Belson Noles is a supporting character and antagonist in Clarence. He’s a snot-nosed bully, although he’s more likely to throw a sarcastic quip than a punch. Underneath his persona of a spoiled rich kid, however, Clarence is one of his best friends even though he’d never admit it.
Belson is short and chubby with a mop of curly brown hair. He wears a dark red t-shirt, blue shorts, and navy shoes. His unibrow, nose, and perpetual grimace resemble that of Bert from the Muppets.
In outward personality, Belson is petty, pretentious, rude, and ungrateful. His spoiled upbringing manifests in his entitled attitude and indignance when his wants are denied. He treats others in a callous manner, and when he’s not, he’s disregarding them entirely, consumed in gaming devices or magazines. At the same time, he places a tremendous amount of importance on how others perceive him. He will do anything he can to be seen as cool and accepted through fads and pranks (Straight Illin, Bedside Manners). He is rarely ever true to himself, and as a result, he conducts himself in a bullish, detached fashion. However, there's evidence Belson has a softer side to him. In The Interrogation, Clarence pleaded Belson's innocence to Mr. Reese on the basis that he's a "baby angel". Belson has also warmed up to Clarence; In "Zoo", he referred to him as "Buddy" and did the same in "Capture The Flag". Occasionally, Belson will show empathy for other characters as well. An example would be in "Dingus & McNobrain" when he initially chose to withhold news of Ms. Baker moving to California from Mr. Reese in an attempt to spare him from disappointment.
There are complex reasons for his fickle behavior. Belson has a host of internal conflicts, most of which rooting from the relationship he has with Mr. Noles. He reveres his father as a role model and craves acceptance from him, which, unfortunately, he rarely receives. His father appears to be dismissive of him and seems to harbor more interest in his personal affairs than he does in having a relationship with his son. This is particularly evident in "Big Game" when he turned down Belson's request to take him to a baseball game in favor of his own agenda. Belson has internalized this and has convinced himself nobody cares about him. Not only is he extremely sensitive to mentions of his father (Merry Moochmas), but he’s also built a false exterior in order to protect himself from rejection, because deep down, he fears that should he open up to anybody, they’ll dislike him. Unfortunately, this becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy when the only version of Belson people are repelled from is the version of him that’s dismissive and harsh.
Belson is extremely protective of his interests and seldom discloses them to anyone, with the exception of Clarence in "Belson's Backpack". His love for dolphins first becomes apparent in "Zoo". Being his favorite animal, he's actually very knowledgeable about the species. He draws a comic series on the insides of educational books called “Bodhi’s World” starring his dolphin character, Bodhi. His creativity parallels that of Cynthia’s, who recreationally makes ceramics. Another interest of Belson’s is gaming, although it’s more of a coping mechanism for him than an interest. In "Belson's Backpack", he's shown to play them when angry, suggesting he uses them to channel his frustrations. Given the nature of his personality, it's also likely that he plays video games as a means to detach from others so that he won’t have to make an effort in befriending them.
- Clarence - Belson is just as rude to Clarence as he is to anyone else, sometimes even more so when Clarence has a tendency to overstep his personal boundaries. It's for the same reasons he secretly appreciates him more than any of his other friends; Clarence cares about him. Clarence describes Belson as “tough to love but worth the effort” and on occasion will affectionately refer to him as “My Belson” or “Belsy”. Belson has called Clarence "Buddy" a couple times as well. He also warmed up to him in “The Tunnel”; after getting lost in the sewer system while looking for a game cartridge, he expressed relief upon seeing Clarence and Sumo.
- Jeff - Jeff and Belson don't have the best relationship. Jeff generally stays away from Belson as to avoid his personality, but attempted to get chummy with him in "Lizard Day Afternoon" to gain access to his Cerebus Breach. Belson doesn't particularly care for Jeff.
- Sumo - Sumo and Belson have an ongoing vendetta against one another. Sumo is disapproving of Belson for his pretentious attitude and disregard of others. Belson doesn't like Sumo probably because Sumo knows how to call him out, and is likely bitter towards him from when he broke his video game console in "Belson's Sleepover".
- Nathan - Belson appears to use Nathan as a body guard.
- Dustin - Like Nathan and Percy, Dustin was somewhat of a friend to Belson until later parts of season 1 and season 2.
- Percy - Percy is another one of Belson's lackies. They seem to be neutral with each other.
- Cynthia - It's clear that Belson does not respect his mother and frequently is annoyed with her. Examples are when he slammed a door in her face in "Belson's Sleepover" and refused to take out the trash as she instructed.
- Mr. Noles - Belson looks up to him and wishes he would spend more time with him. Cynthia stated in "Belson's Sleepover" that Mr. Noles is always moving around and never gets to spend time with Belson, but it's debatable that this is the case. In "Big Game", Mr. Noles displayed a dismissive attitude toward him and preferred to go about his own business instead of taking Belson to a ball game.
- Mr. Reese - Belson viewed Mr. Reese as an annoyance until they forged something akin to a father-son relationship in "Dingus & McNobrain".
- It's revealed in "Company Man" that Belson's height is 3'5'' and he weighs 75 pounds.
- He is the head of the newspaper team, as shown in "Freedom Cactus" and "Clarence for President".
- He has 9 buddy stars in "Clarence's Millions".
- He seems to dislike Clarence and is likely jealous of him for his vast friendships, although he gradually warms up to him throughout the series. Evidence of this is especially apparent in "Zoo", "Belson's Backpack", "Capture The Flag".
- In "Chalmers Santiago", he has a hideout at the abandoned house that is across Clarence's house, although it is unknown if he returns after the episode. This may be an homage to how he resided in the same location in the Pilot, but was relocated for the actual series.
- His face and nose resemble Bert (Sesame Street), The Robinsons ("The Amazing World of Gumball" ), Grunkle Stan (Gravity Falls), Sid (Hey Arnold!) Benson (Regular Show), and Nom Nom (We Bare Bears).
- So far, a running gag in Clarence is that he usually seen playing and/or buying a video game.
- Once, he is seen playing videogames along with Nathan and Dustin in "Honk".
- His full name is a pun of one of the former storyboarders of the show, Nelson Boles.
- In "Belson's Sleepover", he has a figurine of Jake the Dog from "Adventure Time" on his shelf.
- Him, Mavis, and Percy have a body shape that is similar to Uncle Grandpa.
- In "Company Man", we see a picture of him as an infant, along with more baby photos from Lizard Day Afternoon. He has a head shape similar to that of Stewie from Family Guy and Harold and Arnold (also as a infant) from Hey Arnold!.
- In "Thirty Days & Seven Seas", a game character named "Tuna Tony" bears a slight resemblance to Belson.
- In "The Trade", his robe has a monogram that spelt as "B.K.". This brings on the possibility that his last name may be spelled as "Knoles", although it's unlikely and probably a coincidence.
- According to the storyboard art, Belson was originally going to appear in the episode, "Man of the House", only in Sumo's imagination as a spider, which would've been nearly killed by an adult Sumo. However, this portion was cut due to being inappropriate for a kids' show.
The gallery for Belson Noles can be found here.