Obelix I (French: Obélix) is a fictional character from the French comic book series Asterix. He works as a menhir sculptor and deliveryman, and is Asterix's best friend. Obelix is noted for his obesity, the menhirs he carries around on his back and his superhuman strength. He is the only Gaul in Asterix' village who is always strong since he fell into the cauldron with magic potion when he was a small boy. Because of Obelix' already enormous strength he is not allowed to drink the magic potion ever again, much to his chagrin. Other characteristics are his simple-mindedness, his love and care for his dog Dogmatix, his anger when someone refers to him as being "fat", his enthusiasm for hunting and eating wild boars and beating up Romans. His catch phrase is: "These Romans are crazy", although usually he considers other nationalities just as strange.
He is a large man who does not see himself as fat, preferring euphemisms such as being "well covered" or having a chest that has "slipped a little bit". Obelix is so in denial over this matter that he usually doesn't even notice when other people refer to him as "that fat one", and often shows total confusion over which fat person people are referring to. When he does understand the allusions are made on his behalf he flies into a rage and starts beating the person who said it up. Sometimes, when he is in a bad mood, just hearing the word "fat" can quickly enrage him. Being called fat, or being hinted at being fat, is one of the main causes of conflicts between Asterix and Obelix which leads to more developing conflicts in which they must work together. Although they usually simply insult each other verbally they inevitably make up swiftly. Also in earlier albums Obelix has a white helmet and a completely green colored belt, much like Asterix.
Obelix is Asterix's closest friend (they even have the same birthday - although this is inconsistent with the comic Obelix and Co., where only Obelix's birthday is celebrated) and works as a menhir delivery man when not bashing Romans. Obelix also owns the quarry where he chisels the menhirs himself. It is never directly stated what the menhirs are used for, though it is hinted that they are just oversized knick-knacks. Obelix usually trades the stones away for whatever he needs, resulting in the village having a literal field of menhirs. He has a little dog named Dogmatix (Fr. Idéfix). His parents live now in Condatum (as seen in Asterix and the Actress) and his distant cousin Metallurgix, a golden sickle maker, lives in Lutetia (as seen in Asterix and the Golden Sickle).
Obelix is kind-hearted, but socially inept — possibly because his strength means that others have had to adapt to him instead of vice-versa. He is still not completely aware of his own strength and almost invariably breaks any door he gently knocks on. He is frequently used as a human battering ram for opening locked doors or breaking through walls. Similarly, he is unaware that others do not share his superhuman strength, and shows great surprise when others are crushed by what he calls "a small menhir", or when Asterix attempts to explain to him that a small dog like Dogmatix cannot lift a menhir. He also has little interest in subjects of formal education or intellectual pursuits, since sheer strength usually solves his problems; he generally leaves any decisions to Asterix.
His passions in life are hanging around with Asterix, beating up Roman legionaries (and occasionally collecting their helmets), eating roast boar and making and carrying menhirs. Like Asterix, Obelix is a bachelor, but he is easily smitten by a pretty face. He harbours a hopeless crush on Panacea, the daughter of Soporifix (one of the other villagers), and occasionally other young women, most notably Mrs. Geriatrix (which enrages her husband). However, one may think that he will eventually find a mate and have children since in Asterix and the Class Act, he is shown to be the founder of a long dynasty of French warriors that lasted well into the 20th century.
Obelix' favourite food is roast wild boar which he usually hunts with Asterix, but he has a voracious appetite, and will try eating nearly anything with few exceptions. In fact, he eats nuts and oysters in the shell, and is completely oblivious to drugs, spicy food and poison. However, when he consumes alcohol, he gets very drunk very quickly. Although he has his own house, Obelix is occasionally shown staying overnight at Asterix's.
His trademark phrase is "These Romans are crazy" ("Ils sont fous ces romains": in the Italian translation, it is "Sono pazzi questi Romani", which can be shortened to S.P.Q.R., Rome's motto), although he has applied a variant of it to nearly every group he's met in his travels. It is a parody of the quote "These Gauls are crazy", which Julius Caesar famously said while describing the Gaul's fighting style during his conquest of the region.
Unlike the other villagers, Obelix has no need to drink Getafix the druid's magic potion that gives superhuman strength, because he fell into the cauldron as a baby and its effect on him became permanent. The story of that incident is told in How Obelix Fell into the Magic Potion When he was a Little Boy. Since this effect was not intended or expected, Getafix refuses to allow him even one more drop except under the direst circumstances (either out of fear for his life, or fear for the lives of others' should the inattentive and uncoordinated strongman become any stronger), which annoys him greatly. (In Asterix and Obelix All at Sea, it is revealed that too much of the potion can turn the drinker to stone; exactly how much is not known, but a whole cauldron will certainly do the trick. This appears to only work on grown people as Obelix didn't turn to stone as a baby). However, in Asterix and Cleopatra, Getafix gives him a few drops when opening a door in the Great Pyramid's Labyrinth (that even Obelix can't budge open), and it does increase his strength further but at his point and he even fails to notice any differences.
Obelix does sometimes display twisted views, especially when it comes to the relationship between the Gauls and the Romans. As far as he is concerned the more Romans he can beat up the better and nobody should deny him this, not even the "selfish" Roman victims themselves:
- In Asterix in Britain, he dismisses the claim that the Romans have invaded Britain; he believes that the Britons dragged the Romans over there in order to have all the fun for themselves.
- In Asterix in Corsica, it is revealed that the villagers attack the Romans at least once a year in order to celebrate the Gaulish victory at Gergovia. When the Romans leave their camps in order to avoid the attacks, Obelix sees this behaviour as crazy and detrimental to their "friendly" relationship.
- In Asterix and Obelix All at Sea, he has a dream (or nightmare as he puts it) in which the Romans pull out of Gaul. He's horrified at the idea of such a dream coming true. He also declares that the idea of peace with the Romans is offensive to the memory of Vercingetorix. Far more likely is the fact that peace will mean that he won't be able to bash the Romans anymore, a prospect he dreads. He then comments on the good "sense" of the Romans in attacking the village.
- The Roman civil war between Caesar and Pompey features in Asterix and the Actress. When he witnesses a battle between Roman troops, Obelix murmurs "What a waste!". But this is not so much on the wasted lives as the fact that it means that he has fewer Romans to bash himself.
Obelix's name is a pun on the French word obélisque (obelisk), suggested by rotund physique and his habit of casually carrying heavy stone monuments (menhirs) around with him. In fact "obelisk" is also (in both French and English) a variant of the word obelus (obèle), a typographical mark ("†") often found in a companion role to that of the asterisk, after which his friend Asterix is named. In Asterix and Cleopatra, he actually carved a so-called "egyptian menhir" which was actually an obelisk stone. To which Chief Vitalstatistix says "Let's keep it Gaulish."