The Tears Of A Clown
One of the reasons I am so fond of Friendship is Magic
is that the show is loaded with far more surprises than I ever expected, and what might
seem predictable at first glance is often just the prelude to another surprise.
Fig. 1: What's
really going on behind that smile?
When I first started watching the series, Pinkie Pie stood out as my least favorite character, one I frankly found rather aggravating and never
expected to warm up to. Although I understood she was the designated comic relief, she seemed to become ever more irritating with each passing
And then, late in the season, something amazing happened. After watching Episode 23: The Cutie Mark Chronicles,
my opinion of Pinkie Pie
While her reliability as a narrator is always in question, Pinkie Pie's tale about her life on the rock farm was so endearing and added so much more
depth to her character that I actually felt a little guilty for my previous attitude toward her.
Fig. 2: Pinkie Pie as a young rocker. Tragically adorable.
It is in this episode that we learn her full name: Pinkamena Diane Pie. Hearing that the first time was such a surprise I almost fell out of my chair
laughing. It's just so classic, and there is so much implied by that name.
The portrayal of her previously dull, cheerless life on the farm makes a convincing case for her perpetually buoyant, frenetic behavior. It's as if
she's making up for lost time, rebelling against her drab fillyhood by insisting on always
Ah, but the FiM writers don't stop there, and that's where the true genius of her character really shines through.
Because no matter how outrageous or random Pinkie Pie may be, just below that happy-go-lucky facade the persona fans have come to know as "Pinkamena"
is always lurking.
Fig. 3: Pinkie Pie suspects subterfuge.
And oh, what a persona she is.
Dark Night Of The Foal
It is not until the penultimate episode of the season, Episode 25: Party of One,
that we are introduced to the "real" Pinkamena, but it's worth
the wait, because the sheer glorious, psychotic awesomeness of her presence is one of the show's crowning moments.
Fig. 4: Pinkie Pie thinks her friends are all lying to her
and avoiding her because they don't like her parties
and they don't want to be her friends anymore.
As flippant and unflappable as Pinkie Pie normally is, she is always masking her underlying insecurities. We see some of this in earlier episodes
where she is somewhat fanatical about keeping promises, and especially about keeping friends' secrets. Indeed, "fanatical" may be too light a word for
More than anything, Pinkie Pie cannot stand the thought of betrayal, and the idea of not having friends is so terrifying to her that when she thinks
the other members of the "mane cast" have forsaken her, she goes so far as to make up new imaginary friends to fill the void.
Fig. 5: Pinkamena throws a party for her new "friends".
It is at this point that Pinkie Pie/Pinkamena begins to behave in a manner that is genuinely psychotic in the textbook sense of the word. She actually
hallucinates and indulges in the delusion that her new imaginary friends are, in fact, real.
It's a disturbing yet comical display as she converses and debates with a bucket of turnips, a puff of lint, a sack of flour and a pile of rocks --
each given names. Her conversations are, of course, externalizations of her inner conflicts, but it's safe to say that she has, by now, crossed over
from psychotic euphoria to psychotic dysphoria.
The visual cue for the emergence of Pinkamena is the singular way in which Pinkie Pie's hair straightens from its normally curly, cotton-candy
puffiness. But even without that cue, the personality change would be obvious.
Single Pink Female
That's because for many aspects of Pinkie Pie's cheerful, easygoing personality, Pinkamena is the polar (or bipolar) opposite.
Pinkamena isn't cheerful. Pinkamena isn't easygoing. Pinkamena has attitude,
and it's best not to become the object of her ire -- which is
easier said than done.
Fig. 6: Pinkamena is not amused.
In truth, despite Pinkamena's intensity, she's still Pinkie Pie beneath it all, and we see constant reminders of her sorrow and inner turmoil. But
that just reinforces the aura of anger and angst that characterizes her distress.
So different and dramatic is the character shift that Pinkamena has her own distinct fan following. Meanwhile, more general Pinkie Pie fans celebrate
Pinkamena as irrefutable proof that their favorite character isn't just some one-dimensional cookie-cutter knock-off.
And indeed, knowing what I now know about Pinkamena, my second viewing of Season 1 was much different from my first, and I see Pinkie Pie in a whole
Now she seems more like a sympathetic, heroic figure than "the Scrappy" or a thin, vacuous comic distraction. With the added depth that Pinkamena
brings to her personality, Pinkie Pie clearly deserves her role as a main character and can hold her own against any of the other ponies.
At long last I've made peace with and appreciate Pinkie Pie, and you know what?
She's all right.
edit on 8/7/2011 by Majic because: (no reason given)