Rufus is a small naked mole rat at a height of about 4 inches tall. He has no hair and is completely pink. Buck teeth and whiskers protrude from his mouth and face.
Rufus is generally portrayed as pink, small and light, and very agile, which proves useful time and again. He shares several things in common with his owner: his love of Bueno Nacho food (and subsequently, the Naco), his ability to eat with practically no regard for the food he is eating, sharing Ron's disgust for others, and an overall laid-back, casual attitude. However, unlike Ron, he has been known to abandon this attitude at crucial times, often using quicker thinking than his owner.
Rufus tends to display frustration with Ron when he uses him in an embarrassing way, or fails to give Rufus (or others) due credit. However, he has generally stuck by Ron in virtually every situation, and though he does not have the same fear, has the same overall dislike for monkeys. Rufus also possesses mystical monkey powers as he was in Ron's pocket when he got his, but never using them beyond displaying a greater degree of mastery of Yamanouchi ninja training than Ron, as well as once controlling the Lotus Blade. In the episode "Oh No! Yono!", he was the first one to be turned into a statue by Yono the Destroyer, but was subsequently turned back.
He was bought by Ron at Smarty Mart, during Ron's quest for a pet which would not aggravate his father's allergies to animal fur. When he was first bought, Rufus's appearance more resembled that of an actual naked mole rat, being wrinkled, eyes barely open and considerably smaller.
- Electronics and mechanical tampering.
- Powerful teeth for digging, can cut concrete, certain metals, and rope.
- Extensive rapping skills.
- Able to articulate some words in English, the most famous being "cheese."
- Became exposed to Mystical Monkey Power in "Monkey Fist Strikes", and seems to have better control over it, than Ron has on his own.
Débutante, Camille Léon's hairless cat, playfully adores Rufus. Even though it seems to be a one-sided love, at the end credits of the episode "Trading Faces", Rufus and Débutante are seen dining at a fancy restaurant, but Rufus seemed a little uneasy about it. In "Chasing Rufus", their relationship becomes closer, as they expressed regret for separating to return to their respectful owners.
Behind the Scenes
Rufus is 2 as of Season 1; 4 as of Season 4 (estimated, based on his appearance as a newborn in A Sitch in Time).
Appearances in Other Media
- Rufus was a guest star on the Lilo & Stitch: The Series crossover episode "Rufus". He was mistaken for Experiment 607 (Launch) by Jumba Jookiba. Rufus, of course, could not be Launch as Ron had him since about 12 years old, while the experiments had only arrived to Earth about a year prior to the episode's events. Stitch confirmed the accusation false when he sensed Rufus wasn't his "cousin."
- Video Games
- Aside from Ron understanding him, it is unclear if Rufus is actually able to speak words, or if the vocalizations are a production trick known as "perception filter" for the sake of the audience, which is usually underscored in other franchises where animals speak clearly between themselves, but then briefly shown from the perspective of humans as only making animal sounds.
- Rufus has a few links to otherwise unconnected Disney characters. He shares the same name as Penny's tabby cat in The Rescuers, and Timon, the meerkat in The Lion King, was originally to be of the same species as him.
- In a Lilo & Stitch: The Series crossover episode, Rufus was mistaken by Jumba Jookiba for Experiment 607 (A.K.A. Launch).
- In A Sitch in Time, despite being with the time-lost Kim and Ron, Rufus had a sizable number of progeny, strongly implying that he has already procreated, or a lesser thought-of idea being that he was cloned, explaining the future Rufus's worship of him. They refer to him as Rufus Prime. Although, given the social nature of mole rat society, it may not be so surprising after all.
- In the movie, Rufus is asked by the others what the meaning of life is. Rufus responds "cheese" which prompts one Rufus to tell the other, "You owe me a buck."
- According to the show's creators, Rufus's name is an ironic pun on the name of the naked mole rat's natural enemy, the Rufous beaked snake.
- Rufus has Mystical Monkey Powers of his own which he got because presumably he was in Ron's pants pocket when Ron got his, and was imbued with his own at that time. If he has some level of control over them it may explain why he can hold his own in a fight and bite through things that a naked mole rat would normally be unable to bite through. However, in A Sitch in Time: Past, he does so even before he gets the powers.
- Rufus had known Ron since preschool.
- Rufus means red haired.