Rolf is an immigrant from a far and distant culture known to us only as The Old Country. The most evidence was shown in "No Speak Da Ed." There, it was revealed that he is familiar with a trickster named Gerta who lives in Norway. During flashbacks in that episode, he is seen being chased by what appears to be someone in a wolf costume. Rolf works on his parents' small farm within the Cul-de-Sac and leads a scouting group called the Urban Rangers; a Boy Scout-like group consisting of Jimmy, Plank, and Jonny. Rolf often refers to himself in third person, as well as being the "son of a shepherd," in which he takes great pride. He hardly minds the Eds unless they make a fool out of him or insult his culture, after which he is not afraid to use brute force. When his superhuman strength is unleashed, it rivals Ed's; however, it should be considered that he is the second strongest character in the show, since he was seen lifting a tree with difficulty while Ed can lift a house single handed. Regardless, Rolf's strength depends on his mood rather than his biology.
In multiple episodes, Rolf is shown to have green teeth. As shown in "If It Smells Like an Ed," he has an obsession with jujubes. Rolf, like the other kids, shares the same infatuation with jawbreakers.
Rolf confuses the rest of the kids with his unusual customs, sayings, and food-making. He is one of the few characters who gets respect from all the kids. His best friend is Kevin, and he relates well with Jonny, as he tends to be an outsider as well. Rolf has a very strong accent and is exceptionally hairy. Although he has not revealed his age, he claims that his hair is premature (as mentioned in "Scrambled Ed"). He has a strong liking for meat, and when he agreed on a bet to not eat meat for a whole day, he became severely emaciated almost instantly, not even having enough strength to open the cafeteria door or bite through celery. Seafood is shown to be an integral part of Rolf's traditions in many episodes, particularly in "Dueling Eds," in which sea cucumbers, dead fish and eels are featured, and in "Button Yer Ed," in which Rolf's breakfast feast is shown to be composed entirely of seafood.
Nobody except Rolf and his family knows what country he is from. It is apparently fictional, though often suggested by fans to be a Northern or Eastern European country. Rolf speaks English with a strong accent and also has a tendency to refer to himself in third-person.
Role in the series
Rolf is a hard-working, friendly and upbeat character, yet is also unusual and sometimes disconcerting to the others. Despite his many idiosyncrasies, he appears to have the respect of almost everyone in the Cul-De-Sac.
Rolf values hard work and can most often be found working on his parents' small farm. He is responsible for doing all sorts of chores from the menial, such as tending to the animals, planting seeds etc., to the downright strange. It is because of this frequent display of labor that Rolf has strength that rivals Ed's, though his strength, while impressive, is no match for Ed's, as Rolf can only use it when he is angry, while Ed's strength is a part of his biology. Even when angry, his strength still does not seem to be of the same intensity or level as Ed's. Though he often works and takes great pride in his achievements, he describes his youth, back in The Old Country as being "lazy" and "good for nothing." It is possible that he does some of the chores out of fear, as he once mentioned that if his chores were not finished, he would be "banished to the cupboard." This is one of the reasons the Urban Rangers exist: to do all sorts of chores around the Cul-De-Sac and to "become the masters of the mundane," as Rolf puts it. They are a boy scout-type organization that has existed for over fifty years and they are specialists when it comes to chores, for which they earn badges. Aside from the menial chores, they often take camping trips to the woods in order to earn camping badges.
Rolf has also shown numerous times a type of honor system, most notably in "Dueling Eds." Of course, growing up listening to fantastic stories about heroes and battles, it is no wonder that Rolf grew up into a man who gives credit where credit is due. Dishonoring someone from Rolf's country will result in a duel with dead fish as weapons, while balancing on a tree above a deep chasm. If the man who has dishonored the other man falls down into the chasm, the honor of the dishonored is restored, not just to him, but to his ancestors as well, thus meaning that if just one member of a family has been shamed, dishonored, or otherwise been disrespected, the credibility of the entire family is at stake. This is so deep that it even has supernatural properties: right after the "duel" begins, the alley was surrounded by heavy clouds that only vanished when Rolf (easily) defeated Eddy. The duel can be prevented beforehand if the provocateur brings to the man he offended the "Cupcakes of Sorriness," and then they must accept the "Eels of Forgiveness" down their trousers. Rolf has claimed that those worthy of the most respect are village buffoons and barbers, the latter of which he aspires to be.
He is also a prideful person, taking pride in numerous things, most notably him being the son of a shepherd, his hard work, and him winning the covetous, and most difficult of the Urban Ranger badges: The Hairy Chest of Resilience Badge. His pride in part might explain his illeism, that is, him referring to himself in third person, though this could also be as a result of his handling of the English language.
Rolf also seems to be the oldest child in the Cul-De-Sac, and in some ways, acts more maturely when compared to the rest of the kids. In appearance (excluding the vast amount of body hair, which he claims to be premature), he also seems to be the tallest out of all the kids in the Cul-De-Sac. It may be because he grew up in a very different environment than the other kids, surrounded by a radically different lifestyle.
Even though he is a hard-working individual, he is also a fun-loving person. When not working or hanging out with the rest of the kids, he can be found having a warm drink by the fireplace, candied beats, or meat. His jollyness is best shown in "Wish You Were Ed," in which he is shown dancing to a particularly violent song called "That's My Horse," in which the two dancers say the line and then proceed to hit each other with their hands (or anything else such as a barrel, a wheelbarrow, and so on). Despite it being very painful, Rolf and Ed enjoy it very much and Edd at one point even described it as a "delightful barbaric dance." He also owns an accordion, which the song is played on.
His many confusing customs have flabbergasted the rest of the Cul-De-Sac kids to no end. The many strange foods (such as fish balls, assorted aquatic creatures, and various meats), celebrations, activities, holidays, clothes (such as a vest made from his father's back hair), stories (such as the battle between his Great Nano and a Giant Sea Cucumber), and so on. He consistently confuses the meanings and messages of gestures and customs in the Cul-De-Sac with that of his own traditions, confusing the potted plant Eddy was giving him as a token of apology as the "Potted Shrub of Ridicule," and thinks that Kevin avoiding having eels poured down his pants as a sign of disrespect.
An odd thing about Rolf is that in "Fa-La-La-La-Ed," he knows about Christmas like every one else, but in Ed, Edd n Eddy's Jingle Jingle Jangle, he has no idea about Christmas.
On numerous occasions, Rolf has shown his sorrow and longing for his old village, most prominently featured in "Wish You Were Ed." Rolf is easily confused by the modern world and its technology, culture, and way of life. He stated that he "sweats himself to understand our modern go-go world." He often recalls his childhood days in The Old Country and his voyage to America in a canoe made from leather shoes (which will prompt him to talk for hours about his Great Nano). In "A Town Called Ed," Rolf, in a way, seems to have accepted the "confusing leisure delights" and simply goes along with them. When Kevin invited him over to his house to watch monster trucks, Rolf, somewhat nonchalantly, proclaims "Very well; Rolf will include himself, once again, in sharing yet another one of your menial customs and all the time wonder why." Overall, it may seem that Rolf has finally accepted his new, strange to him, home.