.


[edit] Character Detail

A member of the Freelance Police, Sam is more level headed and less violent than his partner Max, albeit not much so. He usually wears a grayish film noir-styled suit, with a hat and a blue and black striped tie. Sam is almost always drawn barefoot and references his lack of shoes occasionally. In the computer games, he has a tendency to take everything he sees, and apparently keeps the items in a cardboard box which he carries inside his coat. Steve Purcell, the creator of the Sam and Max franchise, thinks of Sam as an Irish Wolfhound, though the proportions don't work out perfectly. Sam lives in The Office, located on The Street.

While not obese, Sam is slightly overweight, and several jokes have been made regarding his weight, which Sam hates. Sam is embarrassed about his weight, and dislikes references to it.

Sam is prone to long-winded sentences filled with elaborate terminology. He rarely loses his temper and is able to react to panic-inducing situations with extreme calm. When he does get angry, however, he tends to react in an uncharacteristically savage manner. In They Stole Max's Brain!, Sam shows his more violent manner of investigating than in the previous episodes, which includes beating the Sign Spinner for information to threatening a COPS member with his revolver. It is usually, and somewhat ironically, Max that calms him down and prevents him from acting upon his anger.

He also has a very large sweet tooth, as during many of his adventures and assignments, he is seen enjoying a multitude of frozen treats such as popsicles and ice cream sandwiches, especially in the comics. In Sam & Max Season Two he becomes self-conscious about his weight, particularly when seeing his future and past selves.

In Culture Shock, before re-confronting Brady Culture's Home For Former Child Stars, Sybil gives Bosco the blueprints needed to let Bosco make an anti-hypnosis helmet, which Sam would keep inside his hat for the rest of the three seasons.

Sam carries around a huge revolver. In the comics, he is quick to use it but is a very lousy shot. In the Telltale episodes he can hit any object on the first shot but is very reluctant to use it against living things, even villains. The gun is absent in the other incarnations.

Although most of the time he acts like a human in a dog costume, Sam sometimes behaves like a dog. He has growled several times in the Telltale games, and his sobbing in Sam & Max Hit the Road sounded like whining. In The Penal Zone he is shown to pant when exposed to extreme heat, and eating a peanut butter ball in Beyond the Alley of the Dolls causes Sam to lick the roof of his mouth repeatedly for a time. He seems to have an enhanced sense of smell; he was able to smell where Max parked the car in Monkeys Violating the Heavenly Temple, located the cereal aisle in Beast from the Cereal Aisle, and the concession stand in Night of the Cringing Wildebeest by their non-food scents. He has also been shown to enjoy dog treats.

Sam has been addressed as "Samuel" twice, by Bosco in The Mole, the Mob, and the Meatball and Max in Bright Side of the Moon. This is presumably his real name. As mentioned before, he reacts with violence or annoyance when attention is drawn to his weight and in Beyond the Alley of the Dolls he and Max see a pair of the Samulacra's underwear and imagines what would happen if he wore it (Max and the Samulacra laugh at him) the promptly throws them in the harbor.

His personal Hell, as revealed in What's new, Beelzebub? and created by Satan, consists of him in The Office with Peepers; this may mean that he hates Peepers.

[edit] Date of Birth

According to the episode Chariots of the Dogs, Sam was born on March 3rd, presumably somewhere in the 1970s. He seems to be roughly the same age as Max, though rabbits life expectancy is normally less than dogs'.

[edit] Previous Jobs?

  • Steward/Flight Attendant
  • Petting Zoo Caretaker
  • Circus Acrobat

[edit] Family

Sam's family first appeared in the comic The Damned Don't Dance, but only his father was explicitly pointed out. In Hit the Road, his mother leaves a message on the messaging machine reminding him to not get shot. Sam's grandmother, Ruth, who served as a prison warden and fought in the Cold War, was mentioned in some comics and sketches, but not actually seen until the animated series episode Christmas Bloody Christmas. The Final Episode mentions that his family lives in Alaska. This episode also mentions his grandfather, who "bought it in the Big One", and shows Sam's younger sister. In the episode Tonight We Love, Sam is reminded of his Aunt Trudy, who has some sort of problem with knives, when he and Max go to Love Land. In The Tomb of Sammun-Mak, Sam's great-grandfather Sameth is shown as having an identical personality to Sam's, even going so far as being friends with Max's great-grandfather Maximus. Finally, he has an Uncle Rallo to whom Sam sold his baseball card collection for a kidney, not wondering why his uncle needed it until later.

[edit] Likes

The Geek
Flint Paper
The color orange
Shooting out the office window at passers by.
Running over things
Glazed McGuffins
"Treeetz" puppy treats
Ice Cream
TV and using what he learned from it
His DeSoto
Messages on the message machine.
Playing Fizzball
Car/road trips
Buddy Hackett
Highway Surfing
Bluegrass music and playing his banjo
Fudgey Freeze ice cream bars

[edit] Dislikes

Receiving a pink belly.
Being told to pick up objects he doesn't want to pick up.
Being told that he can't really hit some one with his gun.
Being called McGruff.
The Soda Poppers, especially Peepers.
Having his mind read
Being touched
Public bathrooms
Cracks/References to his weight
Being without Max

[edit] Phrases

[edit] "Yes? Yes? No! Yes?"

When talking to the Commissioner on the phone, Sam's part of the conversation is typically completely minimal, consisting only of one word reactions to what the commissioner says. In voiced appearances, these follow each other so quickly that it seems impossible for the commissioner to actually tell Sam the things he does.

[edit] "Holy..."

Holy jumping mother o' god in a side-car with chocolate jimmies and a lobster bib! We're on our way!
- In Monkeys Violating the Heavenly Temple

In Monkeys Violating the Heavenly Temple, Sam & Max meet some frightening pirates and every Season One episode, Sam utters a long-winded non-sequitur at the end of his phone conversation with the commissioner. This phrase usually starts with "Holy..." and is inevitably followed up with "We're on our way!".

[edit] "Well here we are..."

On arriving somewhere for the first time, especially in exotic places, the first thing Sam says is usually "Well here we are...".

[edit] "You crack me up, little buddy."

Many comics and cartoon episodes, as well as Hit the Road and a few Telltale episodes, end with Sam saying this line or a variation on it in response to something Max says (Max's end varies). It is occasionally used at other points of a story as well.

[edit] "Can't think of a reason not to."

Sometimes when Max suggests a course of action in a situation, Sam goes along with it if he finds nothing wrong with Max's reasoning.

[edit] Voiced By

Bill Farmer (Sam & Max Hit the Road & Sam & Max Freelance Police)
Harvey Atkin (the animated series)
David Nowlin (Telltale episodes Poker Night 2)

[edit] Versions

[edit] Young Sam

Young Sam has been in all three mediums Sam and Max has been in. Always shown round and stocky, he has a reserved and shy personality with a few mentions of breaking into tears because of bullies. Max always sticks up for him by beating up whoever Sam says picked on him. Young Sam is usually shown to wear a black T-Shirt with Max's face on it. No explanation on why such a shirt would even exist has ever been given.

But when he is in his element and/or comfortable, Young Sam is positive and outgoing. He was quite rude to his older self in Chariots of the Dogs.

In the Telltale game series, it is revealed that he is a computer wiz and loves building things from scratch, including Bluster Blaster. He is also shy around girls and doesn't bother with them, because they're only interested in Max. However, Max mentions in Bright Side of the Moon that Sam missed his chance to go to the prom with Melanie Prendergast, so he mustn't have been too shy about asking girls out. In addition, because of his passive nature, Max steps all over him.

[edit] Teen Sam

Not much is known about Sam's teenage years other than he may have played sports, was into science, and found high school "awkward". He was also fairly tall and skinny.

[edit] Old Sam/Future Sam

Old Sam was first seen in the animated series' episode The Dysfunction of the Gods where Sam and Max undergo rapid aging. He sometimes walks around with a cane, wears old bifocals, and suffers from lapses of judgment.

In the Telltale episode Chariots of the Dogs, "all those years of adventuring have taken their toll" on Future Sam. He suffers from dementia and maneuvers around in a wheelchair (with a design heavily inspired from Davros from Doctor Who). He is also revealed to have been a "candidate" for the evil mastermind behind the entire Season Two plot in an alternate reveal on the season 2 DVD.

[edit] Noir Sam

Debuted in The Devil's Playhouse episode They Stole Max's Brain!, his appearance is dramatically altered: his trademark suit and hat are gone, his gun is visibly holstered under his left arm, his shirt sleeves are rolled up to his elbows, and he bears a faint trace of five o'clock shadow. Due to his increased anger because of Max's stolen brain, he bares his teeth and growls often. Additionally, even though Sam's holster is for a normal size gun, when Sam pulls it out of the holster to use it, the barrel for the gun is comically oversized. He makes a small cameo like role while interrogating Girl Stinky in Beyond the Alley of the Dolls, and for a brief moment when talking to The Narrator in The City That Dares Not Sleep.

[edit] Character Design Evolution

Sam's tie has undergone some changes through the years. On the cover of the first comic album, the number of blue bars below the knot is five. In the comics themselves it is four, and in almost every appearance after 1987 only three such bars are visible (with the notable exception of large parts of On the Road and Bad Day on the Moon and various loose art pieces).

On an only slightly slower schedule the shape of the tie has changed as well. In the first comics the extent to which the tie is wider at the bottom than at the top was realistic or close to being realistic. Since then it has been increasingly exaggerated with the results being noticeably unusual since at least as far back as Beast from the Cereal Aisle.

The Devil's Playhouse improves over previous seasons by giving Sam better coat textures, a slightly tweaked tie and the ability to put his hands in his pockets.

In Poker Night 2, Sam's suit, and head has been improved to make him look like he did in the comics.

[edit] See Also

Sam & Max's relationship
Sam's gun

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