The Wednesday Wars

by

Gary Schmidt

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Danny Hupfer is one of Holling's classmates and friends. He's excitable and prone to exaggeration: he's one of the most ardent believers that Mr. Guareschi wants to be a dictator of a small country. At the beginning of the school year, Danny is one of the students who bullies Holling into buying the class cream puffs, and he makes a number of death threats towards Holling if he doesn't comply. However, Danny does turn out to be a good, loyal friend. When Danny witnesses Mickey Mantle refuse to sign Holling's baseball because of Holling’s tights from the play, Danny gives Mantle back his freshly signed ball and leaves the room with Holling. Danny and his parents also drive Holling around town when Holling's parents won't on a fairly regular basis. Both Holling and Danny are on the cross-country team (though on the Varsity and Junior Varsity teams, respectively), and Danny and his family cheer loudly for Holling at his races. Danny has a crush on Mai Thi, and he takes her to an expensive restaurant for Valentine's Day. Near the end of the school year, as Danny prepares for his bar mitzvah, Holling, Mai Thi, and Meryl Lee listen to him recite his Hebrew readings to help him prepare. As Holling watches Danny speak at his bar mitzvah, he feels as though he's watching Danny truly become a man.

Danny Hupfer Quotes in The Wednesday Wars

The The Wednesday Wars quotes below are all either spoken by Danny Hupfer or refer to Danny Hupfer. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Coming of Age Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Houghton Mifflin edition of The Wednesday Wars published in 2007.
December Quotes

I guess it didn't matter to them that the Bing Crosby Christmas Special was on television tonight, the way it mattered to my parents, who would never, ever miss it. I guess the Hupfers thought that a Shakespeare debut was a whole lot more important than hearing "I'm dreaming of a white Christmas" one more time—even though Mr. Hupfer was loosening his tie and holding his hand over a yawn.

Page Number: 85
Explanation and Analysis:

When gods die, they die hard. It's not like they fade away, or grow old, or fall asleep. They die in fire and pain, and when they come out of you, they leave your guts burned. It hurts more than anything you can talk about. And maybe worst of all is, you're not sure if there will ever be another god to fill their place. Or if you'd want another god to fill their place. You don't want fire to go out inside you twice.

Related Characters: Holling Hoodhood (speaker), Danny Hupfer, Mickey Mantle
Page Number: 93
Explanation and Analysis:

But Doug went on in, and he came back out carrying the cardboard box for Number 166 from the Coat Room. He looked at us, shrugged, and hauled it away down the hall, staggering under its clumsy weight.

Page Number: 99
Explanation and Analysis:
June Quotes

"You think that's how you become a man, by chanting a few prayers?"

"You think you become a man by getting a job as an architect?"

Page Number: 253
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire The Wednesday Wars LitChart as a printable PDF.
The Wednesday Wars PDF

Danny Hupfer Character Timeline in The Wednesday Wars

The timeline below shows where the character Danny Hupfer appears in The Wednesday Wars. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
September
Coming of Age Theme Icon
Family Theme Icon
...him. This plan, however, proves impossible: Doug's brother comes right at Holling, yelling and slobbering. Danny Hupfer, the goalie, yells at Holling to get in front. Holling steps towards the sideline,... (full context)
October
Family Theme Icon
...math class thinking about the cream puffs. When the Jewish students leave at 1:45 P.M., Danny threatens to kill Holling if he gets a cream puff, and ten minutes later, Meryl... (full context)
Coming of Age Theme Icon
Family Theme Icon
...one more chore—possibly for one more cream puff. When Mrs. Baker walks away, Meryl Lee, Danny, and Mai Thi descend on Holling to find out if he truly got a cream... (full context)
November
Coming of Age Theme Icon
The Vietnam War and Political Unrest Theme Icon
Reading and Learning Theme Icon
...In Chorus, Miss Violet asks Holling to sing a soprano part. Holling curses at both Danny and Meryl Lee as he moves forward, and Meryl Lee takes great offense. She grabs... (full context)
Family Theme Icon
Reading and Learning Theme Icon
...the class look at the cream puffs all day. When lunch arrives, everyone eats quickly. Danny gets up and approaches the cream puffs, but Mrs. Baker insists that everyone must go... (full context)
Coming of Age Theme Icon
Family Theme Icon
...rats race into the radiators and back into the walls. Meryl Lee, Mai Thi, and Danny tell Holling he has ten days to get more cream puffs, and Mrs. Baker makes... (full context)
December
Coming of Age Theme Icon
Reading and Learning Theme Icon
After lunch, Meryl Lee, Mai Thi, and Danny corner Holling to ask about the part in The Tempest. When Holling admits he's playing... (full context)
Family Theme Icon
...and scans the audience for faces he knows. He finds Mrs. Baker, Mrs. Bigio, and Danny Hupfer's parents. This is shocking: Holling reasons that the Hupfers must not care about Bing... (full context)
Family Theme Icon
...curtain call arrives and Holling walks onstage. He looks out at the audience and notices Danny, Meryl Lee, and Mai Thi in the front row—crying. Holling watches a look come over... (full context)
Family Theme Icon
Reading and Learning Theme Icon
...Baker, Mrs. Baker's brother-in-law. Holling thinks that Mantle looks huge as he watches him sign Danny's baseball. Holling approaches the table, holds out his ball, and in a whisper, asks Mantle... (full context)
Family Theme Icon
Reading and Learning Theme Icon
Holling feels as though his world is splitting in two. Danny, who saw the entire situation, steps up, puts his signed ball on the table, and... (full context)
Coming of Age Theme Icon
Family Theme Icon
Reading and Learning Theme Icon
...afternoon. As the Jewish and Catholic students get ready to leave, Mrs. Baker calls to Danny and Doug to stay at school. When the rest of the class is gone, Mrs.... (full context)
Family Theme Icon
Reading and Learning Theme Icon
Danny, Doug, and Holling gleefully walk to the gym, where they find Joe Pepitone and Horace... (full context)
Coming of Age Theme Icon
Reading and Learning Theme Icon
Holling, Doug, and Danny run upstairs to find Mrs. Baker, but they find only a note on the door... (full context)
January
Family Theme Icon
Reading and Learning Theme Icon
...himself comes back to school with a black eye and finally explains, after threats from Danny and the promise of a cream puff, that early on New Year's Day, his brother... (full context)
February
Family Theme Icon
Reading and Learning Theme Icon
At school the next day, Holling learns that Danny is taking Mai Thi to Milleridge Inn and then to see Camelot for Valentine's Day.... (full context)
March
Coming of Age Theme Icon
Family Theme Icon
Reading and Learning Theme Icon
...form. Even though Holling thinks he looks stupid, the next day, he runs faster than Danny and a bunch of eighth graders. (full context)
Coming of Age Theme Icon
Family Theme Icon
...the other side by the time they scale the fence. They continue to pursue Holling. Danny grabs Holling as he runs past, so Holling misses what happens next: the rats race... (full context)
Family Theme Icon
The Vietnam War and Political Unrest Theme Icon
...if Mrs. Bigio has "Rat Surprise" for Mai Thi, and Mai Thi begins to cry. Danny dumps his tray over the eighth grader and punches him in the nose. (full context)
Family Theme Icon
The Vietnam War and Political Unrest Theme Icon
Reading and Learning Theme Icon
Danny is suspended for four days, and his parents take him to Washington, D.C. because they're... (full context)
April
Coming of Age Theme Icon
Family Theme Icon
...reach the stadium at the bottom of the third inning and find their seats with Danny, Mr. Hupfer, Doug, and his dad. (full context)
Coming of Age Theme Icon
...everyone hot dogs. After the game, Joe Pepitone and Horace Clark call up to Holling, Danny, and Doug to come down. As the boys scramble over the fence, Joe Pepitone notices... (full context)
Coming of Age Theme Icon
Reading and Learning Theme Icon
Two days later, a photo of Mrs. Baker, Danny, Doug, and Holling with the Yankees graces the front page of the Home Town Chronicle.... (full context)
Family Theme Icon
...Holling feels mostly asleep as he walks through the fog and boards the bus. When Danny's race starts, Holling cheers with the Hupfer family and Meryl Lee. Danny pulls to the... (full context)
Coming of Age Theme Icon
Family Theme Icon
...behind all the eighth graders. Mr. Hupfer finds him and gives him a note from Danny: "beat the pied ninnies." He tells Holling to run the others into the ground. When... (full context)
May
Coming of Age Theme Icon
Family Theme Icon
The next afternoon, a bomb siren goes off again. As everyone scrunches under their desks, Danny snippily asks Mrs. Baker why she isn't under her desk. Holling explains that Danny's attitude... (full context)
Coming of Age Theme Icon
Family Theme Icon
...Hoodhood," as it sounds like she's talking to his dad. Mrs. Baker sits down at Danny's desk, and Holling explains that he doesn't want to become his dad yet. Mrs. Baker... (full context)
Coming of Age Theme Icon
Family Theme Icon
...light candles. He prays that bombs don't drop on his town and that Lieutenant Baker, Danny, and Heather are safe. When he gets home that afternoon, everyone else is gone. Holling... (full context)
June
Coming of Age Theme Icon
Family Theme Icon
Doug looks ready to pass out with exhaustion, and Danny declares he's staying up all night. Mai Thi, Meryl Lee, and Holling help stoke the... (full context)
Coming of Age Theme Icon
The Vietnam War and Political Unrest Theme Icon
...that night. He watches the stars and thinks about Mai Thi, Mrs. Bigio, Lieutenant Baker, Danny, and how in five years, he'll have to register for the Vietnam draft. When dawn... (full context)
Coming of Age Theme Icon
The Vietnam War and Political Unrest Theme Icon
Reading and Learning Theme Icon
A week later, Holling watches Danny step up in front of the full synagogue at his bar mitzvah. Holling's dad even... (full context)
Coming of Age Theme Icon
Family Theme Icon
...understand why Holling would want to stand up and "chant at people." Holling says that Danny became a man, and that becoming a man doesn't mean getting a job as an... (full context)
Coming of Age Theme Icon
Family Theme Icon
The Vietnam War and Political Unrest Theme Icon
Holling goes back inside the temple. Danny is smiling, as is everyone else. He dances with Meryl Lee, who says that something... (full context)