I'm going to share a little story with you. Currently, I'm having a very interesting argument with a guy named Lucky Roll on FimFic. The argument is mostly about MLP:FiM and its characters. We had a long conversation about Rarity, and then we started talking about Pinkie Pie.
Let's be clear here: Pinkie Pie is my favorite pony. Well, my co-favorite pony. For me, Best Pony is at the same time Twilight and Pinkie. So I enjoy talking about Pinkie, like, a lot.
Lucky Roll said that Pinkie was too childish to be in a mature relationship. Well, not exactly. He said that you couldn't write a good shipfic about Pinkie. I don't think so. So, I spent an entire hour writing about WHY Pinkie is so friggin' awesome. I like that message a lot, so let's share it with everybody, right?
By the way, sorry, Microtech. I'm taking over this blogpost. But before I say anything, remember to follow us in tumblr![link]
Now, back with Pinkie Pie.
We can think about Pinkie from two points of view. We can do what we've been doing until now and think about her as if she was real, trying to understand her psychology. But we can think about her as a character -that is, talk about her role in the show. Talk about what do the writers want when they write Pinkie Pie in the show.
First of all, she's the comical character. Almost 99% of the things she does or says in the show have one and only purpose: make the viewers laugh. The only exception is when the episode is about her. Then, she's the clear protagonist and thus she can't be just the 'funny girl who does/says something funny'.
That means that almost everything Pinkie says, even when she's in character, doesn't matter to the story. Look at it. I'm, sure there are a lot of exceptions, but in the end? She has no importance in the show. Take an episode that is not about Pinkie Pie and you'll see that, if you erase her you'll have a perfectly coherent story. The same can't be said about the others -they have a role. But Pinkie? She's there to put a fake mustache on her nose and talk about bees. She's there to have her Party Cannon and sing a silly song. She's there to eat chocolate rain.
The same can't be said about the others. Sure, you can take Applejack out from Sonic Rainboom and nothing happens. You can do that to almost everypony out there, because 'goddamnit there are six of them and we have only 22 minutes, just make the frigging farmgirl say 'yeehaw' or something and bring me my coffe!', but the most prominent example is Pinkie. Well, that's what I think, maybe I'm wrong. I haven't rewatched every episode just to prove myself.
I certainly could do that. In fact, I should. But that's not the point.
Pinkie Pie is, statistically talking, the least important main character. And at the same time, she's the most important one. Because her one and only purpose is the thing that makes the show itself possible: if the children laugh when seeing the episode, they're going to like it. Becuse children are idiots. I'm not being ironic here, it's true. A shiny color, a silly song and bam! they're happy. Well, until certain age, then they become sharp as a knife. But even then (even now, because we adults are as simple as them) a good laugh can be the main difference between a 'this-was-crap' feeling and a 'this-was-pure-gold' feeling after seeing an episode. It's easier to see this when you watch a more mature, seasonal shows like Dr Who or The Simpsons.
And I'm not taling about a good old laugh. You may not even smile and still think that something is funny -and that's what the show is looking for. If you think that, then you think the episode was good, and it's another victory for the writers.
Now, mix that with the fact that MLP:FiM has six main characters and you soon will see that an almost-entirelly comical character is not only prefereable, but entirelly needed. This is a show with a plot and well-developed character. This is a somewhat mature show (I don't think I need to explain this, because we're two men in college and we're watching it on a weekly basis) and thus, it needs to develop itself. It needs to tell a story, and the characters need a characterization. A personality. The magic of MLP is that every pony is unique on its way. But if that's the case and you have a serious episode, then where are the laughs? They are needed, this is a comical show after all. But with six strongly characterized characters... the perfect solution is to have a character whose characterization (how many times have I said those two words?) consists on jokes. On funny things.
Then you have the perfect formula: likable characters, consistent characters and jokes. Pinkie is not needed for a joke, the others can be funny too... but in a different, way, that many children may not understand. I'm thinking about Sonic Rainboom again, and it had a very good joke without Pinkie ('LOUDER!!'), but do you think the show could be as funny without Pinkie Pie? Remaining the good characters, mind you.
The writers would need to think on new situations every episode. And that would be awful. Because comedy needs a lot of thought, and yeah, they can do it (last episode had almost no Pinkie and was very funny), but it needs more effort. With Pinkie, you just put her in there and MERRYCHRISTMASYOUHAVEAJOKE! Writers are humans. They will search for the easiest solution when they need a joke. And, without a joke character, maybe someday they'l need to write a completely out-of-character Fluttershy so they can have a funny situation/episode.
They know that, so they put a main protagonist which is as comical as a clown. And because going mid-way with this things is dangerous (a semi-funny semi-serious character is hard to write and can be very annoying sometimes) Lauren Faust thought 'fuck it' and gave us Pinkie Pie. Completely crazy.
So, like three thousands words just to say that, storytelling-y talking, Pinkie is a cheap trick to make us smile. And hey, it's not like if they were trying to hide it. Huh.
Of course, that doesn't mean that I'm underestimating the writers. It's the opposite. They can write comedy without Pinkie, but she's always there because sometimes a scene needs to be pretty dang serious, and a comical commentary can be considered just plain rude if certain character says it, unless it's crystal clear that this character couldn't have said anything else. Entering Pinkie Pie, again. Not the perfect comical character, but a very good example of them.
So, what was that for? Easy. The writers are always using Pinkie as a walking joke, but that doesn't mean that she's not a real character. She has a personality, a story... And the writers don't want her to be a one-dimensional character, so sometimes they write about her on a more serious tone.
Of course, her entire characterization -her entire soul we could say- turns around the idea of funny character, so even being serious she's going to be silly. But then again, in those moments, when she acts not as a joke, but as a real character, the writers are somewhat free to write her. Like, to really write her.
Is on those rare moments when we see what could be seen as the real Pinkie Pie. Too many Pinkie Pies, Swarm of the Century (sorta), Feeling Pinkie Keen (although this one is an exception, I think, because it's still mainly jokes and little more), Party of One, Baby Cakes, A Friend in deed, Griffon the Brush off, Putting your hoof down (co-acting with Rarity as secondary, because clearly this is a Fluttershy episode after all), andMMMystery on the Friendship Express are episodes that show us a more serious Pinkie Pie. She doesn't need to be just random, like in Fall Weather Friends, so she acts surprisingly mature. Hell, Baby Cakes is the ultimate proof that Pinkie is not stupid or downright mentally ill. She's just an energetic (very energetic) adult with a lack of empathy. But she is more than just a joke, and the writers know it.
In other words: I actually think that the 'canon' episodes we should focus on when we're talking about Pinkie are those that I've mentioned. That doesn't mean that The Crystal Empire isn't canon, it just means that in that episode Pinkie is not a character, it's a joke. Like a banana peel on the floor. Sure, you can talk about her there, but what would you see? She likes flugglehorns but she can't play them. Wow.
So that would mean that yes, Pinkie can't act and when she cries she creates mini-waterfalls. But... talking about that face of hers is not polite to the characters or the writers. You're just, I don't know, taking advantage of the way the episodes are wrote or something.
Let's focus now on the analysis we've been doing until now. Letting the storytelling aside, Pinkie is, deep inside, mature. She's not a child and she knows what's important. In Baby Cakes (being a Pinkie fan, that episode was PURE GOLD FOR ME), what does Pinkie do when the babies are finally asleep? She cleans the house. It's a little thing, you can easily not see it, but when she walks down the stairs and looks at the royal mess the twins have made, she shings, smiles, shrugs and cleans the whole house. That's mature, and you can't deny it. What would have done an inmature pony? Well, I guess she would have fallen asleep with the twins. Hell, Pinkie herself would have done that if she had been just playing with the twins. But no, she was babysitting them. Which means that all that mess is her fault, so it's her and not the Cakes who has to clean everything up.
Or, looking at the conversation she has with Twilight. You said that you would have said the same, and I would be lying if I said otherwise. But we (and Twilight) are forgetting something: this is serious Pinkie we're dealing with. She can be wild and irresponsible, and I kknow a lot of people that acts that way. Twilight does too, and all that people is called Pinkie. But she accepted a responsibility (she didn't know it was such a huge deal, but we're going at it later) and the way Twilight acts hurt her pride.
Twilight just said that she wasn't prepared for such a situation. And that reminded Pinkie of the Cakes' acting before: she was the last one to be asked. I can't think why did the Cakes think that Dash would be a better foalsitter, but that's beside the point. The thing is: Pinkie knows she can be responsible. But it seems like she's the only one to think that. And that hurt her, so she opted for demostrating everypony that Pinkie Pie is not stupid after all. That she's not just a walking joke, she can be a character, just like everypony else. She just doesn't want to act as one.
Which means, paradoxically, that she's inmature as hell. If you can be a down-to-earth adult but you prefer acting like a high-on-sugar five-year-old, then you're not a mature person. Pinkie is childish, and that's one of her worse flaws. I'm not a fanboy defending my favorite character (well, MAYBE), I know that Applejack is way more likable than her. In-universe and in reality. Just look how many people hate her.
And that's the reason why Pinkie chose babysitting the Cake twins after all, right? She thought it would be just like a huge playday. That's inmature as hell. She didn't think about the consecuences. And the Cakes, knowing her, predicted that it would end on a disaster. And it did! All of her efforts went down the toilet, and only the Cake twins empathy saved her in the end.
Those tears she shed? The ones that made the babies feel sorry for her? She was feeling defeated. She was feeling like a stupid pony, like an inmature, good-for-nothing walking joke. She realized that her way of life (you know, randomness and parties and sillyness) wasn't something she had chosen: it was the only way a pony like her could live. I mean, think about it. She thinks she's inmature because she wants to, everypony else thinks that she's just a big child that can't live alone, and in the end the rest of the world was right and she's useless. No wonder why did she cry. And even worse, she actually put the kids in danger! Well, kinda. They were running wild down the house after all, and they were just babies. They could have hurt themselves, and Pinkie knew it.
Cue the cleaning of the house, the happiness tears and everything else. What was the lesson? Sometimes you need to be responsible, and... it sucks. But hey, that's life. She tries to be irresponsible again at the end, when she refuses the Cakes' offer of being the official babysitter of the twins, but then she listens the babies' first words, and... her heart melts blahblahblah. Hey, maybe being responsible is good sometimes. After all, she loves those two. It's normal for her to try to be more mature just for them.
Look at the chapter, especially the ending, and you'll see that what I said is true. The other episodes I mentioned are less serious, but that doesn't mean that they're not important. They teach us that Pinkie is irresponsible and inmature, but not a bad person. She cares about her friends. She wants to see them happy. She hates when somepony doesn't like her. She's spiteful. But she knows those things are flaws and tries to fight them... she just can't do it like the others. She needs a personal episode for it. She believes she chose the childish life, and maybe it's true maybe it's not true. After all, trying hard to be mature can be seen as a sign of maturity.
So looking back at that, we see that Pinkie is able to have very powerful emotions, and doesn't know how to deal with them. It's not like she was acting rational in Party of One after all. (Although I think that the darker tone of her fur was only visible for the audience, like the gray color of the discorded ponies). Now look at that and tell me that a stepford smiler situation can't happen -she just needs to realize that it's a very serious situation and acting like a child just doesn't work. See? A shipping is possible. If Pinkie is in love, she can either be a child about it and try to hug the soon-to-be-lover and throw a party or try to be mature and have an internal fight. The only way to choose a scene is asking youself: 'I want her to be a joke or a character?'
Ok, there's no way you've read all this. BUT ANYWAY, HAVE A COOKIE!
OH, SORRY WE HAVE NO COOKIES LEFT.