- “They all think I'm crazy, but I know better. It is not I who am crazy: It is I who am mad! Can't you hear them? Didn't you see the crowd?”
- ―Ren Höek
Marland T. "Ren" Höek: Ren is a 7-year old scrawny "asthma-hound" Chihuahua with a floppy body, donkey-like ears, neon-pink eyes with dark red pupils, red (or sometimes light brown) eyelids, and a fairly long, rat-like, pink tail who often calls Stimpy an idiot ("eediot", to quote the character) and slaps him around, quite literally. Ren is vain, spiteful, hyperactive, abusive, and gets irritated (especially by Stimpy) very easily. His lifelong ambitious personality is to have huge pectoral muscles. Ren's name is the real name of Kricfalusi's building manager. He was born on Tuesday the 17th.Martin "Dr. Toon" Goodman of Animation World Magazine described Ren as "scrawny," "dyspeptic," and "violently psychotic." On some occasions Ren "lost his mind" in a "cumulative process," resulting in Ren becoming, in Goodman's words, a "screaming klaxon, neon-pink eyes dilating into twin novae inches above his jagged, monolithic teeth." Andy Meisler of The New York Times described Ren as "adventurous," "intelligent," and "emotionally brittle."
Ren is voiced by series creator John Kricfalusi. Ren was later voiced by Billy West in Season 3-5. In the pilot, Pierre Decelles provided Ren's signature diabolical laughter, while West performed Ren's laugh in the series. John K returned to voice Ren in the short lived Adult Party Cartoon.
Ren's TailEditRen had a long, pink, rat-like tail. It is seen frequently in "Big House Blues", "Stimpy's Big Day", and "The Big Shot". After that, Ren's tail would constantly disappear (in the episode "Stimpy's Invention", Ren's tail kept disappearing and reappearing), to the point of not being seen at all. His tail was amputated by George Liquor in "Dog Show", but later it grew back at the end of that episode. His tail is never seen in the Adult Party Cartoon (not counting Man's Best Friend or Big House Blues). He is shown at times in Adult Party Cartoon to have a small stout of a tail similar to a real life Chihuahua's. Several episodes, most noticeably Ren Seeks Help, show his tail.
The reason for Ren's tail disappearing all together was that creator John Kricfalusi hated animating it, so most of the time, he just left it out, after he was fired, Games Animation's episodes rarely had his tail showing as well. When Ren's tail vanished completely, it was replaced with human style buttocks (similar to Stimpy).
PersonalityEditRen is a bad-tempered, extremely scrawny, dyspeptic, very hyperactive, emotionally unstable, greedy, intelligent, and violently psychotic chihuahua. He has stated once in "Stimpy's Invention" that he "likes" being angry. He is extremely selfish and childish, and at tense times mentally unstable. In the episode "Ren's Bitter Half", Stimpy used his genetic chemistry set to create a substance called x49. Ren accidentally splashed the chemical onto himself, causing Ren to split into his evil personality and his indifferent personality. According to this episode, Ren's indifferent side keeps him from going too far, as Evil Ren soon became corrupted and evil without Indifferent Ren's influence, destroying many of Stimpy's possessions, plotting world domination, beating up his clone and replicating himself into Evil Ren and the female Hideously Evil Ren, who the former married. In the episode "Space Madness" Ren slowly went insane from constant extended isolation and tried to keep Stimpy from going too far by forcing him to guard the History Eraser Button. In "Stimpy's Fan Club" Ren is jealous that Stimpy has more fans than him and tries to murder Stimpy in his sleep, but stopped when his brain was overheating and stinging him. Ren's behavior carries many implications of sociopathy as well as psychosis. In 'In the Army' Ren went mad from lack of sleep and believed that the Drill Sergeant was going to kill him and Stimpy.
Ren's ambitions vary from episode to episode. His first ambition was to develop large pectoral muscles. He also attempts multiple money schemes.
Ren is quick to put all blame on Stimpy rather than acknowledge his own actions in the deeds. He never learns from his mistakes and is quite frankly, despite Stimpy's stupidity, the true idiot.
On some occasions, Ren is actually somewhat understanding when Stimpy accidentally does something. In some episodes Ren has a malevolent, evil laugh when he has psychotic episodes. Whenever Stimpy gives him something special, he thanks Stimpy and celebrates. Ren has occasionally accepted and even enjoyed spending time with Stimpy. Despite his violent temper, Ren does not seem to be very physically strong and has been overpowered by Stimpy on a number of occasions.
Even though Ren is seen as insane most of the time, Ren has also helped Stimpy on many occasions. One of the most known ones is "Son of stimpy" When Stimpy's flatulence is seen as a "son" and then Stimpy cannot find him while searching around the house. Stimpy isolates himself from Ren, with Ren on many occasions trying to make him happy. Before Stimpy storms off into the cold night to look for "Stinky" his fart son, Ren makes a homosexual reference by looking up and seeing the mistletoe and elbows Stimpy. Which is one of the scenes that shows the characters homosexuality the most.Ren's fiery temper is shown in many episodes, where he would often go off on violent, psychotic rages which would often result in the harming of Stimpy, other characters and even himself. Ren's violent rage was however toned down in the Games Animation episodes, yet still was shown frequently. Ren is often prone to fits of psychosis, which would often result in him becoming violent or breaking down into tears.
Like Stimpy, Ren has had many jobs throughout the series, which often last for a single episode. In 'Fire Dogs' he and Stimpy posed as Dalmatians and worked as firemen, while in the Commander Hoek and Cadet Stimpy episodes, Ren is the senior officer and captain of the ship he and Stimpy use. In Mad Dog Hoek, the pair worked as wrestlers. Some episodes portray them as working as a comedy duo, such as in "Stimpy's Fan Club" or "A Visit To Anthony". In several episodes, Ren can be seen going to work or coming home, but his job is never explained, such as in "Sven Hoek" and "I Love Chicken". In these episodes, Ren can be seen going to work and coming home dressed in a suit, fedora hat, and holding a briefcase. Between the two, Ren provides primarily for the two via working, which is more apparent in the post-Spumco episodes. While Ren's job is never mentioned, according to "Double Header" Ren works at a top secret factory, making missiles by pulling a lever and dropping a canister into them. He claims that he went to thirteen years of night school for the job. However, it is unknown if Ren has maintained this job previously in other episodes or if this was a one time joke.
According to the episode Ren Seeks Help, the reason for Ren's behavior is because at his birth, a doctor made him feel his first sensation of pain, which was so immense that he vowed that he would never feel the pain again by inflicting it on others. It is also implied in the episode that some of his psychotic behavior is because his parents were implied to be crazy, as well, and Ren inherited their madness. Despite Ren Seeks Help being written in 1991 (and almost being turned into an episode) it aired on Adult Party Cartoon and as a result, is counted as non-canon.
Acting like a real dogEdit
Although anthropomorphic, Ren is seen acting like a real dog sometimes. In "Big House Blues", he whimpers like one and is kept in the pound, even wags his tail. In "Son of Stimpy", he's seen on all fours on top of Stimpy's litterbox, he's seen walking on all fours in "Dog Show", yet again, wags his tail. In "School Mates", he reunites with an old friend and the two are seen running on all fours and barking whilst chasing after Stimpy.
During the duration of the series Ren has had a total of two voice actors.
- John Kricfalusi
The creator of the series itself. For the first two seasons of the Ren & Stimpy Show (except for "Monkey See, Monkey Don't", "The Great Outdoors", a scene in "Stimpy's Fan Club" and "Cat Who Laid the Golden Hairball") and the Adult Party Cartoon, creator John Kricfalusi provided Ren's voice. He voiced Ren in a manner he described as a "Bad imitation of Peter Lorre". In a nutshell, John K. did Ren's Spumco-era voice, until he was fired by Nickelodeon itself, which kept his show. John K. voices Ren in Adult Party Cartoon, although Ren's voice sounds different in an attempt to make him sound older.
- Billy West
Billy West was the voice of Ren during the third season to the fifth season. However he did also voice Ren in several episodes of the second season and several scenes in Stimpy's Fan Club. In addition, he voiced Ren during the anthem of the Royal Canadian Kilted Yaksmen. After John K. and Spumco were fired, Billy West took over as the voice of Ren for the Games Animation episodes. West, who already voiced Stimpy, provided Ren's laugh throughout the series (even when John K. was still the voice of Ren). West provided Ren's voice using a combination of Kirk Douglas, Burl Ives, and a slight "South of the boarder" accent.
- Chris Edgerly
Edgerly voiced him in the "Nicktoons MLB" game.
- Kricfalusi received inspiration, used when drawing the first drawings of Ren, from a Elliott Erwitt black and white photograph of a chihuahua in a sweater next to a woman's feet.
- Billy West also auditioned to play Ren but the creators of the series believed that having West voice both Ren and Stimpy would give him too large of a workload, as he also voiced the titular character of Doug. So Kricfalusi voiced him instead.
- It is implied several times that Ren may be older than Stimpy, perhaps by a large margin. This is supported by how in Ren's Retirement, Ren is stated to be seven - 49 in dog years - while Stimpy is said in "Stimpy's Big Day" to be three - 21 in cat years.
- In Adult Party Cartoon, Ren's voice is deeper in an attempt to make him sound older, perhaps a reference to this.