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Max

Death from above!!!

–Max

Max (voiced by Robert Tinkler in the animated series) is one of the two titular characters of the Sam & Max franchise.

Character Detail[]

Violent, impulsive and indulgent in the extreme, Max is the source of much of the franchise's unique humor. Max is an active member of the Freelance Police alongside his long-time partner and friend, Sam.

Appearance[]

Max is a 3-foot tall, white-furred anthro "rabbity-thing". His appearance is generally cute and cuddly, but contrasted by his enormous sharp-toothed grin, which remains plastered on his melon-like head at almost all times. He has big feet and long ears that almost constantly stay upright, except for the few moments in which he's genuinely sad, as well as a pair of glaring, beady eyes. Apparently, he has a metal plate in his skull, though this doesn't seem to obstruct his skeleton at all. He also has a belly button, which is always drawn as stylized.

Personality[]

UI icon Max

Max is best described as silly, funny, feisty, immature, reckless, impatient, annoying, destructive, and violent. However, it's shown he can be quite emotional and caring, more so in the cartoon series than in the video games. Purcell describes him as 'being made up of pure Id', and when it comes to comparing him and Sam, he states that "Sam is the guy we are, while Max is the guy we want to be."

Max enjoys extreme violence and prefers to solve problems aggressively. He has a slight distaste for the long stories, anecdotes, and sentences that Sam constantly spouts forth, often asking Sam and others not to use different words such as 'ensue' and 'acumen'. He shares Sam's enthusiasm in just about anything, especially if it involves large guns and trouble. He also has very poor hygiene, as he sometimes tastes his own belly button lint, and once had a large "suspicious growth" behind his ear. Sam has commented on his pungent bodily odors on more than one occasion.

Max always carries a Luger around, and when asked where he keeps it usually responds with "None of your damn business.". He is fairly trigger-happy with it in the early comics, but this is rarely seen elsewhere. Like Sam, he's a lousy shot and is never seen usually hitting anyone. Instead of shooting guns, Max prefers to maul his foes and torture them in whatever way he can come up with. This fails miserably about as often as it works; despite his boundless energy and love for violence, Max isn't particularly good at fighting.

Relationships[]

Sam[]

Sam has been Max's best friend ever since their childhood. They attended high school together and later became untrained policemen, though it is unclear precisely when. They are incredibly close and will become physically uncomfortable when separated for any reason, both willing to delve into great lengths to protect each other. Max is known for most usually showing his affection towards Sam in the form of violence, but he harbors no ill will towards him, and at times also expresses his affection for the canine in more socially acceptable (and less harmful) ways.

Throughout the series, many jokes (and not-quite-jokes) have been made about Max and Sam being married, though it's unknown if this holds any weight in the actual story.

Darla "The Geek" Gugenheek[]

Max serves the same questionable father-figure role to the human Geek as Sam does. They seem to get along fairly well, oftentimes with The Geek being the more responsible of the two. The Geek seems to care about both Sam and Max quite a lot for taking her in, despite having to clean up after them almost constantly.

Gary[]

Although only appearing once, Max seems to form a parental relationship with Gary. Helping him overcome his anger issues and resolve his relationship with his parents.

Lorne[]

Max has one-sided animosity towards Lorne, and finds his presence annoying. He avoids him when he can, and will try to give him the slip whenever he shows up.

Grandma/Granny Ruth[]

Max seems to admire Ruth a great amount as he follows her instructions and sayings without complaint.

Bosco[]

Max and Bosco seem to get along well enough, but it is apparent that Max enjoys pestering Bosco. He and Sam go out of their way on many occasions to increase Bosco's paranoia for their own amusement.

Sybil Pandemik[]

Much like his relationship with Bosco, Max is a (questionably) friendly acquaintance of Sybil's. He enjoys seeing what her latest career path is, and oftentimes humors her latest career services alongside Sam. Sybil has expressed that Max seems "a bit improbable" and once implied that he was Sam's imaginary friend. However it's clear that he cares enough about her to surrender himself for the birth of her child.

Jimmy Two-Teeth[]

Much like Sam, Max seems to tolerate Jimmy Two-Teeth for the most part. They allow him to share their residence, but aren't afraid to get violent with him when there's a disagreement or they need something from him (i.e. the office phone in Culture Shock, or Coins in Reality 2.0)

Philo Pennyworth[]

As his short-term co-star on Midtown Cowboys, Max did not seem to get too well acquainted with the overall uptight chicken. Due to Pennyworth's generally standoffish behavior, Max took to poking fun at him instead. He refers to him as "Mr. Featherly" outside of the context of the TV show, purely to bother him.

Agent Superball[]

On their initial meeting, Agent Superball is dismissive of Sam and Max as the two seem to be interrupting his job. However, when Max becomes President of the United States, he clearly gains more respect for him, as Max is now his superior. After this him and Max have a friendly relationship. But Superball does not hesitate on threatening to kill Max for the good of the United States when he transforms into an otherworldly beast (Season 3, The City That Dares Not Sleep.)

Girl Stinky[]

Sam and Max first met Stinky in Season 2, Ice Station Santa, at 'Stinky's Diner'. Neither Sam nor Max seem to care much for her dismissive attitude, and the fact that she refuses to call them by their real names. Initially, the duo thought Stinky killed Grandpa Stinky, and were (un)pleasantly surprised to find that wasn't the case.

Grandpa Stinky[]

Both Sam and Max appear to have known Grandpa Stinky since they were preteens (evidenced in Season 2, Moai Better Blues.) and have frequented his diner. The tradition continuing till the present day. All the while Grandpa Stinky remains with the same cynical attitude towards them.

Sal[]

Max gets along well with Sal.

Momma Bosco[]

In Season 2, Chariots of the Dogs, Sam and Max travel to the '60s and meet her. Momma Bosco furiously asks Max if he has a problem with women and he replies that girls are a "huge waste of time". This made Momma Bosco quickly fall in love with Max. Despite not sharing any sort of romantic feelings towards her, he does become good friends with her, and admires her for punching Stinky in the face. To get Momma Bosco to fall out of love with him, they had to go back in time and make Max love women. Later on, after questioning him, he says that it will wear off (because he could never stop loving Sam).

Flint Paper[]

Max obviously admires Flint Paper in both the comics and the Telltale series. Max sees Flint's violent nature as something to aspire to be. In some ways, Flint is like Max without Sam, in that he is very unhinged and has nobody to hold him back. Max likes looking over into Flint's office to see what he's doing and is often amazed by what he finds.

By Beyond Time and Space, however, Max begins to feel slightly disillusioned with his hero; in Night of the Raving Dead, after gnawing on Flint's head, he claims Flint tastes like cigarettes and alcohol, and therefore no longer views him as his hero (though he brushes the feeling off as a side effect of missing his soul). Additionally, in the beginning of Chariot of the Dogs, he acts almost coldly to Flint, stating he "really detests" that Flint sees him (and Sam) as the "brains" of the operation, while Flint himself is the "brawn".

The Player (aka Lumpy)[]

Max initially was actively hostile to Lumpy, treating them more like an enemy or threat than a co-worker. During Lumpy's training, he constantly insulted and belittled them, and even directly attempted to murder them. However, after they assisted in rescuing Sam, he gained a bit more warmth towards them and welcomed them to the team, even dropping the nickname "Lumpy" and simply calling them "recruit".

Family[]

Max's family were shown in the comic The Damned Don't Dance, but none were named. Other than in Culture Shock where Max implies that most of his (large) family are criminals or in jail, and in Bright Side of the Moon, where he responds to "It's the Lunar Lander" with "So was my aunt Tillie, but they can't prove anything", he doesn't talk much about them. It is implied that he has a negative relationship with his father due to his response that Bosco is "taking it too far" when the store owner compares Max to his father.

In the season 3 episode The Tomb of Sammun-Mak, Max's great-grandfather is shown. His name is Maximus, and he appears to work with Sam's great-grandfather, Sameth.

Likes and Dislikes[]

Likes:[]

Dislikes:[]

  • Girls (only romantically and sexually so)
  • Having his brain stolen
  • Being alone
  • Being separated from Sam
  • Frowning
  • Being called a Bunny or "Hello Kitty"
  • Cheese from a pressurized can
  • Chupacabras
  • Clowns
  • Nazis/Klansmen
  • Renaissance reenactment participants
  • Being hugged (Except by Sam)
  • Sam's lame songs
  • Vampires
  • Hugh Bliss
  • Auntie Alice
  • Jack-in-the-Boxes
  • Valentine's day
  • Cats/Kittens
  • Wimps
  • Swiss Cheese
  • Ventriloquist dummies
  • Country Music (As stated after being hit into the "Dunk the Beast" in Hit the Road)
  • Romance movies
  • Lorne

Phrases[]

  • "That's none of your business" (in the animated series)
  • "Death from above! Death from above!" (in the animated series)
  • "That's none of your damn business" (in the comics and games)

Versions[]

Young Max[]

Young Max has been in all three mediums Sam and Max has been in. He is a precarious, bold, and somewhat self-absorbed child. He is always seen with Sam and stands up for him whenever someone really hurts him. His appearance remains almost exactly the same, except for the fact that he is smaller overall and has short ears.

Max's impulsive behavior is probably a main factor in the dangerous mischief he and young Sam's perpetrate, such as setting fire to things.

In the Telltale games, Max isn't above name calling and bullying Sam around like the other kids do. Though this may be viewed as taking Sam's friendship for granted, considering Sam's spontaneous nature coupled with the way he will treat Sam as an adult, he doesn't seem to really mean what he says and just wants a reaction from the usually timid Sam.

He's also selfish and addicted to video games. He would rather stay indoors and play them than socialize with anyone except for Sam, because video games are the only things that "really understand" him.

In Moai Better Blues, young Sam reveals that a girl named Jennie Tallarico has a crush on him, yet Max doesn't reciprocate those feelings, due both to her willingness to French Kiss anyone in their school and his own general disinterest in girls.

Teen Max[]

Not much is known about Max when he was a teenager. In Moai Better Blues, he claimed that Sam begged him to club Sam's opponents in the knees so that Sam would be able to win surfing trophies. Max also was about to go into a story in Chariots of the Dogs about something major that happened to him which turned him off on girls indefinitely. However, he decided not to tell it since there was no flashback.

Old Max/Future Max[]

Old Max was first seen in the animated series' episode The Dysfunction of the Gods where Sam and Max undergo rapid aging. He suffers from bad back posture, hair loss, and is somewhat overweight, but he still has his destructive tendencies.

In the Telltale episode Chariots of the Dogs, Max looks as if he never aged past his current self. He acts somewhat different, though, almost grown up. This is probably because he has the responsibility of taking care of Sam, who is not doing well in his old age after Sam developed dementia. He is very condescending to present-timeline Sam and Max, who he sees as primitives.

He's mastered volcanology, a reference to earlier in the game and a hint to a puzzle in the room he's in. He and Sam work for Stinky Corp, but suspect that the company is making its popular super-adhesive out of molemen.

Despite his generally subdued demeanor, and apparent gain in maturity, he still uses the same idle animations.

Elder God Max/Giant Max[]

In the end of Beyond the Alley of the Dolls, the penultimate episode of The Devil's Playhouse, Max accidentally ingested some dark spores, transforming into a giant, Lovecraftian monster and went on a rampage throughout New York. Sam, Papierwaite and Sybil went inside him to return him back to his normal and usual self before "The Final Imperative" (targeting Max with a nuclear strike) was activated. In the end, they escaped, leaving Max's Super-Ego in charge of removing his brain tumor, which presumably triggered his behavior. Unfortunately, the bomb, built into one more Maimtron, still flew into Max's chest and was activated. In an act of self-sacrifice, Max used his teleportation power to transport to Stinky's cell phone, which was with her on Skun-ka'pe's ship in space. Upon arriving, the bomb detonated, killing that timeline's Max along with Stinky, Skun-ka'pe and the brain of Sammun-Mak.

Trivia[]

  • Considering his lack of interest in girls (at least romantically and sexually) and his marked interest in men, Max may be homosexual.
    • During Chariots of the Dogs, Max is very briefly turned heterosexual, but the timeline soon corrects itself and Max stops being attracted to women (apparently because he simply forgets he's attracted to them, and stops).
      • This is shown directly in The Devil's Playhouse, where Sam continues to make "you don't even like girls!" jokes, which Max does not "correct"
      • Though this is a comedy series and this joke should not be taken seriously, if put in a real-life worldview, it could be said that Max never became straight at all, and the timeline changing simply made it so that he stayed in the closet for longer and began overperforming heterosexuality to hide his attraction to men. However, this is a stretch, and not mentioned in any official capacity.
  • Max usually calls himself a lagomorph (as in, of the genus Lagomorpha), though he has referred to himself as specifically being a rabbit a few times.
    • In the early comics. he seems to be upset with people calling him "rabbit" or "bunny", often angrily correcting them and stating he's a lagomorph. However, from Hit The Road onward, he doesn't seem to mind as much when others, especially Sam, call him a bunny or rabbit.
  • Max's mouth can disappear when he's surprised, confused, or pondering.
  • A hat referred to as "Max's Severed Head" was a limited time promotional item in the game Team Fortress 2 and was given to TF2 players as a reward for purchasing The Devil's Playhouse on Steam before April 26, 2010.
    • The weapon "Lugermorph" (based on Max's iconic firearm) and the item "License to Maim" (a badge with the logo of the Freelance Police) were also reward items within Team Fortress 2 and could be earned by defeating Max in Poker Night at the Inventory.
  • A crude model of Max appeared as an Easter egg in the Star Wars: Dark Forces (which the franchise that Ewoks produced in Canada, like its animated version) video game series.
  • In music, Max can play violin.
    • In the comics it's shown he also plays the bagpipes. Though he does so extremely poorly, and specifically to make fun of Sam's banjo playing.
  • There have been a few instances suggesting that Max is a masochist.
    • In the cartoon, when Sam slaps him after he starts panicking over the discontinuation of a beloved breakfast snack, he says "hit me again, I like it!"
    • In the Telltale games, he has referred to himself as a masochist multiple times, in multiple contexts (though primarily as a joke).
      • When Abe. Lincoln says that only a "grade-A sociopathic masochist" would want the job of president, Max simply responds with "grade-A? I'm flattered!"
  • According to a line in Abe Lincoln Must Die! Max knows Pi to the 1000th decimal.
  • Max is polytheistic.
    • However, in Moai Better Blues, he mentions he only supports omnipotent deities if he's the deity.
  • Despite being an incredible poker player, The Inventory banned him because he kept eating the poker chips.
  • William Kasten, the voice actor for Max during most of the Telltale games, is a complete mystery. He has no photo, no interview, and no prior work to Sam & Max. Some have speculated that the name is just a nickname, according to one of the workers at Telltale Games, when asked if William was real, he replied "He's real enough".
  • Max does not know how old he or Sam are. However, he must have been at least thirty-five years old by 2007, as that's the minimum age to become President of the United States.
  • Max doesn't use the internet that much, but his favorite website is "www.telltalegames.com/store"
  • Max can transfer his psyche into Sam's hand, as seen in the comic "Bad Day on the Moon".
  • As mentioned by Sam in Poker Night 2, Max is always "The Chosen One" every time the Freelance Police deals with a prophecy. Max attributes this to his face being a common symbol of chaos and destruction.
  • Max is a collector of action figures of Ash Williams from the Evil Dead franchise, he has all of them, including the extra rare "Naked Ash" figure, although he criticized Sam for asking Claptrap for an action figure.
  • Max has a running joke of being banned from entering places due to his height.
  • Max has a list of "things he wants to do when he gets turned into a zombie", and a yearlong section dedicated only to things he would do to his high school teachers.
  • For some reason, Max often thinks of disastrous scenarios that always end with him eating Sam.
  • Despite him being naked most of the time, he doesn't tolerate seeing others naked.
    • He doesn't seem to mind people of either gender showing their chest, however. In What's New, Beezlebub? Max doesn't seem particularly repulsed by Bosco's nakedness as long as he stays behind his counter, and later reveals he genuinely believed Jurgen was a woman (who happened to use he/him pronouns), indicating he wouldn't mind seeing women bare-chested either.
  • Max appears to have some repulsion to physical touch, especially of any affectionate varieties. As a child, he would claim any sort of romantic touch was "grody!". This mindset continued into adulthood; though he was usually slightly more subtle with his distaste for touch, he actually gagged when seeing molepeople courting practises in the cartoon and takes every opportunity to denounce hugs and kisses (most recently seen in This Time it's Virtual - when Sam calls him "huggable", he immediately responds with "Don't hug me", most likely directed at Lumpy.)
    • Despite this, he doesn't seem to mind affection when he initiates it, or when given it by Sam, willingly kissing the player in Poker Night at the Inventory 2 and being generally affectionate with Sam, even allowing the latter to rest his hand on Max's head (something most often seen in the comics), pick him up and hold him like a plush toy, hug him, etc.
      • He also seems to have his own "brand" of affection, which he often likens to "tough love" - essentially, acts of senseless violence, and heated, violent arguments. This is most obvious in the Telltale series of games. When interacting with the long-abandoned "Lefty's Hardware" store, Max fondly recalls times he had positive interactions with Lefty, which Sam notes were usually max committing nigh-unspeakable acts of violence against the store clerk.
      • Additionally, he apparently punches Sam, perhaps repeatedly, after he gets up in the morning as a means of showing love for him. When Sam asks for him to not attack so early in the morning, Max exclaims "No way, Sam! I could never stop loving you!"
  • During the events of Ice Station Santa, he states he doesn't believe in magnetism. However, once his gun gets stuck to the north pole, he reluctantly admits there might be some truth in the theory of its existence.
    • This is most likely a reference to animal magnetism, also known as hypnosis, specifically, and a joke on how while hypnosis appears in the Telltale games, magnetic forces as a whole had not been investigated since Hit the Road.
  • His full first name may either be Maximillian (in Situation: Comedy and Abe Lincoln Must Die!) or Maxwell (in Christmas Bloody Christmas).
  • As of Abe Lincoln Must Die!, Max was President of the United States. Between Beyond Time and Space and The Devil's Playhouse, Max was somehow re-elected. However, upon his mutation and death, Superball took his place as acting President. With his revival, it's unknown if he tried to get re-elected or got his position back on a technicality.
    • Another unknown is if he is president in This Time It's Virtual, which canonically takes place in 2021, about 16 years after the events of the original Telltale games. As he doesn't mention being such, it's unlikely.
  • On the Road's Disguise o' Rama reveals that Max used to be an actor for stag films, which are pornographic movies made for men.
  • He possibly has short-term memory loss. Though it is mostly played off for jokes, he does seem to have genuine trouble remembering things at times.
    • After the main event of Monkeys Violating the Heavenly Temple, Sam states "I thought we were finished when those yowling cultists came at us! How about you, Max?" to which Max replies "What cultists?"
      • Though this could be interpreted as an "obfuscation of the truth" joke, Sam does not treat it as such.
    • During the events of Night of the Raving Dead, after Sam requests for him to remind him to check out Stuttgart, Germany, he repeats the name and then says "yeah, forgot it already".
    • In The Penal Zone, he momentarily forgot that Sam was a giant talking dog.
    • In Poker Night at the Inventory 2, after Sam makes a joke about him not remembering anything, he asks Sam if his tie is new.
  • Though mostly brought up as a setup or punchline to a joke, Max does appear to have symptoms corresponding to some psychotic disorders, schizophrenia in particular. This is most commonly referenced in the Telltale series.
    • In Season 2, when interacting with the bear head hanging above Sam's desk, Sam expresses mild relief at it no longer talking or giving orders, to which Max worriedly replies "it doesn't?!"
    • In Season 3, when looking from Max's point of view, random, mundane objects can be seen floating around the screen. Considering they are never commented on, nor appear when viewing things in third person view, it's most likely they're hallucinations of Max's, coming from Max's own psyche and not prompted by using the Toys of Power.
  • Max may be on the autism spectrum.
    • He very often fails to take note of social cues. Though this is usually because he doesn't care.
    • He appears very touch repulsed, as stated above, which is a common symptom of autism.
    • He may have noise repulsion, as seen in the cartoon.
    • He usually doesn't express emotions similar to how neurotypical or "average" people would, being either overly or underly expressive, especially with his facial expressions and general mannerisms.
      • This may also be a sign of psychosis.
    • He appears to have some trouble regulating his voice, often being significantly louder than would be socially acceptable or even required.
      • He doesn't seem to care, however, which may also be him ignoring, not caring about, or simply not noticing social cues.
    • He stims almost constantly, frequently moving around, making silly hand gestures at nothing, making loud noises, etc. in and out of cutscenes and "downtime" moments.
      • As an example, his idle animations are very specific repetative movements that could be seen as stimming. Even the armpit farts he does could be considered stims, especially considering he continues doing it even in the future, and he doesn't seem to do it just to be funny or annoying.
  • Max is a prolific crossdresser, having willingly done so since a young age. Though he usually does so to disguise himself or as a minor visual gag in the cartoons, he repeatedly mentions he enjoys doing so casually across every media.
    • In the cartoon, it's stated that he was dressed up as a girl against his will and actively disliked it. This actively goes against the rest of the canon, including a line in Chariots of the Dogs where he states the memory of being dressed up like a doll by the girls in his class was a fond one, and him continuing to willingly crossdress into adulthood (even in the cartoon itself).
      • This may be explained in several ways. For instance, the bullies dressing him up may have resulted in physical injury due to mishandling, or, more unlikely, made him realize that doing so was seen as socially unacceptable, causing him some form of distress.
  • Many fans think that Sam and Max are married. Though it doesn't appear to be canon, it's heavily implied across all medias, and multiple sources (specifically the cartoon and Hit The Road) show the two are or might end up married.[1]
  • In the episode Big Trouble at the Earth's Core Max pulls a comically large wrench out of an unexplained area. Sam comments on this saying "I didn't know you were a marsupial!" Since only Female marsupials have pouches it's implied that Max might be trans
    • As Sam would obviously know this fact, and wouldn't make the joke if he thought he'd be intentionally spreading misinformation when he could simply bring up the topic in a long winding rant about each marsupial and wether or not they have a pouch.
  • Max may be at least partially autosexual, as he repeatedly shows some form of interest in himself.
    • In Ice Station Santa, when confronted with his one-year-in-the-Future Self, he calls himself "smokin'", and his Future Self, once met with the fact that he may be watching, shakes his tail for his own amusement.

References[]

See Also[]

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