A quite funny (and on target) comic strip that, unfortunately, has been commandeered by mindless corporate zombies. Many figure that they appear to have personality, or a certain "wackiness," when they display cut-out Dilbert cartoons in their work-space.

Often serving the same purpose: wacky Clip Art cartoons on memos and wacky email forwards.

The name for Dilbert was not original to Scott Adams' strip. The US Air Force had a comic strip with a Private Dilbert who showed pilots what not to do in combat.

While the name copy was unintentional on Adams' part, it is rather ironic that while the original Dilbert was technologically inept, the current one is a techie genius.
dike = D = ding


n. Name and title character of a comic strip nationally syndicated in the U.S. and enormously popular among hackers. Dilbert is an archetypical engineer-nerd who works at an anonymous high-technology company; the strips present a lacerating satire of insane working conditions and idiotic management practices all too readily recognized by hackers. Adams, who spent nine years in cube 4S700R at Pacific Bell (not DEC as often reported), often remarks that he has never been able to come up with a fictional management blunder that his correspondents didn't quickly either report to have actually happened or top with a similar but even more bizarre incident. In 1996 Adams distilled his insights into the collective psychology of businesses into an even funnier book, "The Dilbert Principle" (HarperCollins, ISBN 0-887-30787-6). See also pointy-haired, rat dance.

--The Jargon File version 4.3.1, ed. ESR, autonoded by rescdsk.

Dilbert is a syndicated comic strip created by Scott Adams, first released in 1989 and still going strong today. It documents the strip's namesake, his fellow coworkers, and even his dog (Dogbert, naturally] as they stumble through corporate America. Dilbert's anti-management (rather, anti-idiot, as one of the many anthologies has in its' title) makes it incredibly popular among cubicle-dwellers everywhere.


The Dilbert Family

  • Dilbert - The strip's namesake, and ultimately our protagonist. Dilbert works for an unnamed company in a cubicle, though he has at one point had an office. His time is spent exclusively between avoiding work, experimenting with new and untested technology, and dreading having to deal with the Pointy Haired Boss.
  • Dogbert - Dilberts' "pet", who has aspirations of ruling the world. Dogbert often takes time out of his conquering-the-world schedule to consult at Dilberts' place of employment in the fields of technical support and network administration, though all he uses these jobs for is an outlet for evilness. He is also St. Dogbert, Patron Saint of Technology, and has an active lifestyle for a dog with such stubby legs.
  • Mrs. Dilbert - Dilbert's mom, who seems like your typical old mother on the outside, but in reality is as technically-apt as her son. All we know about Dilberts' father is that he has been in a mall for roughly 7 years, and will leave that all you can eat restaurant when he's had all he can eat. Though unnamed in the strip, Scott Adams has referred to her as being called Dilmom (thanks to Servo5678 for the info)
  • Ratbert - Another one of Dilberts' "pets", he is a somewhat simpleminded optimist, and though he always has good intentions, has been reduced to being the butt of everyone's jokes.
  • Bob, Dawn, and Rex (the Dinosaurs) - One day, Bob randomly appeared in the Dilbert household after Dilbert proved that dinosaurs couldn't possibly be extinct. Soon, he was joined by his mate, Dawn, and their son, Rex. They did avoid being killed off after a poll taken by Scott Adams, and still live on to this day, hiding behind furniture whenever Dilbert has a guest in his house.

  • Pointy Haired Boss - Dilberts' manager and archenemy. His name stems from the fact that he literally has two black cones, sticking out of his head, pretending to be hair. The Boss is technologically impaired, which doesn't stop him from asking that random changes be implimented into the companys' projects. He is the epitome of the manager that every office worker fears.
  • Wally - The most cynical employee on the face of the planet, Wally gets his kicks from defying management and stealing office supplies. He is often the subject of abuse from Catbert, stemming from both his grooming habits and lack of height.
  • Alice - The only female engineer in the company. Doesn't handle criticism well, has a short temper and hates pantyhose with a venegence. Alice had to be harpooned after she refused to return to the office after experiencing the joys of telecommuting.
  • Asok - Pronounced "ashook". The lone intern in the strip, Asok is the victim of many pranks, but still holds the youthful optimism that the others lost so very long ago.
  • Catbert - Head of Human Resources. An evil, evil cat. Any company policy he attempts to impliment will have a negative effect on all employees within a 5-mile radius.
  • Tina the Tech Writer - An ultra-feminist who believes that any conversation she hears is an insult to her gender. Hates engineers.
  • Carol the Secretary - Hates employees, and enjoys playing cruel pranks on the Pointy Haired Boss.
  • Ted the Generic Guy - He's just there. A filler character for when Mr. Adams can't think of any other characters to use.
  • The Elbonians - A group of people hailing from the 4th-world mudhole that is Elbonia. Whenever the Pointy Haired Boss feels like saving money at the cost of quality, he will contract this group of uneducated workers, which generally makes for much entertainment.
Other Characters

Dilbert has gained an incredible following since its' 1989 inception, and has spawned a marketing empire. Almost 20 Dilbert anthologies have been released, and Scott Adams has written several Dilbert themed books.

Dilbert Anthologies (Dates of published strips)

  • Always Postpone Meetings with Time-Wasting Morons (4/16/89 - 10/21/89)
  • Shave the Whales (10/22/89 - 8/4/90)
  • Bring Me the Head of Willy the Mailboy (10/5/90 - 5/18/91)
  • It's Obvious You Won't Survive By Your Wits Alone (5/19/91 - 12/13/92)
  • Still Pumped From Using the Mouse (12/14/92 - 9/27/93)
  • Fugitive From the Cubicle Police (9/28/93 - 2/11/95)
  • Casual Day Has Gone Too Far (2/5/95 - 11/19/95)
  • Seven Years Of Highly Defective People (Published in 1997, outlines the evolution of Dilbert w/ commentary from Scott Adams)
  • I'm Not Anti-Business, I'm Anti-Idiot (11/20/95 - 8/31/96)
  • Journey to Cubeville (9/1/96 - 1/18/98)
  • Don't Step In the Leadership (1/12/98 - 10/18/98)
  • Dilbert Gives You the Business (Published in 1999, strips about aspects of business ordered by topic)
  • Random Acts Of Management (10/19/98 - 7/25/99)
  • A Treasury of Sunday Strips: Version 00 (Color versions of Sunday strips published from '95 to '99)
  • Excuse Me While I Wag (7/26/99 - 4/30/00)
  • When Did Ignorance Become A Point Of View? (5/1/00 - 2/4/01)
  • Another Day In Cubicle Paradise (2/5/01 - 11/11/01)
  • What Do You Call A Sociopath In A Cubicle? Answer: A Coworker (A compilation of strips involving Dilberts' coworkers)
    • Non-Anthology Dilbert Books

      • Build a Better Life by Stealing Office Supplies
      • Dogberts' Clues for the Clueless
      • The Dilbert Principle
      • The Dilbert Future
      • The Joy of Work
      • Dilbert and the Way Of the Weasel

On top of this fine literature, one can buy Dilbert calendars, Dilbert posters, Dilbert tee-shirts, and even Dilbert mints (marketed as Improve-mints, Pay-mints, Postpone-mints, Manage-mints, Approve-mints, Perform-mints and Accomplish-mints).

Dilbert also spawned an animated series that ran for a couple seasons on UPN, and was moderately funny. Dilbert fans subscribe to the Dilbert newsletter, known as the Dogbert New Ruling Class, or DNRC. When Dogbert takes over the world, all of the DNRC shall rule over the peons who don't subscribe. The DNRC is a great newsletter from which spouts the Word of Scott, as well as amusing stories he recieves from cubicle workers across America. www.dilbert.com is probably the most-visited comic website on the face of the planet, and is blocked on many a corporate firewall.

Source: www.dilbert.com, as well as other related writeups.

Dilbert made the leap to prime time television in January 1999 on UPN. Scott Adams shocked fans by giving the animated Dilbert a visible mouth, but rather than that most of the characters, humor, and satire from the comic strip made the transition to TV. Sadly, the show never performed as well as UPN hoped and after only two seasons on the air the show was canceled. Luckily Comedy Central acquired the reruns in 2003 and has begun airing them on Saturday mornings. For those who don't like to rise early on the weekend, the entire series was released on DVD in January 2004.

Dilbert Cast

Dilbert Episode Guide

  • Season One (January 1999 - May 1999)
    • "The Name" - Dilbert and his coworkers are tasked with creating a new product. The boss insists that the product have a name before any other quality about it is determined.
    • "The Competition" - After being fired Dilbert takes a job with the Nirvana Corporation, however the company is ruined after Dilbert introduces the concept of marketing.
    • "The Prototype" - A rival engineering group is working on their own version of Dilbert's new product.
    • "The Takeover" - Dilbert and Wally become the majority shareholders of the company.
    • "Testing" - Dilbert's new product, the Gruntmaster 6000, needs to be tested and Bob Bastard is assigned to the job.
    • "Elbonian Trip" - The gang goes to check out the company's assembly line in Elbonia, while Dogbert becomes a diplomat.
    • "Tower of Babel" - When a new illness strikes the office, employees begin to mutate.
    • "Little People" - A race of tiny employees are looking up dwarf pornography on Dilbert's computer afterhours.
    • "The Knack" - Dilbert loses his engineering skills and sends the world back to the Dark Ages.
    • "Y2K" - Only Wally knows enough about the company mainframe to make it Y2K compliant... but can he remember how to work the outdated interface?
    • "Charity" - Dilbert is put in charge of the office charity carnival.
    • "Holiday" - Dogbert lobbies Congress to abolish all holidays in favor of "Dogbert Day".
    • "The Infomercial" - The Boss stars in an infomercial to sell the Gruntmaster 6000.
  • Season Two (November 1999 - July 2000)
    • "The Gift" - Dilbert searches for a birthday gift for his mother and relives the trauma of his father abandoning him at the mall as a child.
    • "The Shroud of Wally" - Dilbert searches for the meaning of life after a near-death experience.
    • "Art" - Dilbert wants to know what makes art so valuable and creates his own work of art, The Blue Duck.
    • "The Trial" - Dilbert is sent to prison for murder in a case of mistaken identity.
    • "The Dupey" - Dilbert is put in charge of finding out what the mysterious new "Dupey" project is all about.
    • "The Security Guard" - Dilbert and the building security guard swap jobs for a day.
    • "The Merger" - The Boss is convinced that the company needs to merge in order to stay ahead, and Dogbert offers to assist...
    • "Hunger" - Dilbert is working a new food source called the "tomeato" that may end world hunger, and Elbonia takes interest in the product.
    • "The Off-Site Meeting" - The office holds a meeting at Dilbert's house.
    • "The Assistant" - Dilbert is promoted and given an assistant to show the other engineers that advancement is possible.
    • "The Return" - After an online e-commerce site sends Dilbert the wrong product, he must take it back to the home office to return it. Jerry Seinfeld plays the voice of the master computer.
    • "The Virtual Employee" - The engineers hear that there is an unused cube to be had. They discover its location and lay claim to it, before marketing can get a hold of it. To ensure that they don't lose this precious commodity, they quickly create an employee named Todd as a new employee and the cube's occupant.
    • "Pregnancy" - Dilbert shows signs of becoming female and soon becomes pregnant.
    • "The Delivery" - A custody battle for Dilbert's unborn baby causes a media circus.
    • "Company Picnic" - It's time for the annual company picnic and softball game, and food poisoning breaks out.
    • "The Fact" - Dogbert writes a book and the Boss thinks it's a great new product. Dilbert is assigned to work on the project.
    • "Ethics" - Because they've come under scrutiny for unethical business practices, the company sends the employees for mandatory ethics training.


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