John Partridge as the Rum Tum Tugger

The ladies' tom, Rum Tum Tugger wears a shiny black catsuit and a fluffy golden mane, tail, and hair, as well as a silver belt, a spiked collar like Bombalurina and Demeter, and a garter. He is perverse and self-absorbed, and all the females swoon over him, except Demeter, who seems to dislike him, and Jennyanydots, who is unimpressed. (Jellylorum's response to him probably varies depending on the production: in the 1998 film, she is also too old to be impressed by the Tugger's young and wild antics, but in other productions she may join the crowd of admiring queens.) Bombalurina is very flirtatious with the Tugger, and although he initially rejects her, he later dances with her at the Jellicle Ball. Etcetera seems to have an even larger than average crush on him, and at the end of his song she (or Rumpleteazer, if the role of Etcetera is omitted in the production) is overwhelmed by his charisma, begins squealing hysterically, and cannot stop until he physically quiets her, by placing his hand over her mouth or a similar action. He seems to only have respect for one or two cats, Mistoffelees being one of them, and Old Deuteronomy being the other. He sinks into a half-bow at the first appearance of Old Deuteronomy, and goes so far as to embrace him when he is returned from his brief abduction. Rum Tum Tugger appears to care about Old Deuteronomy, though he tries not to show it, and some people think that he, along with Munkustrap and Macavity (and possibly Mistoffelees) is Old Deuteronomy's son. The Tugger plays the bagpipes (rather terribly) during The Aweful Battle of the Pekes and the Pollicles.

The Rum Tum Tugger is usually a very sexy, sexual tom, and probably bisexual, as evidenced by the younger toms' reactions to him. This has led to a great deal of slash fanart and fanfiction about him, particularly him and Mistoffelees. A few productions (notably the Korean) use this gay relationship between the Tugger and Mistoffelees, but the vast majority do not. Nevertheless, Rum Tum Tugger obviously admires and respects Mistoffelees (as he sings most or all of "Mr. Mistoffelees" for the magical cat, who is primarily a dancer), which heightens our appreciation of the magician and leads us to realize what a truly phenomenal cat he must be. After all, if such a curious cat thinks he's so amazing, then Mistoffelees must be something special.


Rum Tum Tugger is portrayed by John Partridge in the 1998 film.

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