Dennis is a bit of a bully, particularly towards a gang called the Softies, and most notably towards a boy called Walter the Softy, who is often the subject of Dennis’ pranks. Dennis often finds himself scrapping with other characters, such as the Bash Street Kids, and has a particular dislike for the characters of The Dandy comic, with whom several crossovers have previously been published.
Dennis’ bad behaviour is often his downfall however as he frequently gets his comeuppance, often at the hands of Walter, who despite being a ‘softy’ also has a vindictive streak.
Even though he is not a fan of school Dennis has a sharp mind and is very resourceful, often building his own contraptions to suit his needs. Despite being portrayed as the ‘bad guy’ because of his reckless behaviour Dennis has at times come to the rescue of those around him, and it is because of this and the fact that his japes do not always come off – leaving his adversaries with the last laugh – that Dennis has become the loveable rogue that he is, and the comic’s lead character.
Although Dennis is to a certain extent considered a loner, he really operates in tandem with his dog Gnasher, a rare Abyssinian wire-haired tripehound, who first joined him in 1968. Gnasher is Dennis’ trusty sidekick and together they replaced Biffo the Bear on the Beano’s front cover, where they have remained ever since. The duo make a formidable pair, with mayhem never far away, and their success as a double-act lead to Dennis and Gnasher getting their own animated series in 1996, and again in 2009 under the title Dennis & Gnasher.